Jonathan DeVore

By: Jonathan DeVore on March 6th, 2022

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12 Mistakes to Avoid When Preparing to Implement ScreenSteps

If only implementing new software in a company was like a magic trick. All you would have to do is snap your fingers, wave a wand, or say the magic words, and it’s done. Everything is seemingly perfect. Or is it?

As someone who has learned a few magic tricks in his lifetime, I can say that magic isn’t always what it seems. And with your knowledge base, you want everything to seem as it is.

Trust me, I’ve been helping companies implement their ScreenSteps knowledge bases for nine years now. Over this time, I’ve seen a few common areas where things go awry during implementation.

Luckily, if you are prepared, you can prevent these mistakes from happening. Here are 11 mistakes to avoid while implementing ScreenSteps, including what happens when you make this mistake and why you want to avoid it.

1. You don’t set clear performance goals

Is your instinct to hit the ground running? If your instinct is to start doing (i.e. migrating content into ScreenSteps, building your site, etc.), I recommend taking a step back.

Before you start doing anything, you’ll want to discuss and write down your performance goals. What are you hoping ScreenSteps changes in your company? You want measurable goals.

Then you’ll want to create a plan for how you want to achieve that with ScreenSteps. ScreenSteps has the tools to help you achieve your documentation, training, and performance goals.

However, if you don’t know where you want to go with ScreenSteps, you likely won’t see the results you want.

For help on deciding your performance goals and creating a plan for them, read about 7 steps for, How the ScreenSteps Team Helps You Meet Your Performance Goals.

2. Assuming you can import all your content

If you already have policies and procedures documented for your company, you’ll likely want to bulk upload your content into ScreenSteps. However, ScreenSteps is only capable of directly migrating specific file types.

You can directly upload content from Microsoft Word and Google Docs. You can also upload Microsoft PowerPoint files directly as png files.

Other formats are more labor-intensive. They require copying and pasting content from your files. Check this list of eight different file formats to learn more about the migration process for each.

Depending on the file type, you’ll want to plan enough time to migrate your content. For an additional fee, you can hire the ScreenSteps team to help with content migration.

Hot tip: Spend time optimizing your content

While it may seem like an easy solution to simply transfer all your existing content into ScreenSteps, that won’t solve your problems. In order to make guides easier to find, simpler to follow, and accessible for employees, you’ll want to edit your existing content.

In fact, often companies do a complete overhaul of their content because they realize they are outdated or they are missing important guides altogether. For 5 tips on how to write workflow articles in ScreenSteps, watch this video.

3. Not setting up single sign-on

Single sign-on is a game-changer when it comes to getting employees to use your knowledge base. And, yet, we’ve seen many companies not enable single sign-on until years after getting ScreenSteps.

You’ll want to enable single sign-on for your ScreenSteps account from the beginning.

This makes it easier for your employees to log in to the account. They don’t have to memorize another password for another account. They can just log in using their email address or other applications your company already uses.

With easier access, it means you’ve removed a barrier between your employees and your knowledge base articles.

It only takes about an hour for your IT department to set up single sign-on. Here are the instructions for setting up single sign-on for ScreenSteps.

4.  Not having IT on board

Before you implement ScreenSteps, you’ll want to have your IT department on board. Your IT department will want to investigate ScreenSteps security features while you investigate knowledge base applications.

Even though ScreenSteps is already SOC 2 compliant, this process can take some time. Involve your IT department early in the process.

With their approval, you’ll be able to implement the first steps of setting up your ScreenSteps site faster.

Ironically, the role of your IT in setting up ScreenSteps is small with implementation. It only takes about an hour for them to set up single sign-on. However, this is often the most dragged-out portion of a project. We’ve seen multiple companies held up by getting the IT team to fulfill their role.

Once again, plan ahead and communicate the extent of the workload with your IT department so you don’t get stuck on this step.

🔍 Related: How Long Does it Take to Implement ScreenSteps?

5. Not having a content plan

Filling your knowledge base with content requires planning. It takes getting the right people in place, planning what content you need, deciding how you want to present that content, and a person/team to write your help guides.

What do you need in a content plan? You need:

  • Someone designated to oversee your knowledge base content (We call this person a Knowledge Champion)
  • To know which articles you need to write
  • To assign your content authors articles to write
  • A schedule to have content ready for launch
  • A plan for keeping content up-to-date post-launch

For help creating a plan to create content for your knowledge base, follow these five steps.

