mseibert.pngThis is a guest post by Martin Seibert. He is the CEO of a German internet agency called //SEIBERT/MEDIA, a specialist for enterprise wikis and corporate communication. //SEIBERT/MEDIA is one of Atlassian’s official partners in Germany. This blog post follows up from Martin’s previous post – ’10 questions to answer when evaluating enterprise wiki software’.

Why do you need an enterprise wiki?

At //SEIBERT/MEDIA, we’ve
been doing our work on a wiki for years. Through our day-to-day work as well as
through dozens of enterprise wiki projects, we’ve experienced – thanks to
innumerable different example cases – how useful and valuable a wiki can be on
a number of levels. Therefore, we believe it is high time to compress the
arguments for a wiki into the limited space offered by tweets to make our
points as efficiently as possible.

There are 111 reasons why

  1. An enterprise wiki lends more transparency to all of your company’s processes
  2. A wiki enables the depicting of all of your company’s know-how in a central location
  3. Enterprise wikis have been around since 1998. There are many well-known, mature and established solutions to choose from
  4. Wikis help companies centralize and systematize scattered information
  5. The knowledge of every single employee is valuable. A wiki helps everyone take advantage of that knowledge
  6. A wiki enables employees to collaborate on the company’s communication and information
  7. An enterprise wiki frees up employee resources, leading to more productivity in your company
  8. Wikis have an excellent ROI thanks to increased efficiency and productivity
  9. With an enterprise wiki, employees can actively contribute ideas to the company
  10. An enterprise wiki offers a completely personalized user experience
  11. An enterprise wiki opens up new and more efficient ways to collaborate
  12. Introducing a wiki into the company shows the employees that they are trusted by management
  13. Using a wiki can significantly reduce the flood of e-mails in your company
  14. Collaboration within the enterprise wiki strengthens team spirit
  15. Everyone makes mistakes. In the wiki employees can proactively correct mistakes in other employees’ content
  16. Productivity is increased every time an employee can find a piece of information in the wiki without needing to ask a colleague
  17. Employees can become recognized as experts through their contributions to the wiki
  18. A wiki introduces a culture of openness into the company, which is motivating for employees
  19. A wiki symbolizes “communication on equal terms” – an important, identify-forming “soft fact”
  20. An enterprise wiki enables the company’s employees to be linked together
  21. An enterprise wiki allows employees to participate more individually and proactively within the company
  22. Wikis often find knowledge gaps and establish themselves as a good reference source without being redundant
  23. Enterprise wikis have been shown to help employees express themselves more successfully
  24. Enterprise wikis have been shown to lend credence to company information
  25. Many iterations lead to high quality content. Wiki documents undergo a high number of iterations
  26. Enterprise wikis have wide market recognition. Those without wikis are at a competitive disadvantage
  27. Wiki users say that they have won more respect within their company by sharing their knowledge
  28. Wikis have passed the test. According to Gartner Hype Cycle, they are on the “level of productive use”
  29. A wiki is the dynamic counterpart to a static intranet suffering from “One Administrator’s Syndrome”
  30. Company knowledge grows organically and quickly within a wiki as all detours through administrators have been removed
  31. Well-developed wikis are ready for the future as they are quickly being further developed with frequent updates
  32. Valuable knowledge is retained in the wiki, even when employees leave the company
  33. Within a wiki, documents as well as whole areas can be assigned for constant updates
  34. With an enterprise wiki, it is possible to prepare much more thoroughly for vacationing employees
  35. Repeated questions can be avoided through the documenting of individual information within the wiki
  36. A wiki can greatly reduce the number of instances when employees need to teach other employees what they know
  37. An enterprise wiki allows employees to collaborate instead of working alone
  38. The wiki allows employees to receive quick input from their colleagues regarding their ideas and concepts
  39. A protected area allows the storing and locating of personal information within the enterprise wiki
  40. It is also theoretically possible to store private information in a protected area of the enterprise wiki
  41. The users themselves decide who will be able to see and edit their content within the enterprise wiki
  42. Using a wiki, experts in each knowledge area can be quickly identified
  43. Using the enterprise wiki, employees can find other employees who can add to their knowledge
  44. Using a wiki, data from other systems can be automatically collected and centrally analyzed
  45. A wiki allows central capacity planning to be done professionally and without the typical e-mail flood
  46. Descriptive charts can be made using the wiki, turning it into a central platform for analysis
  47. Enterprise wikis offer the exporting and importing of MS-Office files. It’s simple to integrate and migrate content
  48. New employees can be productive more quickly if all necessary information for their start can be found in the wiki
  49. Tutorials and directions within the wiki reduce the need for training and support within the company
  50. If an employee is sick, his or her substitute can immediately continue the work where it was left off
  51. Through documentation in the wiki, it is far easier to hand off projects and jump in for other employees
  52. Job descriptions that are kept up-to-date in the wiki save time and money when recruiting
  53. Wikis can be accessed from any internet-capable computer. This greatly simplifies working in virtual teams
  54. Using a wiki, specialized libraries and borrowed work materials, for example, can be effectively managed without a third-party system
  55. Forms for vacation requests, company travel, etc. available through the wiki reduce administrative workloads
  56. A wiki is excellently suited for internal blogs, newsletters, etc. without having to use a third-party system
  57. Wiki-based forms enable web-based solutions that would otherwise have to be accomplished using MS-Access or databases
  58. The weekly cafeteria or meal schedule, sports tip pools, laundry service and other social activities can all be efficiently organized using a wiki
  59. Enterprise wikis allow external communication to be centrally governed and evaluated
