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Improving Organizational Efficiency with Wiki-based Intranets


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Wikis are excellent tools to improve efficiency within organizations. They are easy to use as tools for collaboration, communication and documentation.

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Improving Organizational Efficiency with Wiki-based Intranets

  1. 1. Improving Organizational Efficiency with Wiki-based Intranets Create Knowledge, Use Knowledge, Enlarge Knowledge Thomas Siegers March 31, 2009 Songfuli Co., Ltd. 1
  2. 2. About Hosted by American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan European Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan This presentation is publicly available at: This presentation is published under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike License. For more information, see 2
  3. 3. Agenda  General about Wiki  Organizational Aspects  Infrastructure and Concepts  Usage  Live Demo  Examples  Workshop 17 April 2009 3
  4. 4. Challenge and Opportunity  Measures to ride out the economic crisis retrench, cut cost, intensify sales, stabilize cash position  Opportunities to improve during the economic crisis - concentrate on improvement of internal structures - clear organizational backlogs - create positive atmosphere  Internal project to improve organizational efficiency - simplify processing of routine tasks - systematically generate knowledge - document workflows, specifications. etc. - stimulate collaboration between colleagues - leverage unused potential inside work force  Preparation for the time after the economic crisis - have a system in place when there is little time to create one 4
  5. 5. What is a Wiki?  Collection of web pages  Authors can read, write and edit pages  Formatting by simple markup language  Previous versions are stored and can be compared  Internet web application running in an browser  Navigation same as world wide web  Best known from Wikipedia  Hawaiian word for “fast”  Developed in 1994 by Ward Cunningham (WikiWikiWeb) “The simplest online database that could possibly work.” 5
  6. 6. A New Hype?  Forrester Research, Sept. 2007 Only 3 percent of 1,017 North American and European enterprise decision makers said they were planning a large- scale, strategic wiki implementation in the next 12 months.  Gartner, March 2008 More than half of 360 US-based IT organizations surveyed indicated that they use wikis and blogs.  Society for Information Management - Advanced Practices Council, Nov. 2008 By 2009, at least 50 percent of organizations will use wikis as important work collaboration tools. 6
  7. 7. For what can I use a Wiki?  Collaboration  Documentation  Knowledge Base  Intranet  Website  Blog, CMS*  Look what PBwiki says. (wiki hosting service)  Presentation *) content management system 7
  8. 8. Who uses a Wiki?  SAP  Nokia  Motorola and even...  Siemens Mobile CIA – Intellipedia  British Telecom “The joke about Wikipedia is  Lufthansa Cargo it doesn't work in theory, it only works in practice.”  IBM Lotus software  Swiss Federal Achives  University of Cambridge  Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen Source: 8
  9. 9. How many Wiki pages are there?  the world's open encyclopedia 2 731 000+ articles in English 863 000+ articles in German 763 000+ articles in French  Wiki hosting service 1,800,000+ members, 750,000+ wikis  Wiki farm 281,275 people, 2,950,742 pages  largest wiki on 70,500+ articles on the computer game World of Warcraft Figures of Feb. 2009 9
  10. 10. Why Wiki?  Knowledge Economy Various observers describe today's global economy as one in transition to a quot;knowledge economyquot;, as an extension of an quot;information societyquot;.  Peter Drucker The Age of Discontinuity (1969) Guidelines to Our Changing Society Chapter 12: Knowledge Economy 10
  11. 11. Why Wiki? n atio bor la Col nt me nt tion n te a rm Co Info n tio Ac ge ed wl no K tion a nic u mm Co 11
  12. 12. Why Wiki? Web 2.0 → User Generated Content Wiki → Concept and Platform, which comes closest to the idea of the Web 2.0 12
  13. 13. Agenda ➢ Organizational Aspects Infrastructure and Concepts Usage 13
  14. 14. 10 Reasons for a corporate Wiki 1. Reduction of e-mail 2. Up-to-date content 3. Organic structure 4. Efficiency tools 5. Flexibility 6. Usability 7. Transparency 8. Security 9. Saving resources 10. Cost savings 14
  15. 15. Reduction of E-Mail cont'd  Expenditure of time and work Studies show that up to 25% of working time is used for reading, answering, processing e-mails.  Relevance copy to “everyone” for info – one or few are doing the work  Efficiency unstructured, not shareable, scattered  Documentation unsuitable as document manager  Spam tens of billions of spam mails every day  Conclusion Use other tools whenever possible. 15