6. Not putting in all the critical content

Sometimes we can be so excited to get started with something new that we rush the process. While it may not be possible to put all of your content into ScreenSteps (at least at first), you don’t want to launch your ScreenSteps site until you have your critical policies and procedures documented in your knowledge base.

Why? Because you want to build trust right at launch so that your employees will learn to turn to your knowledge base for answers.

In short, you want your employees to have a positive experience with your ScreenSteps knowledge base. You don’t want them to try it and then toss it aside, never to use it again, because they feel like it wasn’t helpful.

7. Adding the wrong type of content

What type of content should you include in your knowledge base?

One mistake we see is people stuff their knowledge base with every piece of information there is to know about their company. And they put this information in long-winded articles and treat it like a manual.

Document your articles in a format that is easy for your employees to use (even if they need to use it while talking to a customer). Some documentation options include:

  • Reference guides
  • Policies
  • How-to guides
  • Checklists
  • Call flows
  • Troubleshooting guides

What content do you include in your knowledge base?

Watch this video on four activities to help with the content planning. Then use this workbook to brainstorm what type of articles you need to write

8. Writing for compliance instead of for performance

Compliance is important. I get it. Often, people will write their policies and procedures to pass a compliance test, meaning they are proving that the information is written down.

But, that’s only one part of a compliance assessment.

The second part of a compliance evaluation is that your employees can perform procedures and adhere to policies without making mistakes.

Your documented procedures are supposed to do that. But, if they are overrun with information that isn’t helpful (e.g. the first two pages that include the scope, the areas of responsibilities, the revision table), it becomes difficult for end-users to use them.

When documenting your policies and procedures in ScreenSteps, use the content creation tools to adhere to both types of compliance. Some tools that will help clearly communicate procedures and achieve compliance rules include:

  • Inline links
  • Integrated screen capture
  • Foldable sections
  • Workflow articles
  • Templates

9. Not using ScreenSteps during employee training

If you don’t use the guides you’ve created in ScreenSteps during employee training, your employees won’t know how to use them after training.

Sometimes people will create a set of guides for training and another set of guides for on-the-job support. That’s a mistake. The articles you write for your knowledge base are the articles you should use in training AND for on-the-job support. That way, your employees are familiar with how to read them after training.

During training, incorporate scenario-based training exercises. Present your trainees with different situations they will encounter on their jobs. Then have them look up answers and resolve the issue using your knowledge base articles.

🔍 Related: Scenario-Based Training: Role-playing Examples for Call Center Training

10. Not testing it with end-users

Before you launch your articles to your entire company, you’ll want to take your knowledge base articles for a test drive.

Have a trial run with a few employees. This can be in a live-work situation. You’ll want to observe how they use it and take notes on what needs to be changed in your articles.

It will help you catch mistakes in your procedures. It will help you recognize where there are information gaps.

Using feedback from your trial users, you can refine your articles for launch.

11. Not having buy-in

The purpose of ScreenSteps is to be a one-stop shop for all of your company knowledge. If your employees aren’t using it, then it isn’t serving its purpose.

You want your employees to be referencing your knowledge base for every task they do. It helps them avoid mistakes and be more efficient.

You want your employees to have buy-in. This means they are committed to using the articles you create to help you achieve your performance goals.

12. Nobody owning ScreenSteps or the processes

If you want your knowledge management initiative to succeed in your business, you need at least one Knowledge Champion who is going to own it and you need subject matter experts to take ownership of the processes.

Unfortunately, knowledge management isn’t like a crockpot — you can’t set it and forget it. Knowledge management requires daily updates, reviews of comments and search queries, and creating new content when needed.

If nobody is going to take ownership, then your knowledge management efforts will never bear fruit.

Set your knowledge base up for success

A knowledge base that provides answers at your fingertips and becomes a one-stop shop will completely change how your business operates. And with a big reward like that, it requires a bit of investment.

It’s true that there is a lot to do when implementing ScreenSteps. Luckily, if you are prepared for what’s to come, you will be able to successfully launch your ScreenSteps knowledge base in your company.

ScreenSteps is meant to be a single source of truth. It’s a place where your employees can turn when they have questions and quickly find the answers they need.

If you want further assistance in implementing ScreenSteps, we provide a variety of coaching services to help you get started. Our ScreenSteps representatives can help you get started with your content strategy with our Content Workshop and/or get personalized training with one-on-one content coaching sessions.

Learn more about these additional coaching services by talking to a ScreenSteps representative. They’ll help you know if hiring a ScreenSteps expert will help improve your knowledge base and prepare for the future.

Talk to a ScreenSteps Rep

About Jonathan DeVore

Customer Success