Business Process Modeling at Wikia

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Business Process Modeling @ Arizona State University


This is a test wiki for students in Raghu Santanam's CIS 591 class at the W.P. Carey School of Business

Current Assignment Due 4/18/2007 Case Brief

  1. What are the main features of wiki technology? Go to Wikipedia or wikia to get an overview of the technology and the collaboration process.
  2. What are the best uses of corporate wikis? Where would they be least useful?

1. What are the main features of wiki technology? Go to Wikipedia or wikia to get an overview of the technology and the collaboration process.

The essence of wiki technology is ease of collaboration. Websites such as Wikipedia and Wikia allow for an individual to create a web page that can be modified by all users. The web page can serve as a database for information specific to the user group. Anyone can view the wiki and add, delete, or update the wiki page. Information that is used and shared in this fashion is displayed in real time, that is changes that are made are reflected immediately. Who is able to edit a wiki is determined by the wiki creator. In some instances anyone from the general public may make edits, or the editing feature can be restricted specific groups within a community or enterprise.
A single wiki page can contain a myriad of information and links. Text within a wiki page can be highlighted as a hyper link that can take the user to another wiki page further explaining the word or term used. The ability to link to various other wikis is a key feature of the technology.

2. What are the best uses of corporate wikis? Where would they be least useful?

In general wikis increase communication. They make information sharing easier and more reliable because information is constantly updated to reflect real time knowledge. There are a variety of ways that wikis enhance the corporate environment.
  1. Meetings are dramatically improved. Preparation for meetings is easier with a wiki due to its constant updating. Agendas are easily created and modified as information changes. Also, dissemination of the meeting events can be posted to the wiki at the completion of the meeting thereby keeping those absent from the meeting up to speed.
  2. Wikis can be used as an effective knowledge sharing tool within an enterprise. Different corporate divisions can have their own dedicated wiki that can aid in idea development and brainstorming. Users can post challenges or obstacles and seek help from users in similar divisions in locations across the globe.
  3. Wikis can make creating presentations much smoother. Instead of having ten different team members create their own set of power point slides, requiring someone to merge all the slides into one document, a wiki page can streamline the process.

Wikis are best used in enterprises where there is an open culture of support for others. Those making posts or modifications to a wiki must overcome fears of how they might look to others. There needs to be a positive knowledge sharing environment in place for the use of a wiki to be maximized. Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein uses a Socialtext wiki in its enterprise. As one manager for that company put it, “I think wikis would fail in organizations where people are frightened to talk and publish, and there are fear organizations like that.” Wikis would be least useful in places such as these. In corporations where information exchange is not promoted and mistakes are looked down on instead of as building opportunities it is likely that wikis will not be a value added tool.

Dont forget bad uses of wikis -
1) Real-Time Collaboration

There are some scenarios where real-time collaboration cannot be replaced. For example, once a wiki brainstorming session gets all options on the board, a live discussion is more appropriate to take advantage of any synergies of people working together towards the best solution.

2) Alternative to Formal Documentation

There have been cases where companies have replaced formal documentation, such as troubleshooting and FAQ sheets, with wikis. These companies rely on a knowledge community to form on the wiki as the users themselves find and solve issues. While this can save companies time and money, it is not the best way to server their customer base.


Wikiti Wikiti Wikiti wow...that is one cool wiki

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