Institutional knowledge is priceless—but we don’t always treat it that way. It’s usually easier to just do our work without writing down how we do it. Plus, who actually reads process documents, anyway?
Team members won't use process docs every day. But when they do need them, they're critical—and not having them can really harm the team. Proactively capturing knowledge prevents future knowledge gaps from happening. The truth is, without a shared source of information, processes, and guides, it’s harder for our colleagues to get their work done.
Knowledge management helps you organize knowledge for your team, departments, and specific tasks. For this to work, everyone needs to manage knowledge in the same way. This makes it easy for all teams, especially cross-functional teams, to find what they need—which is where a knowledge management template comes in.
Knowledge management is the process of sourcing, organizing, storing, and distributing information. Knowledge management systems offer a way to take full advantage of all the individual knowledge that your company employs. This makes it easier to share knowledge, so that you can identify repeated mistakes and look for solutions that have already been developed.
Once organized into a knowledge base, you can easily see how you’ve done things in the past, what worked, what didn’t, and any corresponding metrics. This is helpful for strategic planning—using what you already know to plan for the future. For example, you can use the historical data in your knowledge base to influence how you build a future roadmap.
Knowledge management processes need to be well structured and coordinated to work—which is much easier to do when you templatize it.
Knowledge management templates allow you to capture and review important information. By templatizing and formatting your knowledge management process, you can be sure that no matter who is overseeing it, the information is organized in the same way. This reduces the risk of a team member leaving out an important piece of knowledge that you want included, and ensures your team maintains a consistent workflow.
For example, if you have a knowledge management process for company budgets and planning, you can save this as a template. This way, when a team member uses the knowledge management template for the upcoming quarter, they don’t forget to include important information or steps. Remember to include items beyond the budget itself, such as your change management process if you go over-budget or a how-to article for troubleshooting your budget management system.
Almost every team can benefit from a knowledge management template, but this is especially true in larger organizations and teams. That’s because, in enterprise companies, you often have many different people and teams in charge of processes. Creating templates for these processes ensures that all of these varying individuals operate in the same way, giving you consistent results.
A knowledge management template formats your process. This way, no matter who is overseeing it, you can succinctly capture and store information in the exact same way across departments, or even company-wide. The knowledge management template serves as a step-by-step guide and shows what items you need to include for a successful process. For example, if you need certain knowledge base articles included in every IT FAQ section, you can include them in your template.
Overall, building a template simplifies knowledge sharing so you can see how work gets done, what’s working (so you can borrow or copy those methods), and what could be improved. Plus, knowledge management is inherently cross-functional—you’re often building out a knowledge base to help other teams and individuals access your information. Digital knowledge management templates built in project management software has the added benefits of being easier to share, use, and access across teams.
Your knowledge management template walks users through your knowledge management process. This makes it a self-service process—if they want to know how to create a knowledge base, they have all the instructions and steps in the template.
To build your template, create sections for each area of knowledge that you want to include. For example, you can create sections for:
Relevant resource docs: If you’re using a project management platform, you can create tasks for each resource and attach the document directly to each task. This reduces the amount of time and effort people have to spend searching for relevant information.
Team-specific processes: For example, you can link to or list out the customer feedback process for the customer support team. This can act as a central source of truth for all of your team’s processes.
Frequently asked questions sections: FAQs can help answer any commonly asked questions, so your team isn’t answering the same thing over and over again. This is especially useful for IT or other teams that frequently work with other teams and departments.
Contact section: Include team members responsible for specific tasks, so you know who to contact for related questions.
Knowledge management takes coordination. That’s why many people use a project management tool to organize their information—so they can quickly and easily share everything, with anyone, any time they need.
With Asana, you can:
Assign the tasks for each section to the person in charge of decision making. For example, if the knowledge management template is for the engineering team, you can create a section for onboarding new hires to the team, and assign those tasks to the relevant HR team members, people managers, and onboarding mentors.
Coordinate across teams by easily adding different members to shared projects and portfolios.
Once you have your sections outlined, you can create related tasks and subtasks with guidelines and processes.
Create the template once, and use it forever with a quick click of the “duplicate” button.
List View. List View is a grid-style view that makes it easy to see all of your project’s information at a glance. Like a to-do list or a spreadsheet, List View displays all of your tasks at once so you can not only see task titles and due dates, but also view any relevant custom fields like Priority, Status, or more. Unlock effortless collaboration by giving your entire team visibility into who’s doing what by when.
Automation. Automate manual work so your team spends less time on the busy work and more time on the tasks you hired them for. Rules in Asana function on a basis of triggers and actions—essentially “when X happens, do Y.” Use Rules to automatically assign work, adjust due dates, set custom fields, notify stakeholders, and more. From ad hoc automations to entire workflows, Rules gives your team time back for skilled and strategic work.
Subtasks. Sometimes a to-do is too big to capture in one task. If a task has more than one contributor, a broad due date, or stakeholders that need to review and approve before it can go live, subtasks can help. Subtasks are a powerful way to distribute work and split tasks into individual components—while keeping the small to-dos connected to the overarching context of the parent task. Break tasks into smaller components or capture the individual components of a multi-step process with subtasks.
Custom fields. Custom fields are the best way to tag, sort, and filter work. Create unique custom fields for any information you need to track—from priority and status to email or phone number. Use custom fields to sort and schedule your to-dos so you know what to work on first. Plus, share custom fields across tasks and projects to ensure consistency across your organization.
Dropbox. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Dropbox file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane.
Vimeo. Text may get the point across, but written words lack tone, emotion, and expression. With video messaging in Asana, powered by Vimeo, you can give your team all the context they need, without having to schedule another meeting. Record short video messages of yourself, your screen—or both—then embed the videos in tasks, projects, messages, and comments to provide additional clarity and context. A transcript of the recording is automatically created by Asana, making it readable and searchable. Give feedback, ask questions, and assign tasks—all without leaving Asana.
Google Workplace. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Google Workplace file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach any My Drive file with just a few clicks.
OneDrive. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Microsoft OneDrive file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach files from Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more.
A knowledge management template outlines your knowledge management process. Everyone who uses the template organizes their knowledge in the same way. As a result, you can create one, consistent knowledge management template across teams, departments, or the entire organization.
Your knowledge management template ensures that everyone documents knowledge in the same way. Because you already understand this system, you can easily access and sort through work, even if it’s on other teams. Over time, this reduces the work about work of sifting through unorganized information.
Larger companies, especially, can benefit from using a knowledge management template. That’s because they often have many different teams operating in different ways across departments. When every team manages their knowledge system in a different way, it’s hard to access and use information cross-functionally. Creating a template that standardizes the process makes it easier to find and coordinate with others knowledge.
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Learn how to create a customizable template in Asana with a free Premium trial today.