a pragmatic (not cynical) view of the state of Enterprise Wiki

Melanie Turek at Collaboration Loop put up an article about her thoughts and experiences around enterprise wikis.

And it got me ta thinking … hers has been my own experience by and large.

I’ve used and continue to use wikis for projects, small teams/workgroups, and for a class that I teach … but I’ve not seen any movement around an enterprise adoption here.

I am skeptical about their widespread use within the enterprise over the next few years. Instead, I expect pockets of use within departments and small project teams, as mandated by specific managers or team leaders … But enterprise-wide use requires enterprise-wide deployment, and that involves IT. And I think IT has too much on its hands right now to think about wikis, blogs and other social-networking technologies. Most companies are still trying to get a handle on enterprise IM!

And I’ve stopped advocating for the use of wikis in my company … the ‘no good deed goes unpunished’ syndrome.

And this, perhaps, is why Melanie’s article struck a chord with me … which, as she posits, is that in order for wikis to be adopted and used at an enterprise level there must be changes in the business’ process (and attitudes).

Most people I know are open to sharing information if they think their voices will be heard, their good ideas rewarded, and their bad ones gently ignored. All too often, though, people feel like they can’t get traction within a group of more than a handful of people; that their good ideas go ignored; and that their bad ones are on exhibit much more publicly than they’d like them to be. Change that, and you’ll change the forecast for wikis in the enterprise.

Yep – my experiences exactly!

So I think I’ll continue to use wikis as and when I see fit – as they fit a need that I have whether for work, home, whatever.  I’ll continue to speak about wikis to colleagues at work. But I’m not going to expect that this ocean-liner-or-a-company is going to change or embrace them any time soon.

That’s okay … I have my own backyard to play in.


About Rory

I make my home in the central part of the Garden State along with my family. When I'm not working as an Instructional Designer (focusing mostly on Web-Based learning ... and other eLearning technologies) or researching something, I'm found at home playing computer or video games. Among other things, I volunteer as a choir member and catechist for 8th graders at my parish.
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