The wiki in business

The wiki in business

A wiki is a collaborative working tool. It is a website freely modifiable by its visitors, without technical difficulty, and which allows the free flow of information within the company. Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, is one of the best wiki success stories on the internet.

  • Choose a wiki
  • Understand the uses of the wiki in business
  • The advantages of the wiki: ease of use and productivity gain
  • How wikis work
  • Optimize the functioning of the wiki in business
  • The place of the wiki in your business strategy

This name comes from the Hawaiian word wikiwiki which means “fast”. Indeed, the publication of information is instantaneous: the article or the added comment is not proofread and approved by a moderator before being accessible online.

Main advantages of the wiki: its flexibility and ease of use, its low cost. In business, the wiki is an excellent tool for sharing knowledge and a space for reflection. It encourages everyone's contribution to the company's projects: each user can add pages, modify or correct existing wiki pages, old versions remaining accessible.

Choose a wiki

Some of the many providers of wiki solutions for businesses include:

  • Exosys,
  • Xwiki,
  • Metawiki

Understand the uses of the wiki in business

In business, wikis facilitate the collaborative writing of documents and the sharing of structured information. Some examples of use:

The wiki as a space for reflection:

  • exchange and discussion around new ideas and new projects
  • event planning
  • development of working documents

The wiki as a storage space and information sharing accessible to all:

  • project calendar
  • minutes of meetings
  • sharing of files and working documents
  • contact base
  • description of products and services

The advantages of the wiki: ease of use and productivity gain

  • Wikis are easy to set up and get started quickly.
  • Everyone is working on a single document. This avoids the back and forth of files by email and makes it possible to gather knowledge on a support common to all, correctable and reorganizable by all.
  • A history of modifications makes it possible to consult the previous versions of each modified document.
  • Thanks to the integrated search engine, your employees become more efficient by no longer wasting time searching for information.
  • After a prolonged absence, you are directly informed of the main changes and progress of the projects.
  • Unlike blogs or comments which tend to pile up without any real structure, the wiki is structured and updated regularly, obsolete information is removed.

The wiki also makes it possible to bring together collaborators working remotely or teleworking virtually on a common project.

Attention, for the wiki to become an effective and useful tool in the company, its use requires organization, self-discipline and especially the participation of each one. Each user must regularly consult the wiki to know the progress of the projects and must enrich it in order to be an actor in the project in the same way as his collaborators.

How wikis work

  • Interface. The interface of wikis is very intuitive. A home page brings together all the topics covered and a list of modified pages allows you to follow the wiki news and directly access the latest modifications made.
  • Editor. The pages are created and edited with a text editor. As with Word-type software, it is possible to format your text (bold, italics, underline, size and choice of font). There is also the possibility to add images, tables, lists, links to other wiki pages and attach documents to enrich your page. Before uploading the page, you can preview it.
  • Historical. Each time a page is created or modified, it is listed in the history with the date and the name of the author.
  • Access rights. Some wikis offer an access rights management system, which allows you to define who has access to which page and what action the user is authorized to perform (edit, comment, read).
  • Research. A search engine helps to quickly find information, a page, a modification. Sorting is done by date of creation, by author, by title, by date of modification, ...

Optimize the functioning of the wiki in business

  • Training. It is essential to train future users and to clearly define the interest of the wiki, to motivate employees to adopt this work tool.
  • Launch. After its installation, prepare the launch of your wiki: already insert content and calls for contributions. Structure the wiki by sections.
  • Animation. Continuously animate the wiki, to encourage the participation of your collaborators, moderate the pages and the modifications put online.
  • Content management. Structure the wiki content well to avoid disorderly growth. Regularly reorganize content by creating new sections, categorizing or merging pages, deleting obsolete pages or sections.

The place of the wiki in your business strategy

Except in special cases, it is best to only use your wiki internally. Indeed, if you make your wiki your showcase, anyone can modify its content as they wish: you run the risk of being the victim of acts of vandalism (from potential dissatisfied customers, unfair competitors). ...) which could damage your image.

It will therefore be better to use your wiki as a way to communicate and work with your collaborators, internally, and to prefer a blog, over the content of which you will have full control, to present your company and its news to the outside world.

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