Wikis that work: Four IT departments get it right

IT orgs harness wiki power to handle everything from tech training to project management

"The wiki has added tremendously to IT's ability to provide service," says Alek Lotoczko, intranet project manager. "People have a tendency to junk e-mail without reading it. Now, information is getting to people who need to know, and it's cut down on full e-mail inboxes and waiting for e-mail alerts each day."

Separately, NYK uses a wiki to keep multiple peer IT groups in the loop on the status of various projects. "Now there's one place where people can get searchable access to information, whereas before it was filed away in people's [individual] e-mail inboxes," Lotoczko explains. The tagging and structure capabilities of the enterprise wiki tool (in this case, Atlassian's Confluence ) also help the team easily build up an IT knowledge base of bug reports and troubleshooting guides.

Lotoczko's IT group has gone a step further and swapped its project management tool for another Confluence wiki that enables employees to collaborate with outsourced Web site development partners, taking advantage of the tool's permission and security controls to limit access to intellectual property and other company materials to specific subsets of users.

"It's allowing us to do what could have been done via e-mail and face-to-face visits, but it's cheaper and more efficient [with the wiki]," he explains. "With this archive, there's a permanent schedule record that's searchable and that we can learn from, which couldn't have been done before."

Wikis streamline project management

With a wiki, important project milestones, schedule changes or problem resolutions can be easily gathered and accessed from one place rather than becoming lost or overlooked in a crowded e-mail inbox, the consultant Stewart Mader says. In addition, wikis encourage participation from colleagues who may or may not have been included as part of an e-mail chain.

And wikis can be better than discussion forums or software version management systems in compressing communication into more useful, actionable information, says Christian Wagner, author of "The Wiki in Your Company: Lessons for Collaborative Knowledge Management," a report conducted by the Society for Information Management's Advanced Practices Council . "There's less noise and more signal in wiki conversations," says Wagner, who is also a professor at the City University of Hong Kong .

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags it strategywikisIT management

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Beth Stackpole

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?