How to write an Internal Documentation

ref: slite

Internal documentation is essentially a process of getting all of your company knowledge in one place. It is the build of an open-source knowledge base as a reference point for all company processes and procedures. Your internal documentation is written and designed for your staff workforce, strictly for internal use.

External documentation builds a knowledge base for contractors or other external stakeholders; it’s more sensitive with information and is more customer-facing with its language

types of internal documentation

  • Team documentation: topics like team goals, style guides, talent, schedules, meetings, and timelines. It’s specific to certain areas of the company, and not everyone needs access to every team’s knowledge base.
  • Onboarding documentation‍: This type of “readme” documentation needs to be threaded into every employee onboarding when getting started and should be a constant reference point for current employees. Onboarding and user documentation should include HR processes and company-wide policies for new team members. It’s also a good idea to give an overview of company structure and people.
  • Project documentation: the most used knowledge-base in your business and one that needs to be continuously updated. This technical documentation area consists of projects, past, present, and future— it will be a reference point throughout any project and historical documentation

How to manage internal documentation

  1. Measure current internal documentation
    what do you currently have? Do you already have some sort of internal documentation in place, or are you starting from scratch?
  2. Layout discovery with an index
    Something to help people navigate your internal documentation library when it’s finished and structure the information you need
  3. Build architecture and templates
    Think of how you want employees to engage with the knowledge base, how they will navigate between documents, and consider what makes the most sense to group together.
  4. Assign Creators
    Internal documentation is a big lift and one that you can’t possibly expect to go at alone.
  5. Review submissions to your company wiki
  6. Map operational use
    This “how-to” will be at the forefront of your onboarding campaign— it needs to be as clear as possible
    These user guides should include example use cases, a guide for getting started and future use, and any faqs you think may come up along the way.
  7. Get feedback and allow for updates
  8. Assign owners by field and total project
    Look at these documents as living sources of information. People will refer to them often and in times of need.
    It’s so vital that you keep this knowledge up to date.