  16. 16. Participation Inequality 90-9-1 Rule All large-scale, multi-user communities and online social networks that rely on users to contribute content or build services share one property: most users don't participate very much. 90% of users only read or observe, but don't contribute. ● 9% of users contribute from time to time, but other priorities ● dominate their time. 1% of users participate a lot and account for most ● contributions. Jakob Nielsen - Participation Inequality: Encouraging More Users to Contribute (October 9, 2006) 16
  17. 17. Participation inside Organizations Inside organizations participation is different than in online communities on the Internet. Existing structures in organizations help influence people to become more active contributors. For example, if most members of a team use the wiki for meeting minutes, they will encourage those few, who still use e-mail, to use the wiki too. Experience shows that about 60% of the work force participates. 17
  18. 18. Excursion: Web 2.0  Time Magazine 2006 Person of the Year  Contributors to Web 2.0  Wikipedia, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, etc.  Web 2.0  everyone can participate  everyone can create content  communication  collaboration  information sharing 18
  19. 19. 10 Tips for implementing a Wiki 1. Grassroots is best. 2. Throw out the rule book! 3. Populate it and they’ll come. 4. Don’t mistake your wiki for Wikipedia. 5. Put some content exclusively on the wiki. 6. Don’t rush it. People will need time to get used to the wiki. 7. Build trust. Don’t excessively manage it. 8. People will find new ways to do old things with the wiki. 9. Prompt people to use the wiki. 10. Watch out for obstacles. Creative Commons License - Future Changes by Stewart Mader 19
  20. 20. 7 Measures after Implementation 1. Integrate the wiki as one of several important tools in an organization's IT collaboration architecture. 2. Understand, monitor and enforce the wiki “rules of conduct”. 3. Use the wiki for collaborative knowledge creation across people not previously connected. 4. Assign a champion to each wiki to observe contributions. 5. Convince people to edit others' work. 6. Embed small software programs into the wiki that structure repetitive behavior. 7. Understand wikis are best used in work cultures that encourage collaboration. Society for Information Management - Advanced Practices Council, Nov. 2008 20
  21. 21. 5 more ways to keep a Wiki going 1. Use the wiki for everyday work activities – agendas, minutes, daily tasks and short term projects. 2. Keep the wiki as open as possible. 3. Use traditional IT tools everyone is familiar with to combine with the wiki, like include links to wiki pages in e-mail messages. 4. Publish other topics than work related on the wiki, e.g. internal sport events. 5. Get the attention of senior mangers. Add sales figures and other business reports to the wiki. 21
  22. 22. Agenda Organizational Aspects ➢ Infrastructure and Concepts Usage 22
  23. 23. Wiki Hosting Services dozens of wiki hosting services for use  also called wiki farm  free or commercial  financed by advertisements       23
  24. 24. Wiki Software Engines dozens if not hundreds of wiki engines available  MediaWiki the engine that drives Wikipedia and many other sites  DokuWiki, PmWiki all purpose, for small to medium size companies  Twiki, Foswiki suitable for enterprises of large and any size  Confluence commercial wiki for corporate environments  TikiWiki intranet with CMS, wiki, groupware  WikyBlog hybrid of wiki and blog 24
  25. 25. Wiki vs. Blog Wiki Blog  articles created by many  post created by one  articles revised by many  post commented by many  page oriented  thread oriented  documentation  communication  linking  tagging Wikis and blogs can complement each other. Hybrid software solutions available – WikyBlog. 25
  26. 26. Extensions  Templates give a Wiki different design and layout  Plugins extend the functionality of a Wiki  Typical productivity tools: notifications, subscriptions, discussion, tasks list, charts, calendar, gallery, multimedia  Integration with other services: Google, Flickr, YouTube, Digg, Amazon  Special: railway timetable  Wiki as CMS and/or Blog CMS: | | Blog: | 26
  27. 27. Integration  User authentication against directories or databases LDAP, AD, MySQL  Bridge to/from other web applications CMS: Joomla, Drupal  Wiki syntax in blogs and forums WordPress, phpBB  Suite of applications Wiki, blog, forum, photo gallery, news aggregator  Synchronization with desktop applications desktop note taking  Links to files and folders on file server standard syntax for links with UNC* *) Uniform Naming Convention 27
  28. 28. Migration How to get existing data into the Wiki?  Manually copy, paste, reformat   Automatic conversion promising approach: environment to convert Word files - *.doc → *.html → *.txt (→ *.sql) - OpenOffice as conversion engine - software, Java, Perl, Linux, Apache, (MySQL,) PHP - Wiki engine with plugin - some programming and manual tweaking   Converters from/to other Wiki engines  Import/Export from/to HTML, PDF, help files (.chm)  Macros for Word, Excel and OpenOffice 28
