Making Wikis Work in Business - Leading Users to the Water
October 17, 2007 · Blog520 · Posted by Jordan Frank
Boothby's conclusion is "the biggest take-away I have comes from the last point.
I generally agree.
However, in most scenarios, its necessary to lead users to the water and slowly transition people and their communication and collaboration processes to the wiki.
The last two points Boothby pointed out from the research stress the importance
- to "allow people time to develop their skills with the wiki and gradually move them away from use of inefficient tools by constantly and subtly promoting its use"
- and to "Recognise that later adopters may need greater support helping them
understand how to use the wiki and work more collaboratively.
These points can be addressed in part by socialization and leading by way of example, but interface elements play an equally powerful role.
The screen shot below is a demo wiki site I created for a customer who makes specialty metals.
The sections play two roles simultaneously.
First, they bring important time ordered (Status Reports, Meeting Notes, Issues and Questions) and wiki type content (Alloy Glossary and Tech Doc) to the foreground.
Second, the Add buttons aim to engage indiividuals in the process, leading them to the water.
Individuals are often shy to start using a wiki because they don't know the basic skills (which are as simple as Post, Comment, Link and Label).
Encouragement from team members coupled with subtle hints from the interface work together to solve the adoption, cultural and process transition issues faced by organizations seeking Enterprise 2.