Collaboration and Wiki as a Tool

January 23, 2008 at 10:32 am Leave a comment

Making Agility an Ability,” Alan Alter

The article with this unfortunate buzzword bingo title appeared in Innovations in 2007, and discussed collaboration and wiki as a tool.

 What makes collaboration tools effective? 

  • Full-time team leaders that spend time communicating with each member individually
  • Teams of big-picture, enterprise-level thinkers who have excellent local knowledge
  • Team members need to be rewarded for their work for the teams, and the intellectual capital they contribute to the enterprise
  • Three technologies that  teams found most valuable were instant messaging, audio conferencing, and repositories for content capture and display
  • Collaboration norms and procedures (aka a Network Use Strategy):
    • No one-to-one e-mails among team members, because then it’s not in the repository (electronic means of collecting knowledge, processes and lessons-learned), and some people see it while others don’t.
    • Use the repository and don’t have one-on-one conversations.
    • Check the repository once a day,
    • Leave information on how you can be reached.
    • Regular audio conferences described as the lifeblood of the team. They are held as frequently as once a week, and all team members are mandated to attend.  Videoconferencing was expensive, disruptive, and distracting. With audio conferences, people could take the call from their home at 11 p.m., rather than [going] to the office for a videoconference.

Wikis were suggested as a useful tool

  • Wiki technology is helpful, browser-based, fast, and simple. Wikis are open, anyone can modify their content and structure, and all content is open for review.
  • It’s okay to change other people’s work
  • Do work on the wiki.
  • Have a very active champion and sponsor
  • Do it on the wiki, look it up on the wiki, don’t send me e-mail, put it on the wiki.
  •  “Wabisabi” a Japanese word, “the beauty of imperfection,” keep the wiki simple, and not too perfect and final looking, because potential authors may feel threatened by a wiki that looks too professional.
  • Integrate the wiki into the work process, rather than just serving as a knowledge repository, and it will probably survive.


Other resources were mentioned:

 “The Wiki in your Company: Lessons for collaborative knowledge management” Majchrzak.  Google ‘Ann Majchrzak wiki’ for corporate wiki wisdom, for example, Factors The Improve Wiki Success: Alignment of Goals, A Culture of Collaboration, Community Custodianship, Clearly Defined Rules for Posting Content, Monitoring User Behavior


Entry filed under: KM.

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