  29. 29. Working the Wiki Way  File server vs. Wiki folder namespace file page n/a link  First create links, then pages create a link to a page that does not exist, then create the page create namespaces and pages by searching or entering a URL  Links to Anything to pages and media in the same Wiki pages to other Wikis (InterWiki) external pages on the Internet folders and files on the file server  Semantic editing markup multiple level headlines to structure a page table of contents is created automatically 29
  30. 30. Namespaces  Wikipedia pages in flat namespace exceptions  Intranet multiple levels of namespaces last item of expression is the page Category:Animals:Mammals:Elephant  URL Mapping internal URL http://intranet/doku.php?id=animals:mammals:elephant friendly URL http://intranet/animals/mammals/elephant 30
  31. 31. Security  Wikipedia open wiki, no access restriction to edit articles registration required to create articles IP address recorded no ACL1 in MediaWiki  Intranet restricted access Wiki engine with ACL required permissions inherited in hierarchical namespace  Internet hosted in Internet → encrypted access/content access from Internet → firewall infrastructure (DMZ2) 1) access control list 2) demilitarized zone (secure internal network) 31
  32. 32. Synchronization  Scenario - Wiki as an intranet inside internal network - teleworker takes Wiki on laptop to customer - teleworker wants to save changes back to Wiki  Solutions - synchronization tools on client and server - revision control system (CVS, SVN)* - plugin *) Concurrent Versions System, Subversion 32
  33. 33. Productivity  Notifications e-mail when something is new or changed caution: another e-mail flood  Subscriptions RSS feeds to individual namespaces and pages  Discussions comments to and discussions about articles  Acronyms assign and use codes for employees, phrases, etc.  Task Lists according to the GTD principle (Getting Things Done)  Combinations e.g. task list with discussion 33
  34. 34. Agenda Organizational Aspects Infrastructure and Concepts ➢ Usage 34
  35. 35. Wiki Syntax  Simplified markup language  Limited access to HTML and CCS JavaScript, PHP, macros, scripts, variables  More and more wikis support WYSIWYG1  Every engine has its own syntax2.  Link3 ...more information about [[Wiki]], read... ...more information about Wiki, read...  Formatting3 this is '''bold''' and this ''italic'' this is bold and this italic 1) What You See Is What You Get 2) common syntax 3) examples here in MediaWiki syntax 35
  36. 36. Advanced Wiki Syntax  Links internal link with label [[namespace:page|label]] external link [[]] interwiki [[go>wiki]] file server [[serversharefolderfile]] image right aligned {{ namespace:image.jpg}}  Table ^ header 1 ^ header 2 ^ header 3 ^ | cell 11 | cell 12 | cell 13 | | cell 21 | cell 22 | cell 23 |  Expressions of plugins tags {{tag>minutes meeting}} tag cloud ~~TAGCLOUD~~ discussion ~~DISCUSSION~~ menu {{indexmenu>songfuli#1|js#kde.png}} task list {{tasks>songfuli:administration:tasks:list}} 36
  37. 37. Markup Language vs. Visual Editing  LaTeX document markup language in use for over 25 years  Simplification SGML → HTML → Wiki  Semantic Editing Computers “understand” content and can do useful things.  Wiki syntax Typical wiki and advanced wiki expressions cannot be entered and displayed as wysiwyg in all wiki engines.  Logical vs. Visual Due to ubiquity of office programs most computer users are more comfortable with visual than logical document production. *) Standard Generalized Markup Language 37
  38. 38. Why Wiki Works  Cunningham & Cunningham, Inc. Here you can rely on encountering playful minds. Putting up a wiki page is like  tossing a ball of yarn into a basket of kittens. Any information can be altered or deleted by anyone. Wiki pages represent  consensus because it's much easier to delete insults and remove Wiki spam than indulge them. What remains generates new ideas by the interactive integration of multiple points of view. Anyone can play. This sounds like a recipe for low signal - Wiki gets hit by the great  unwashed as often as any other site - but from fertilizer come flowers. Only good players have a desire to keep playing. Wiki doesn't work in real time. People take time to think, sometimes days or weeks,  before they follow up some edit. So what people write is often well-considered. Wiki participants are, by nature, a pedantic, ornery, and unreasonable bunch. So  there's a camaraderie here we seldom see outside of our professional contacts. Excerpt from 38
  39. 39. Humor  Uncyclopedia The content-free encyclopedia subprojects: UnBooks, UnNews, … > 50 languages:  Encyclopedia Dramatica Slogan: “In lulz we trust.”  Stupidedia, Kamelopedia German Note: lulz ← LOL ← laughing out load 39
  40. 40. Q&A Thomas Siegers Songfuli Co., Ltd. Taipei, Taiwan 松福禮股份有限公司 40