When your company uses MindTouch, it is crucial that you empower all users to create, share and collaborate on knowledge. Leveraging this publishing workflow best practice, you will be able to:
- Encourage contribution of original content.
- Monitor activity across your MindTouch site and identify new articles that are ready to be published.
- Leverage KCS (Knowledge-Centered Services) standards for easy content creation and sharing.
Set up a workflow
To get started with this workflow, identify the users who will be authoring content and their role. MindTouch recommends three roles to play into the content creation and curation process:
- Draft Contributors
- Users who draft original or edit existing content to ensure that customers have access to the most complete and updated information.
- Users who are tasked with creating original content or making adjustments to current docs to support the needs of customers.
- Users who can review, edit and publish the content created by authors for grammar, spelling, style guidelines, and adding screenshots and links to similar support article.
The above users can be set up through groups within MindTouch and by leveraging permissions. To keep this simple, we will just show how to leverage permissions. You have a lot of possibilities leveraging the robust permissions and group management within MindTouch.
Draft Section Creation
1. Go to the homepage of your MindTouch site and click on New Page:
2. Select Knowledge Base and click Create new page.
3. Go to the side tray and set the stage of your Knowledge Base to Drafts and set your article type to Category:
To align with KCS best practices, you will want to permission the Drafts section with the Semi-Private permissions. This will allow your employees to share articles with customers by sending them the direct link, but it will not surface within search or within navigation. To apply permissions to the Drafts section, click on Page Options > Restrict Access.
As shown below, select Semi-Private and make sure to grant access to all of your authors to be able to create content within this section. To do this, setup a group of all of your authors and then grant the whole group access to Drafts. Learn More about creating groups.
You will also want to grant permission to your Publisher(s) which should have the Editor role. You can also setup a group of Publishers or add them individually.
Creating a New Draft
Now that you have the draft section created, you can let your users create new articles by going to /Drafts and clicking on New Knowledge Base Article button.
The main documentation section will be accessible to all of your users through search and navigation and would be the primary point of self service. Once an employee has created a new draft, they will mark the Stage as Review:
Once it is set to Review, it will go to the Editor to review. The Editor will have two ways of seeing what articles are ready for review: Notifications or Publishing Dashboard.
Notifications and Publishing Dashboard
An Editor can easily subscribe to the Drafts space to receive notifications when there are any changes. They can do this by going to /Drafts and clicking on the Page Subscription icon and selecting This page and all subpages:
The good thing about notifications is that you will get a notification whenever there is a change to the article. The downside to this is that you may become overwhelmed with notifications. With this in mind, MindTouch created the Page Classification Manager which provides a Publishing Dashboard.
You can access the Page Classification Manager by clicking on Site Tools > Page Classification Manager. This will provide you with the following view where you can select the Drafts section of the site and only look for articles that are marked with Review:
From this view the Editor can review the articles, make changes, and then move the article to the Final stage when it is ready for incorporating it into the main documentation.
The Publisher would follow the same flow of going to the Page Classification Manager, but would select Final for the Stage and then Publish the Draft.
Publishing a Draft
When the Publisher is ready to Publish a draft, they would navigate to the article, click on Page Options > Move Page and select the location within the documentation that aligns with the categorization of the article. Once the Publisher moves the article, they would change the settings of the article to be Semi-Public and remove all grants except themselves. This will allow the article to surface in navigation and search, while still restricting direct editing of the article to the Publisher.
Creating a Draft from Live Documentation
As we highlighted in the last section, the Main Documentation will be locked down to the Publisher as the only one that will be able to edit it directly. We want all of your employees to still be able to make adjustments to Main Documentation though as they will recognize changes that will help the customer. This flow is also supported within MindTouch.
Cloning a Live Article
If an employee sees an article that needs to be edited, they can clone the article into the Drafts section by clicking More > Copy Page and then selecting Drafts as the location to copy the draft:
Once in this section, the Author can make changes to the article. When it is ready to be reviewed, follow the section on Article Stages above.
Publishing a Draft of an Existing Article
When the Publisher is ready to publish an article, they will look at the Revision History for the article to confirm the location where the article was copied from. You can do this by clicking on Page Options > Revision History. This will show you all of the changes that occurred along with the date and summary. (Learn more about Revision History.) Scroll to the first event which will show the location the page was copied from:
With this information, the Publisher can now take the changes that the author made and publish them over the original article.
NOTE: Before publishing, verify there have not been any updates to the live documentation since it was originally cloned. You can verify by looking at the Revision History for the live article and comparing it with the date that the article was cloned.
To publish the draft, the Publisher will click Page Options > Copy Page and select Overwrite existing page(s):
Then, select the location where the live article exists. You do not need to select the article itself, just the parent page that the article resides under. You also have to make sure that the name of the article hasn't changed as the overwrite functionality checks the name and will only overwrite if the name exists within the hierarchy. If the name is different, then change the draft article title to match the live article.