Building a modern SaaS Content Strategy

Kimberly May
Kimberly May Vice President Support ServicesMember

I am looking to modernize my company’s approach to knowledge and information management. Today knowledge is aligned with many different departments: product documentation within Engineering, Knowledge Base within Support, Web & Community Content in Marketing, Training and Video in Product Management. I believe we should focus on building a single strategy to manage all information types, and resource the strategy with a Manager and Team. What are best practices for content management in a modern SaaS company? Where should this department align within the org structure, Support, PM or Engineering?  Has anyone done anything like this before? I would love to hear about your experiences and reactions to modernizing knowledge management in this way.

Answers

  • Steven Forth
    Steven Forth Managing Partner Founding Partner | Expert ✭✭✭

    Some people prefer to organize their world into mutually exclusive categories. They tend to like to have content organized into file folders and directories.

    Other people resist this. They prefer to tag content so that the same piece of content can be in several places at the same time.

    A third group of people rely on search. They don't want to navigate through file folders and they don't get tags, but they are good at constructing searches.

    If at all possible, you need to find a way to support all of these very different types of people.

    If budget will only let you do one, I would use tagging. Why? You can implement a folder system using tags (takes a bit of thought and discipline) and tags can enhance search (depending on the platform you are using for this).

    If the platform does not support tagging or has poor search you should replace it.

  • Sara Johnson
    Sara Johnson Director of Research for Support Services Member | Guru ✭✭✭✭✭

    @John Ragsdale Curious if you have any insights on where knowledge management groups are being aligned in XaaS organizations moving up the knowledge maturity model, support, PM, Product, etc?

    @Patrick Martin Any insights that you have noticed?

  • Patrick Martin
    Patrick Martin Senior Director, Technical Support Founding Analyst | Scholar ✭✭

    Hi!

    I would like to build on what Steven was saying, however, I will be suggesting that you take the search aspect. Having a unified search technology would allow your different departments to continue using their own methods and tools of creating content. The search tool can allow you to index several content sources and make them available to your users. If you push it one step further, by leveraging an experience intelligence tool such as Coveo, you can even start personalizing content based on the users context, which will truly improve the user's experience as well as their proficiency as you are making relevant content available to them.

    However, having the best technology doesn't solve the other challenge you shared, which is having a knowledge management strategy within all teams contributing to content creation. From my perspective, it starts with establishing a Knowledge Management function within your organization. There should be a company wide Knowledge Manager that would set the overall strategy and work with the departmental Knowledge Managers to ensure that the strategy is implemented and followed. Your content strategy should be flexible enough to take every department's reality into consideration, and also detailed enough so that each team knows what they have ownership of. This way, you avoid duplicate work and identify the best media for the required content. What I mean is that if Support sees that a problem is repeatedly submitted by customers, a KB could be a good temporary solution, but Support should flag whether a training might be better, or improved product documentation. Having this group work together and focus on the business needs, reviewing most used content, etc. would help in ensuring that you have a robust knowledge management strategy across all teams.

    Once this is in place, you will get the full value our your insight engine (search) technology. Let me know if you would like to discuss further.

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