  60. A wiki allows employee organizations, such as workers’ councils, to communicate their own information centrally and in a timely fashion
  61. Wikis are independent of specific operating systems. All a wiki needs is a web browser and internet access
  62. Wikis are secure. Access rights can be very finely tuned and can even be adjusted down to specific page levels
  63. Wikis can be used without installing additional software
  64. A wiki has a fully mature API and can be connected easily to existing systems such as MS-Sharepoint
  65. A wiki can be adjusted to fit the corporate design and never seems to be out of place
  66. Wikis can be integrated within the IT-infrastructure using LDAP and single-sign-on
  67. Wikis are very scalable. They work just as well for individual project teams as they do for thousands of users
  68. The code for many wikis is open source, which means many wikis can be adapted to fit individual needs
  69. As opposed to many other systems, wiki templates can be adapted to all requirements
  70. Fully developed enterprise wikis are stable and offer high performance, even when confronted with enormous amounts of data
  71. Wikis keep all options open. For example, data can easily be migrated later into other systems
  72. Thanks to powerful structures for access rights, wikis fulfill the requirements for even the most stringent data protection requirements
  73. In a wiki, project collaborators can access all project information, thus having instant knowledge of the project’s current status
  74. If employees consistently document their work in a wiki, all collaborators are consistently up-to-date
  75. In an enterprise wiki, documents and projects from other areas may also be seen
  76. From project analyses to “lessons learned”, future projects can access and utilize documented experiences saved in a wiki
  77. Contact information saved in a wiki for all collaborators and contact people improves project communication.
  78. Systematic project checklists within a wiki can greatly simplify project management
  79. Wikis can import e-mail: Mail exchange for projects is centrally documented
  80. A wiki can be used as a secure extranet, strengthening connections to your customers
  81. A wiki being used as an extranet allows customer integration and enables efficient communication on projects
  82. Requirement specifications noted in an extranet wiki enhance security and help users quickly overcome misunderstandings
  83. Wikis are simple and intuitive to operate.
  84. Wikis work just like Word: Open, edit, save. The difference: Wiki documents are available in a central location
  85. Wikis have very good usability. This is why working in a wiki is effective and efficient
  86. Wikis’ good usability means the learning curve is easier in comparison to classic intranets
  87. In enterprise wikis, you don’t have to use wiki code like in Wikipedia: There are rich text editors
  88. Wikis’ good usability raises user enjoyment. Employees are happy to use the wiki quite often
  89. In a wiki, every change can be followed. It’s impossible to have a higher level of transparency for collaboration
  90. In an enterprise wiki, users can utilize RSS feeds to stay on top of changes without opening a document
  91. Files can be attached to wiki documents that are centrally located and up-to-date
  92. Using WebDAV, office documents can be directly edited within a wiki and are therefore always up-to-date
  93. Using a wiki, events can be efficiently planned, not requiring more than a single e-mail
  94. E-mail communication can be better automated and more efficient using e-mail templates in a wiki
  95. E-mail attachments are stored as various iterations within mailboxes. Wiki documents are always up-to-date
  96. E-mail attachments are stored locally in mailboxes. Wiki contents are available from a central location
  97. Reports created collaboratively in a wiki are high quality and up-to-date, and they can be created faster than by using e-mail
  98. Mistakes in a sent e-mail attachment persist. In a wiki, you can remove mistakes with one click
  99. 2 out of 3 e-mails that employees receive are sent from internal addresses. A wiki helps reduce the e-mail flood
  100. 46% of mails sent via distribution lists to all employees are useless to the recipient. Wikis reduce internal mail
  101. With a wiki, service employees don’t have to answer the same questions over and over again using e-mail
  102. Meeting agendas developed within a wiki are up-to-date and available to everyone without e-mails
  103. If meetings are prepared collaboratively within a wiki, they remain to the point and focused on the essentials
  104. Using a wiki to prepare meetings helps prevent frustrating discussions about topics and principles from popping up in meetings
  105. Whoever misses a meeting can still add input into a wiki as a note, a question, or a comment
  106. Wiki plugins like TaskDock for Confluence allow dynamic task-management without a third-party system.
  107. Wiki plugins enable small BI-solutions that can often fulfill the requirements of teams or SMEs.
  108. With plugins like the Gliffy-plugin for Confluence, it’s possible to have excellent Visio applications in the wiki
  109. Using wiki plugins, database contents can be integrated into the wiki. They can also be updated dynamically
  110. Scientific studies have shown the usefulness of enterprise wikis
  111. An enterprise wiki isn’t a tool that will solve every single one of your problems. But it’s the next best thing

At this point we stopped
collecting reasons, which, naturally, were collaboratively entered into our
wiki: The arguments were overwhelming, due not only to their quality but also
to their sheer quantity. It should be clear by now that companies that have
decided to pass on wikis are robbing themselves of unexpected possibilities and
are thus limiting themselves. For these companies, it is truly time to rethink
the introduction of a wiki. Atlassian and the Atlassian partners all over the
world are, of course, happy to support you: with a great enterprise wiki and vast
quantities of know-how in wiki adoption.

And if you’re already using
a wiki in your company, we would be excited to know what experiences you’ve had
and which application cases argue especially strongly for wikis. Would you be
able to offer us even more reasons?

Start using an enterprise wiki today!

Not convinced just yet? As the world’s most popular commercial wiki, with over 9,000 customers ranging from high-tech startups to Fortune 500 corporations, Confluence has consistently shown itself to be the one of, if not the best wiki for today’s enterprise.

Try out all of Confluence’s 180+ features in the sandbox today!

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