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Wiki workspace pilot update


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Progress report on an enterprise wiki pilot project. Includes what a wiki is and why we chose it, and lessons learned so far.

Published in: Technology
  • Wow, I've been using a lot more words to describe the mindset shift you talk about here. Interestingly, I've been talking about blog design. Don't hold up a blog launch for a custom design. Start blogging, then improve the design as the need emerges.
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Wiki workspace pilot update

  1. 1. KLMNO IT Workspace Wiki Update Background and lessons learned regarding wiki for collaboration and documentation in the IT Department Dave Burke Manager, IT Web Solutions February 2008 dave burke
  2. 2. KLMNO IT Workspace Update • Background • What’s a wiki • Lessons learned so far • Special Offer dave burke
  3. 3. KLMNO Background - Web Solutions • Back to 2005, we’ve been struggling with how to better support our apps • Much of the problem stemmed from important knowledge being trapped • Various private and shared drives • Old email threads • But mostly, individual brains dave burke
  4. 4. KLMNO Background - Web Solutions The mantra: “Let’s hope [insert resource name here] doesn’t get hit by a bus.” Or worse. . . dave burke
  5. 5. KLMNO Risk of wetware-based knowledge storage On most Saturdays. . . Technical Architect His boss dave burke
  6. 6. KLMNO Background - Web Solutions • 2006-2007: The stakes for web application support were getting higher • SOA was making troubleshooting more complex • SAP integration was making it more business critical • We needed a better process, and a better knowledge storage tool • We tried a wiki • 60-day pilot with Dokuwiki, an open-source product dave burke
  7. 7. KLMNO What is a wiki? dave burke
  8. 8. KLMNO What is a wiki? A collection of web pages Every page is editable Just click, type, and save. Every page has a name Link by page name; no HTML required. Source: Ross Mayfield. dave burke
  9. 9. KLMNO What is a wiki? • Wikis build group memory (or at least a better chance at it) • Simplifies collaboration (everyone works on the same document) • Aggregates related information • Accuracy through peer review • Every page revision is saved Source: Ross Mayfield. • Roll-back changes with a click dave burke
  10. 10. KLMNO What is a wiki? dave burke
  11. 11. KLMNO “Destination of first resort”1 1 dave burke
  12. 12. KLMNO Background - Web Solutions • Results from our 60-day pilot • Wiki works as a platform • But the product we chose didn’t cut it • Special markup language • Users were anonymous • Attachments/Images were difficult to handle • Even so, we kept using it dave burke
  13. 13. KLMNO Document Repository Study project • 2007 IT Project • Analyzed multiple products spanning traditional document management, wikis, and blogs dave burke
  14. 14. KLMNO Document Repository Study project We chose Socialtext. • WYSIWYG Editor - no markup language • Named users and single signon • Full-text search, including attachments • Email, RSS integration • Tagging for dynamic organization and blogs dave burke
  15. 15. KLMNO Lessons learned so far • We’re starting to see real documentation benefits • Building that organizational memory • Indications that wiki could improve the culture • Extra benefits come from doing work on the wiki, and tracking work on the wiki. . . • People who hoard information, or just don’t share it, get outed. And they get out-competed compared to those sharing information.1 • But getting your team to change the way they work requires long-term commitment and daily reinforcement 1Ross Mayfield. dave burke
  16. 16. KLMNO Lessons learned so far • 90% of wiki success is half mental • Mindset shift from traditional documentation Traditional New 1. Write 1. Write 2. Edit 2. Publish 3. Publish 3. Edit (repeat) dave burke
  17. 17. KLMNO Lessons learned so far • 90% of wiki success is half mental • Publishing Anxiety • A belief that the wiki is more “official” makes people think their work needs to be polished and 100% accurate, which leads to fear and procrastination. • Current: quot;I'm happy to answer questions in the hallway and by email, but writing something 'official' is a bigger deal.quot; • New and Better: “I understand that the IT Workspace is a living document. I can contribute information I’m only ‘pretty sure’ about, and note it as such, just like I would in email.” dave burke
  18. 18. KLMNO Lessons learned so far • 90% of wiki success is half mental • Organize-as-you-go model takes getting used to #1 Question about the wiki so far: “Put this info on the wiki? Okay. . . where?” dave burke
  19. 19. KLMNO Lessons learned so far • 90% of wiki success is half mental • Mindset shift - Sharing by default • Current: quot;I only know of three people who need this information, so I'll email it to them.quot; • New and Better: quot;I only know of three people who need this information, so I'll put it on the wiki for them, and any others I don't know about.quot; • Best: “The wiki is my default tool for communication, because it's easy, and it gives me maximum value for my time. I only use email when I really need privacy.” dave burke
  20. 20. KLMNO Lessons learned so far • 90% of wiki success is half mental • Some things in life aren’t pretty. The Socialtext UI is one of those things. • Lots of user frustration stemming from trying to make Socialtext pages prettier; achieve complicated formatting; duplicate the look of Word docs • My best advice: don’t try to fight it. Focus your energy on Socialtext’s strengths: sharing, aggregating, linking, tagging. dave burke
  21. 21. KLMNO Special offer for Post Managers dave burke
  22. 22. KLMNO Special offer 30 Mi • Give me a call/email nutes Guara ntee d ! • We’ll work for 30 minutes • You’ll have your starter section of the wiki dave burke
  23. 23. KLMNO That’s it. Questions? Find me at dave burke