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Corporate Wiki

By onbliss ·
I am involved in setting up a Wiki for my team. I am in the process of identifying the Wiki software that would suit us (in the corporate world).

Some of us are convinced that the existing documentation is not helping the team. The information is buried deeply or nobody knows how to get to them, easily, sometimes.

Also, I want to write a write-up (is the correct word Proposal?) about Wiki, the different options, the hardware, software and other resources that would be needed etcetra. We feel we would need some kind of write-up to present it to our higher-ups in due course.

I plan to generate a proof-of-concept (a small working wiki that can be demonstrated) along with the write-up for an effective presentation.

So,

1)If you can provide pointers regarding the write-ups it will be great. I have not written one that involves hardware, costs etc.

2)If any one of you have had experiences in setting up a corporate wiki, do share them here.

thanks

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Read this first

by sMoRTy71 In reply to Corporate Wiki

I just read an article about the problems with Wikis in general. Might be worth a quick read if you all are still on the fence as to whether to go with a wiki:

http://www.alittlemadness.com/?p=5

Personally, I can't stand using them (we have a ton of them) and I don't know anyone else who would admit to liking them either.

I'm not trying to sway you from your decision to implement a wiki. If it works for your business, then go for it. Just wanted to share some of the pain points that wiki users have experienced.

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sMoRTy71, great link ...

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Read this first

and not just because it included a link to the Star Wars movie. I'd forgotten it exists.

I notice the linked article leaves out my biggest complaint about wikis. Most of them seem to lack a way to verify the accuracy of the content posted. TR members often link to Wikipedia when asked to support a position or statement. I regard Wikipedia as e-graffiti. Sure, it's a good starting place, but I wouldn't include it in the bibliography of a research paper.

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define

by Jaqui In reply to sMoRTy71, great link ...

What a wiki is designed to do.

It is, essentially an online collaboration tool for text, meant to allow everyone with access to alter the content.[ An Authoring tool ]

Most Corporatations might be able to use a wiki to develop a presentation, or documentation on products, but for public access, they are not what a Corprate site needs.

A CMS / Portal is actually far better for a corporate site, if they want their clients to have easy input or to develop a community. Most companies don't even need this complex a site, they need a site designed to be a flyer, advertising their products or services, with a few links to more information about the company and the people, similiar to what you can find in a library.

Blogs? Glorified guestbooks, not something a corporate site really needs.

If the company is wanting to use their website for customer care, then they will need to have a problem solving and tracking system, so that their clients can report problems and get help, see what steps are being done to resolve the issue.
A variation of this is the bugzilla scripts created by Mozilla for tracking bugs in their software, the level of tracking in bugzilla is far more in depth than most companies need to use.

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Not Wikipedia

by onbliss In reply to sMoRTy71, great link ...

Wikipedia content is nice for non-controversial topics :-)

What I am looking for is a Corporate Wiki, and not a public one and not even a customer facing one. So the scope of the content is going to be narrower than the public ones, accuracy would not that much of an issue as in the case of Wikipedia.

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Thanks a bunch

by onbliss In reply to Read this first

..for the link. Honestly, I don't mind read some of the Wikis if I know the content is reliable. I just don't like so many links embedded within them (ofcourse if I am totally bored, then yes :-)).

I like to address two points from the link

Point 1) I have worked in many organizations, where we have spent tones of time in creating GOOD documentation. In some places either they were deeply buried in myriad folders or just hard to get to them even in a Document Management systems. If the developers get the best documentation then it is great, but often the developers do not even get some kind of documentation. Wiki does offer search mechanism and easy access to some rudimentary documentation.

Point 3)I have seen few Wiki softwares that promise WYSIWIG editors, honestly I have not yet tried them to make comments.

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I'm not sure

by Jaqui In reply to Corporate Wiki

what you want to be using a wiki for,
but one wiki script that is quite powerfull to work with is Tikiwiki.

not to hard to setup.

Unless your team is spread out around the world, you don't really need this type of collaboration tool, as using the network in the office and basic office tools will give you the functionality needed for far less effort.

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Potential uses

by onbliss In reply to I'm not sure

It will be used within the development team. Hence it is purely internal facing and is not external facing (not for customers). The movement within the team (and group) is considerable. People move around to different teams within the group, and there are new hires (both consultants and employees).

We want to be able to present the team an easy access to different notes and documentation. Also we want them to Edit them (I think you mention this point in another post in this thread).

We do have tonnes of Word and Excel documents that have contents that are not easy to find, inspite of having them on intranet. We do not have a good search feature to search for say Business Glossary or processes that pertain to our development team.

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More Work? Another Project?

by dawgit In reply to Corporate Wiki

Wikis have a role (in something) there's no bout-a-doubt-it, but you will have another project (the wiki) on top of the project that you're working on. That might work well for you, but will probably distract everyone from the project that you'd want them to be concentrating on. Kind of defeats the KISS princable. If you want to handle one (a wiki) yourself, just to keep different people informed, it might work. (and you will gain experiance from it, and see for your-self, the pros & cons)
Why not go with an old idea, that's still being used. Set up a secure IRC type Shell enviroment, that's full time, real time, live, so that all your people can see what's being done, what needs to be done. They can be saved perodicaly. You'd be supprised what, and who is using this method still (Think about all the good work that came out of the simple BBs we used) Secure Shells can be 'rented' just for this purpose, (they're cheep too) for the projects duration, or for time periods too. (Many sites are also run by the Unis also) -d

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Yeah I know...

by onbliss In reply to More Work? Another Projec ...

...about the additional workload and that is one thing that I am contemplating. I hope to add that in my report.
I have often seen, it is very tough to motivate people in the team to even contribute. I have seen people being cajoled and coerced in vain.

Keep the content (and documents) current is a major task in itself. That is another thing to worry about.

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Uh oh or Funny?

by onbliss In reply to Corporate Wiki

I just came to know that there is another group that has already a Wiki setup. One of the person who is working on it, just sits two cubes away from me. We have exchanged courtesies in the hallway, but never talked. We are one of those small fishes in a big big Ocean.

Thanks for all your comments on this topic.

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