A live case study to show how to cut through
the information and technology clutter
A wiki is surely an editable text-based internet site. But you really don't need to grasp any complicated HTML, or anything at all like that to implement a wiki. A wiki is really only a bit much more sophisticated than a word-processor, but A lot more powerful, mainly because as a substitute of only becoming 1 web page, it can be a lot of pages, all linked up together.

I will show you how uncomplicated it really is to make use of a wiki later, but initial I would like to tell you why wikis are so beneficial.

Wikis are valuable, due to the fact they permit you set up any info you want, in any way that you simply want. Rather then constrain you that has a specific method of structuring items, it is possible to website link things with each other in any way that you just want. What this means is it is possible to set issues up as simple, or as complicated when you like.

Since these are so flexible, you can find literally countless makes use of for wikis. Some utilizes include things like:

Keeping a every day journal


Controlling expense properties

Implementing a GTD technique (As described by David Allen)


Working a business.

Some wikis also allow a number of users share an edit precisely the same data. An intriguing example of this on the net may be the Wiki Encyclopedia where by a group of individuals are collaborating to create a totally free on line encyclopedia.

Perhaps the most effective way to present how a wiki performs is with the instance. Let's say you've got a web page, referred to as "HomePage" that says "Hello, this really is my very first wiki page."

Four ways to use wikis for project management

Following hard on the heels of 10 ways to use blogs for project management, here’s some thoughts on how we’ve been using wikis in a project management environment.

Planning meeting agendas

The task of planning agendas normally falls to one unfortunate, who’s then bombarded by emails from all quarters. Rather than stand underneath the deluge, why not plan the agenda on a wiki page? Anyone who needs to add an agenda point can do it themselves, adding notes and background information as required — and once the organiser decides that the agenda is set, the page can be locked to prevent further changes.

Then issuing the agenda is a simple matter of forwarding a link — no more bulky attachments to clog up road warrior inboxes.

Real-time minute taking

Taking minutes of meetings, conference calls, etc is vital for project managers — all too often, people’s recollection of what they’ve agreed to is — ahem — subtly different once the meeting has finished. So getting actions down on paper as soon as possible is crucial to avoid actions falling down the cracks. But the problem with minute taking is that you spend the whole meeting writing, then twice as long again typing the minutes up, and then they’re emailed out to the participants and promptly disappear into thin air.

We’ve taken to using a wiki to capture the progress of meetings while it’s still in progress by adding them to the agenda page. As the each item is being discussed, the contributions can be captured — and if it’s a conference call, participants can see the minutes as soon as the wiki page is saved - realtime and online. As soon as someone’s volunteered for an action, it’s up on screen and documented — no room for wriggling!

Wikis are also great if there’s information which wasn’t available at the time, but will be added later. Rather than send out the missing info in an out-of-context email, participants can update the wiki page so that the new details appear in the context of the discussion — and the wiki’s version control allows you to see by who and when the changes were made.

Brainstorming presentations

Collaborative presentation planning can be a nightmare, particularly if there’s more than two people involved. Despite the version tracking functionality of Powerpoint and the like, there are invariably problems as two or more contributors change the content simultaneously.

Rather than use Powerpoint, we now brainstorm presentation outlines on a wiki page. It’s simple to add and change bullet points, drop in new slides or expand on existing ones. There are wiki plugins that allow you to export pages in a format that can then be imported into Powerpoint - just apply the corporate layout template, add clipart, and your presentation is ready to go.

And to take wiki presentations to the next level, why not dispense with Powerpoint altogether? With clever page formatting, you can run the presentation direct from your browser — so no need to distribute the presentation afterwards, just send out a link.

Keep documents up-to-date

Wikis are excellent at version control - it’s built in out-of-the-box. So rather than using file documents and shared drives, why not keep project documentation online and up-to-date on a wiki? If you have documents which are subject to constant change — configuration settings for example — you can easily maintain a wiki page as a single, central source of the up-to-date configuration. And the built-in version control and change tracking make it simple to find out what changed and when.


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About us

We run a marketing & technology consulting business that helps smaller companies in the UK.

A lot of our work is now centring on using social software technology to reduce information problems in business. So this blog is designed to share our knowledge and first hand experience.

If you are interested in developing an enterprise social software strategy and setting up an easy-to-maintain weblog for your business, Infosential is the company who can help.

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