[Case Study] Strategies to Successful Implementation of Corporate Wiki
Our last blog posts (which includes both Blake and Ben) have introduced what the micro-blogging platform may contribute to an organization, in which we have chosen American Airlines (AA) as our reference organization. Micro-blogging platform is indeed important, particularly to improve customer service experience which bring significant intangible benefits to the organization in long run. In this week’s post, we are going to introduce another platform which also contribute to the organization both internally and externally – Corporate Wiki.
AA is always looking into enhancing, at the same time introducing new services to both their external stakeholders (airline customers) and internal stakeholders (employees and management); new services emerge, thus project management is essential. AA realizes the importance of collaboration and communication, thus employing the use of corporate wiki. According to the Society for Information Management’s Advanced Practices Council (APC), researchers have predicted many more organizations will start using wikis in 2008, confirming Gartner’s earlier predictions (Gartner, 2005) that by 2009, at least 50 percent of organizations will use wikis as important work collaboration tools.
Today, I am going to discuss two strategies for implementing corporate wikis to ensure the sustainability and value of its implementation:
1. Wikis for systematic project management – meeting minutes, statuses and scheduling
It is important to recognize that a significant value of wikis comes from embedding small software programs into the wiki that structure repetitive behavior. When it was first implemented, project team may find it to be a hassle to use the platform as it requires some minimal technical skills to post (in proper format) information about the project, however, once the culture is embedded and adopted within the organization, this platform would be widely used.
Senior management personnel who wish to view status of a certain project will no longer require to request for project logs or reports from different project teams, these information could be easily accessed from the wiki platform. The logs may include organizing meeting minutes, rolling up project status or scheduling meetings.
In ITIL, one of the most important phases is continual service improvement (CSI), always encourage wiki participants to keep watching for repetitive activity to evolve and enhance wiki technology to ensure the platform will constantly grow and improve to stimulate the use of this platform. This is a implementation strategy that benefits the organization internally. In short, corporate wiki should be implemented even though the early stage may not be easily adopted; realizing its benefits to the organization later on would definitely be strong and valid reason of implementing this strategy –perseverance is the key to success.
2. Wikis for better collaboration and communication
Generally, wikis are best used in work cultures that encourage collaboration. Without an appropriate fit with the workplace culture, wiki technology will be of limited value in sharing knowledge. Wiki, a platform which is known to be open-to-editing by users, therefore it is important to keep track the users who are involved in the platform – knowing who are the authenticated users – compliance to corporate security policy.
From an internal perspective of the organization, corporate wiki platform not only facilitate knowledge sharing, but also promotes better collaboration for employees from different departments. An example that could be seen clearly is that, between two departments which are similar but executing different functions (finance department and accounting department) – the wiki platform allows these two to use business statistics for strategic organization financial planning, reduces the risks to share such confidential information on paper like the conventional manner. Security policies need to be established and enforced to prevent information leakage by limiting certain region of the corporate wiki, accessible only within the Intranet.
Whilst, from an external perspective of organization, customers of AA be provided with an insight of the organization, get connected with other AA customers as well as being part of the organization in which contributing ideas to new business. By considering the fact that, wiki benefits both internal and external of the organization, during the implementation, strategies should consider a larger region of stakeholders and not limiting it to only benefit the organization.
The strategies for implementation are indeed important, but not to neglect the strategies to managing it too as well. As additional to this post, below are some other strategies that could be implemented:
1. Pick a Software Delivery Model – on-premise, hosted SaaS or hybrid of these two
2. Keep track of who’s who (authenticity)
3. Give IT what they want
4. Plan for mistakes (contingency plans)
5. Manage change (version control)
6. Plan for wiki success
7. Consider extra feature
That wraps up the blog post for today, do share your thoughts with us if you have some other implementation strategies or managing strategies for corporate wiki. Do read up my other group member blog post for more strategies to implementing corporate wiki: