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Irrevo Best Practices

Establishing content standards

Content standards provide a level of consistency that increases the usability of your knowledgebase. 

Content standard best practices

If you are following Knowledge Centered Support KCSSM best practices, the content standard is designed and developed by a cross-functional team of knowledge workers who have hands-on experience with creating knowledge in the workflow. This allows them to use real-world examples and keep the standard as simplified as possible to make it easy to follow. 

A content standard should include:

  • Knowledge article structure definitions - List the basic elements of each article type and define the information that should go into each area.
  • Article Quality criteria - Define the expectations for a good, quality article, which is often  communicated in the form of an Article Quality Index (AQI) checklist.
  • Templates - List the templates created for each document type and instructions on how to complete all the content areas.
  • Style Guide - Design the format of the document to emphasize usability.
  • Supporting material - Define the format for references and links within an article.
  • Visibility Matrix/Licensing Model - Establish the lifecycle that an article will follow and which users are allowed to see articles in certain stages. For example, as soon as an article is created in a Draft state, all internal users (employees) will be able to see that article.
  • Article creation guidelines - Help knowledge workers determine when they should create a new article and why.
  • Metadata definitions - Define what metadata should be used and how (including lifecycle state, type, product, etc.)
  • Vocabulary - List preferred terms for each audience, level of expertise, voice, standards for environment statements.
  • Multi-language considerations - Determine if the articles need to be translated for multiple languages and define the guidelines for Global English that may simplify machine or manual translations.

Tip: The Consortium for Service Innovation recommends in Appendix E of the Best Practices Guide making a quick reference guide with some guidelines from the content standards so knowledge workers can have a one-page, printable version at their desk to review when creating knowledge.