Posted by: charlestontelles | September 22, 2012

Wiki usage strategies in the Enterprise – Focus on HR Departments

Context

If you are involved with Quality Assurance you certainly have heard about ISO and ISO 9000 . Basically the concept involves a set of standards and best practices to help organizations to be more productive and effective in their business processes. Well, that was a trend early in 2000/2001, also every organization used to have an effort to be ISO certified.

Today, there are other sets of standards and best practices helping companies to enhance the productivity and effectiveness. In my opinion 3 standards and best practice frameworks dominates the market currently:

PRINCE 2 – Project Management methodology applicable to any final product, ITIL – IT Infrastructure Library (IT as a Service) and Agile – Software management methodology

All those methodologies must produce artifacts in order to guarantee the productivity and effectiveness promised.  Therefore a software tool would be interesting in order to create the artifact and maintain it in a collaborative format.

Strategy

Wiki style tools can fit perfectly producing the management artifacts demanded by methodologies like Prince2, ITIL and Agile. see some examples in the table bellow:

Methodology Artifact Wiki Strategy
Prince 2 During the Prince 2 life cycle this documents must be updated all the time by different team members. Therefore a Wiki style tool fits perfectly here.
 ITIL
  • Release Plan
  • Configuration Items
  • Know Bugs and Workarounds (SKDB – System knowledge Database)
 New software releases, descriptions about configuration items and Knowledge database used by the Service Desk are typical documents produced in a collaborative way. Due to the dynamic life cycle of this documents a tool in wiki style will be very useful
 Agile
  • Iteration Plan (Timetable)
  • Task and task status
In the past Microsoft Project used to be the most famous tool for creating and managing timelines. But that’s gone. Today each team member can update their own task completion and status.

Tactics

I have already comment about the company called Atlassian in this post.

The first point is they are evangelist of the E2.0 concept, and they have two excellent tools with very competitive prices (you can even start using for free). One is called Jira, very good for tasks management, deliverable,  releases, and bug tracking. And the other tools is called Confluence, a excellent way to produce documents in a collaborative way we can even produce BPMN models using the online gliffy tool.  I strongly suggest you to take a look in the marketing video of both tools.

How to fit that strategy to a HR department

Currently our INN346 team is exploring treats and opportunities in a HR department where we can apply web2.0 tools to help them maximize some benefits and achieve some outcomes. Therefore, we will try to apply the strategy to that scenario.

Well, needless to say HR departments also have timelines and tasks to be achieve, therefore from the Management point of view they can be using wiki style tools for managing those activities.

The HR department can explore their Business process using Gliffy. BPMN notation is not only used by IT, today many internal business processes has been modeled using BPMN. They can share information about annual leave via a confluence page for example.

I am still working in the wiki application in a HR Department. Do you have any suggestion?

Are you familiar with Prince2, ITIL or Agile? Which artifact you usually create? Have you tried a wiki style tool to create then? Do you think that would work?

See also my team mates’ strategies for wiki:

Abdul: http://arifiabdul.wordpress.com/2012/09/23/how-can-an-hr-department-benefits-from-wiki/

Amanda: http://amandab.me/2012/09/22/hrs-wiki-strategy-using-wikis-for-learning-and-education/

Karen: http://e2karen.wordpress.com/2012/09/23/wiki-strategies-for-hr-department/

Edie: coming soon

References:

http://blog.pbworks.com/2007/08/29/101-ways-to-save-time-with-a-wiki-2-notes-notes-notes/

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/technology/advice-for-students-use-a-wiki-for-better-note-taking.html

http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/web/library/wa-wikiapps/index.html

http://itexpertvoice.com/home/has-microsoft-office-found-a-place-in-enterprise-2-0/

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/technology/5-uses-for-a-wiki-at-work.html

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Responses

  1. […] deadlines, things to focus on, and maybe key contacts/resources for that time frame. >>> Technical documentation: >>> Knowledge bases >>> Project Management tool >>> Education & […]

  2. I enjoyed reading your post
    I have just watch the JIRA Video . it really seems a powerful tool. In fact, I forward it to our IT manager to have a look.
    But don’t you think for organizations that never experience social tools (or collaborative tools as Mcafee likes to name) , it better keep it simple .After all the whole notion of social tools is about simplicity and everyone can jump in and use….Just a thought
    Cheers

    • Hi Abdul.
      I totally agree. Indeed keeping the collaborative tools as simple as possible will guarantee a massive adoption across the company.
      But in general those collaboration tools are very user friendly even for those who are reluctant accepting new technology. I believe the training employees will need is more cultural than technical. For example, the project manager will not ask them about the status of their task. Now, employees will need to update the status of their task in tools like Jira, also they receive new tasks and comments via Jira. In addition, the timesheet completion will be totally based on the information we update in Jira.
      I believe the question for employees is: Are you prepared to abandon your old timesheet and send a Jira report to the PM?
      What do you think?

      • If the IT manager, or someone with authority lay down a policy: ” to receive only Jira timesheet format after a specific date” , everyone will be prepared before that date.

