I absolutely love having conversations like the one I had yesterday afternoon. A colleague called to “pick my brains” (of whatever might be left) about using a wiki for a work group. The conversation started with, “But why not just keep using the Sharepoint team site?”
What I loved is that this was a robust and open conversation … my friend was totally open to the possibility of changing her mindset …
“We have worked hard on this process document. We wouldn’t want just anyone to go in and change it.”
My reply – why not?
Followed by a bit of silence.
So I ask, “What if I found something that was incorrect in that document? Or – what if after several months you figure out that there’s a problem with a process stage?”
And we continued the conversation about the benefits / advantages / disadvantages / trade-offs in using a wiki or a document sharing site like Sharepoint. (by the way, we do not have the most current version of Sharepoint and is primarily used as a document repository that are project-specific).
Some of the key points (to my mind) that we discussed:
- Deciding which to use is a matter of coordination (document repository) or collaboration (wiki).
- Everyone acts with integrity (this is in a corporate environment) – and we must start from the point of trusting that people act with integrity. It would be very unlikely that someone would deliberately mess around with a corporate wiki (your contributions are not anonymous).
- Consider the amount of central or singular control – you want only one person to administer? or is it better that no one is really in charge?
- On a wiki … there’s no such thing as missing information – the person who discovers this just hasn’t added it yet. You see something wrong or missing … fix it!
- You can always revert to a previous version in the wiki.
- When you really need actual documents (Word or PDF or Excel or PPT) a repository is the better choice. But don’t rule out a copy/paste into a wiki page or wiki article
Not everyone in the organization is “with the program” … but it is quite nice to talk with someone who wants to learn and understand …