Sunday 26 April 2009

A review of our team wiki seven months in

Last October I wrote about the launch of our dev wiki in the office. Today I want to report the concept, implementation, and utility of the project has been a clear winner.

First and foremost, the underlying wiki concepts make our wiki fly:

  • Content is approachable by virtue of being findable through search and being categorised
  • Content is maintainable and everything’s versioned just in case—no more getting stuck updating the date and version history or even having to check out a Word document.

On top of that we’ve got 100% buy-in from our ICT manager (he actually proposed the wiki) and close to the same from our CIO. What that means is our wiki is the first port of call when seeking information—big or small—on our dev work and environments. We’re still being asked to point formal paper documents to wiki articles and pointing some wiki articles out to formal documents until they need to be reviewed so we’re not quite there but we are closing the gap. Realistically the wiki won’t replace every document in the organisation but I can dream!

Perhaps more importantly, I’m also referencing wiki articles when someone asks me how to do something and this has led to genuine interest from our ICT, Service Delivery and Content Management and Digital Marketing teams. I’m openly saying to these teams: create an account, create new articles of interest to your area or your job function, and update existing articles. The entire wiki is very informal in this sense (we don’t even really have a template for articles) and the information we’re adding to the wiki is current and useful by virtue of being so accessible and approachable. It feels all wrong and a bit subversive but the wiki has proven so effective it’s hard to overlook!

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