      • I agree in that case someone with authority needs to apply a timesheet policy. But that authority is neither the PM nor the IT manager. That’s is part of the company’s strategy, so the policy should come from the project board.

  3. […] How can an HR department benefits from wiki? […]

  4. […] Wikis for projects and initiatives […]

  5. I’ve seen agile project teams get great value out of a wiki entry for the iteration retrospective. It gives everyone the chance to give feedback as things happen, rather than trying to remember or vocalise during what might just be a 1-hour meeting. Do you count a sharepoint site as a wiki? I’ve seen projects use a sharepoint site to collate documents, risk/issues, events, etc so that everyone on the immediate project team and extended team of stakeholders can keep up to date with what’s happening.

    • Hi Amanda.
      In my view sharepoint can be considered a wiki style tool if we create a page and people collaborate editing that page using the browser. If we edit documents in typical MS-Officce format (.doc, spread sheet or ppt) like we can do using google drive for example or even using Gliffy via Confluence that’s not a pure wiki style, but that’s is a collaborative way to produce the documents. There’s a lot of discussion about that. I prefer pure wiki style because the search and traceability is much better.

      However if we produce a document off-line and attach in a sharepoint page, in my view, that’s not wiki at all. Actually that not even a good practice.

      But let’s capture more opinions from other readers. Can google drive be considered a wiki style tool?

      • I think a site can be considered a wiki when users are able to contribute by adding, editing and deleting the contents. Sharepoint is not a wiki product but has some wiki features, therefore it can be used as a wiki.

        There are a lot of articles out there that compares Sharepoint and Confluence (links below). In order to determine what tools are suitable, we first need to determine the information management and sharing needs within the organisation.

        http://jodiem.com.au/2009/05/31/confluence-and-sharepoint-wikis/

        http://blog.seibert-media.net/2011/08/26/sharepoint-versus-confluence-criteria-requirements/

      • Hi Karen
        Yes. I am aware the we can use sharepoint to online document editing as a pure wiki feature. And sharepoint also offers the oportunity to users be adding (attaching) documents.
        However, my point here is that when you attach the document you lost the content searchability, for example when you attach a .doc in your sharepoint page you can’t search for text within the document. And in my opinion that’s the most powerful feature using pure wiki. In addition, wiki and the integrated with RSS and tagging as well.
        Therefore, based on my example attaching document to sharepoint is not wiki.
        I hope my argument has been clarifed with this example.
        Cheers

      • Hi Charles,
        Actually, the microsoft documents (Word, excel) attached in Sharepoint are indexed and therefore content searchable.

        http://www.sharepointbriefing.com/spother/article.php/3791431/Leveraging-SharePoint-as-a-Document-Management-System.htm

        If fact, both Confluence and Sharepoint indexed attached files. This is quite a powerful search feature to crawl through contents of the file. I am yet to find out the list of file types that are indexed, but generally it should be .pdf, .txt, .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx.

      • Hi Karen
        I confess I had to test both search features in Sharepoint and Confluence to certify how “powerful” they are related to searchability. And here is my veridic:
        1) Sharepoint: the search retrieved pages and docs (including .doc and .ppt). For .xls and .pdf Microsoft still needs improvement. We can’t edit the document online as we can do using google docs for example (that could be something configurable). But, I am quite happy with the search results.
        2) Confluence: I attached a doc in a page and then I did a seach looking for a text within the doc previously attached. Results = 0. Another test, I created a gliffy diagram and added a text. Then I did a search for the text. Again, Results = 0. I am disapointed with the search feature in Confluence 😦

        But, as I said my opinion is based on my experience and not based on what the vendor promises or marketing folders, and that’s why I am defending pure wiki edinting rather than attaching documents. Perhaps there are some search configuration in both tools that I am missing.

  6. Hi Charleston,
    Amazing blog post, completely related to my interests (Projects & Processes) with ‘Wikis’ component.

    I have one question in regards projects, In my blog post I say that I think that probably Wikis can help to manage small projects, and I explain that maybe big projects can take advantages of Wikis in a different way (Initiation stage and Control stage). What do you think about it?

    • Hi Danny
      That’s awesome. I am glad to see comments from people involved with project and processes. I agree when you said that wiki can add value to big and small projects. Let’s explore some examples to make the discussion more exciting. In project management the PMs used to have a timetable to control the project timeline (usually a MS-Project Gantt chart). Now the gantt charts can be done via wiki style tools where you add new tasks and effort. Also employees will be responsible to update the task status. Indeed that’s much more productive and accurate. Also, all project information such as risks, quality expectation and quality register can be updated in a collaborative way via wiki. The searchability and traceability into wiki documentation is much more precise than a off-line documentation search, and that is, in my opinion, where the outcomes can be justified.
      Is that make sense?

  7. […] Abdulrahman Alarifi HR’s wiki strategy: Using wikis for learning and education by Amanda Belton Wiki usage strategies in the Enterprise – Focus on HR Departments by Charleston Telles Wiki Strategies for HR Department by Karen […]


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