Stewart Mader, Atlassian’s wiki evangelist, recently presented a series of seminars on ‘How do you grow wiki adoption?‘.
During the presentation in Sydney, an attendee asked how to use a wiki for *Document Management*. While the gentleman could appreciate all the benefits that a wiki brings, he couldn’t fathom how to move his organisation out of the ‘Document dark ages’ and into the enlightened age of Web 2.0.
This, indeed, is the focus of the Wikipatterns.com website — a place to share ideas about how to roll-out wikis. These roll-outs often happen by stealth, helping individual teams and business units rather than by corporate edict.
You’ll also need a change of mindset — don’t think *document management*, think *knowledge management*. Document management can only point you towards documents, like a traditional search engine. In contrast, when you’ve got information on a wiki you can search for information, link to it, reference it, update it, secure it, blog about it and share it.
Fortunately, since Atlassian is a relatively new company (we turned 5 this year), we are fortunate that most of our internal information is stored on our internal Confluence wiki rather than in documents on fileservers. This is very important given that we have a mixed environment of Operating Systems (Mac, Windows, Linux) and that very few people in the company use Microsoft Office. We don’t even use much paper since we scan more than we print.
The real benefit, however, is in keeping track of corporate information in a central, searchable location rather than on individual’s hard disks. Historical corporate knowledge is instantly available to new staff members rather than being maintained in private e-mail archives. Information is maintained, even when staff leave and erase their hard disk.
So what do you seek — Documents or Knowledge?
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