For knowledge to be easily shared, the core nuggets of information – the article – has to be easy to understand from the requester’s perspective, it has to be easy (and fast) to find. This means it should be easy to create content.

Use this template as a simple way to create a content standard – a document that defines the parts of an article and gives some examples of good articles.


Article Contents
Question or title A short statement of the question or procedures written using words of the person who needs the information.
Who it applies to The article applies to Information that narrows down situations or questions.

In a technical setting, that might be

1.     Technology systems they are accessing – servers, programs, applications

2.     Version of software or hardware – only Macintosh OS or Windows 8

In other cases, that might be

1.     The group it applies to – new employees who started after December 21, 2012

2.     How long it applies – only valid until January 1, 2013

Procedures A straight-forward explanation of the answer or processes, usually bullet points or step-by-step instructions. It should be simple, and in language that the person who needs the information is familiar with.
Behind the scenes information Information available only to internal staff, even for articles that are available more broadly. For example, they could be steps to take by a staff member within a system that customers do not have access. Another would be internal notes, which help an internal team member to resolve an issue but will not be applicable for a customer.
Real reason In the case of a problem, what is the root cause?  In the case of a procedure, why is it important?
Metadata Keywords to enhance the ability to search and provide more contexts for the article.

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