Monday, August 31, 2009

Lucky Number 8

I’m a big fan of Stewart Mader’s blog. He offers strong insights and keeps a steady flow of dialogue and new information coming to his readers. Recently, he wrote ‘8 Things You Can Do With an Enterprise Wiki,’ and I see it was picked up by other bloggers, tweeted and so on. Actually, he wrote it for Digital Landfill, and it was initially published there.

Clearly, there are a lot of things a company can use a wiki for. It varies widely, depending on what kind of work the company does and what it’s goals are for instituting a wiki. But Stewart takes a general approach that can apply to ANY company in ANY industry. I think that’s why this post has had such wide appeal.

Stewart’s 8 ways:
1- Meeting agendas
2- Meeting minutes and action items
3- Project management
4- Gather input
5- Build documentation
6- Assemble and reuse information
7- Employee handbook
8- Knowledge base (the one key external wiki benefit mentioned)

“Let’s look at eight ways a wiki can help you readjust your valuable time to get more of your essential work done, spend less time on meetings and redundant activities, and more efficiently assemble, refine and reuse valuable information,” he writes. That pretty well sums up the overarching theme here – that enterprise wikis save time, reduce redundancies and create more effective way to funnel information through team members or the company as a whole.

You know you hate it when you email a draft presentation or document to multiple people and then have to marry all the edits that come in at various times on different versions, don’t you? With wikis, that becomes a thing of the past. And no one likes it when they have to search their hard drives for all the relevant files for a new employee because there’s no central repository.

“As the wiki is used to build and maintain project proposals, documents, and other reusable pieces of information, the process of creating future versions becomes easier,” writes Stewart. “An organization’s wiki is an ideal place to provide general-use information to an internal audience.”

He doesn’t get much into the creative and collaborative benefits of enterprise wikis, but for someone who’s becoming educated about enterprise 2.0, this is a great and quick read. It helps put things into perspective.

Don't forget to follow @samepagewiki on Twitter.

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