corporate wiki: more than a software
It’s fashionable to have a corporate wiki installed at the own company. But often – to speak a word of truth – this wikis are not more than a burial ground of vague project memos. This isn’t a big surprise, because often corporate strategy on innovate wikis into company’s every day life, comes in a simple triple jump: (1) buy some software, (2) get a one-day workshop, (3) write a binding memo to employees to use that wiki. Leaving the process in such a kind, wikis are developing the way that is inherent for them: run riot (optimistic case) or run dry (normal case).
But wikis are extensive and powerful instruments in corporate life. You can plan, communicate, document and control everyday corporate processes with them – within a common environment. So wikis are less a chunk of software, they are more the potential future working environment, where employees are “living in”. So, as careful as we are furnish our offices, we should also setup our virtual working place: The corporate wiki.
Andreas Heilwagen points out some tips on innovate corporate wikis right at “Computerwoche”
- clear rules and responsibilities
- do not start with empty wikis
- so called “champions” have to smooth the way
- change your mind on information processing
- be careful with vendor-specific plugins
- do not outsource to professional information brokers
- everybody should be able to edit (nearby) every page
- get your pages connected intern and extern
- always create useful information which others can reuse
Following my statement at the beginning, I would add:
- get a clear definition about the fields you want to use the wiki for
- identify company’s surplus in having a wiki
- see which tools and services bring some very personnel benefit for the employees
It’s the preparation phase which is essential in the quaetion on how effective the work with a future corporate wiki can be. Vienna based Semantic Web Company exemplary runs through such a preparation phase this days. Getting data, using tools like storytelling, personas and usage scenarios, this may end in a “well equipped working environment of the future” – the corporate wiki.