Sunday, February 8, 2009

Corporate Wikis - Information At the Speed of Thought?

Businesses survive on a diet of information. Information needs to be easily accessible and well organised. Those who can modify this information need to be able to do this easily but within a framework of revision control and editorial control.

Businesses remain too document centric. Information is locked in boxes with poor linkage to other information. The default process is to send documents to colleagues as email attachments.

Information is put onto intranet sites but rather than as a standard HTML page, the information is embedded into a short document or slide pack. Downloading the document and activating the appropriate reader application takes long enough for the reader to become disengaged.

Documents are important for some situations particular those relating to contractual, technical specifications etc.

A solution that offers itself is a corporate wiki. Wikis are not suitable for all documents and the following issues present themselves. If they cannot be resolved then a document needs to be used.

Issues that need to be considered before implementing a wiki:
  • Platform needs to be fast (wiki after all means quick). Hardware and network access needs to be swift. Navigating, search and editing needs to be at the 'speed of thought'.
  • Requires some organisational and editorial structure.
  • Offline working.
  • Printing/document-forming.
  • Baselining. Whilst wikis do track updates it is often required that baselines be formed. For example to align with a particular version of a product or a point in time (ie end of quarter).

About Me

Melbourne, Australia
I work for GE in Melbourne Australia. All views do not necessarily represent GE.