Product Teams

4 steps to govern in-app guides

Govern the volume, opportunity, and power of in-app communication.

Anyone that’s used Pendo is intimately familiar with just how popular and powerful our In-app Guides can be. 

With a plethora of guide uses and functions, from highlighting new tools to account-based upselling, creativity is your only limit. The problem? Once teams across your business understand just how quickly and effectively they can communicate with their users, it’s only a matter of time until the requests for guides come in fast—and from every department.

So how do you effectively manage the high demand, opportunity, and power of in-app communication, while still holding true to your customer experience (CX) and brand identity? With a distributed governance framework for In-app Guides.

What do you mean by “distributed”?

Something we’ve seen (and tried here at Pendo) is centralizing and limiting guide ownership to just a few individuals. Many of those folks will tell you that it’s an extremely difficult task to manage, especially as Pendo usage spreads across your business. 

As an alternative, we decided to empower our internal users to produce their own guide content. And we do so in a way that provides oversight and high-level monitoring to distinct teams with relevant expertise and context. Using additional automation, tools, and processes, you can keep guides flowing at scale without disrupting your product experience (PX).

How to implement and govern In-app Guide creation

To get started with this approach, follow these four steps:

1. Create a culture of testing for guide makers

If you or your team are new to guide-making, Pendo Academy offers tons of resources to help you go from a novice to a pro in almost no time at all. 

At Pendo, we recommend letting your internal users create and publish guides to an existing sandbox or testing environment. If there are automations that guides may interfere with, you can mitigate this so your guide experts can hone their craft in a safe space.

2. Identify and implement your content style guide

Your company’s technical documentation or content marketing team might have a content style guide in place. If so, ask whether that’s the communication standard used for all published, external content. Sometimes, different functions (like customer success or product) have their own unique communications guidelines. If so, it’s worth establishing best practices for which guidelines to follow for guide-creation.

3. Build a guides intake process with automated notifications

Now that your style best practices are in place, you need to establish a workflow that allows Pendo guide creators to: 

  • Begin the review and publication process
  • Collect targeting information like (which applications, workflows, audience segments, etc. to target)
  • Provide follow-up information, like the requestor’s tea

This kind of workflow allows you to easily manage and prioritize high volumes of requests. Any form or project management system should work to implement it. Bonus points if you can create automations that notify requesters and other stakeholders when you publish their guides.

A uniform intake process helps reduce the volume of guides to review, and eliminates the possibility of double-checking content and doing repetitive work.

4. Establish clear standards, permissions, and responsibilities

To keep things moving smoothly, create two primary groups:

  1. Group one is responsible for reviewing the guide’s content, voice, aesthetic, and impact on the customer experience.
  2. Group two is responsible for QA’ing guides for technical issues, proper display, and additional configurations like throttling.

Clear standards and definitions will help keep your users from seeing too heavy a volume of guides. They also allow internal reviewers to offload management to Pendo settings and tools like segmentation, schedules, throttles, and appropriate activation types to help keep your guides tightly scoped to the most relevant audiences.

Keep learning about guides

We hope you find this quick guide helpful to establishing your own guide governance strategy. For more tips and best practices, register for our Pendo Admin course.