66 Use Cases for an Enterprise Wiki (45 – 66)

We have already summarized 111 solid reasons for using an enterprise wiki. Now with the help of some concrete examples we are going to show you how an enterprise wiki can actually benefit your firm. Following in the footsteps of examples 1-22 and 23-44, we now close our series with 22 more concrete use examples.

45. Firm evaluation, goals and vision

The only permanent characteristic of a firm’s values and goals is that as opinions develop through discussion, the values and goals are constantly changing; a wiki facilitates such discussion.

46. Order lists

With a wiki, items such as technical books and other equipment can be ordered more efficiently and centrally than  by having each employee order individually by email. In a wiki each employee can see what has been ordered and delivered.

47. Manage interfaces to other systems

Further additions to a wiki’s many functions can be obtained not only through plugins, but also by the development of interfaces to other systems. With these the content from the third system can be obtained and documented automatically. The information is always available and up-to-date.

48. Links to personal calenders

Linking to relevant employee’s personal calenders allows easier co-ordination of activities such as vacation planning, meeting organization, customer meetings, etc.

49. Organization and responsibility charts

A wiki can present a clear picture of a firm’s hierarchy. The clear documentation lets employees quickly find out who is responsible for what and who the appropriate contact for a question is.

50. Central repository for training material

It is often impossible for all interested employees to take part in internal training. But if all the training material, presentations, and even videos are maintained in a central, easily accessible repository, the employees who could not participate can still benefit from the training.

51. Information repository for new employees

For a new employee trying to find his way in a new firm, a wiki is worth its weight in gold. He can find all the information he needs for his first work day in the wiki, so it’s no longer necessary for other workers to personally explain the details of the firm. This saves their time and helps the new worker to become productive more quickly.

52. Cafeteria menu

With a few simple mouse clicks any employee can find out what is on the employee cafeteria menu; he can express his wishes and if appropriate let the cafeteria know if he will or won’t be eating there that day.

53. Repository for constantly used texts and texts that must be consistantly modified

In any firm there are never changing texts that are constantly used and texts that are used over and over with only small modifications; for example, offer and product descriptions, job opening and press announcements, responses to job seekers, standard form contracts, etc. These can be easily found in your wiki.

54. Uniform recruitment procedure

A wiki can be easily applied to simplify and customize a firm’s recruitment procedure; among other things it can standardize the procedures used to initiate the recruitment, verify the applicant’s references and certification, hold comments concerning the applicant from the firm management and department heads, record communications with the applicant, and maintain the general letter templates.

55. Everybody on the “same page” every day

A wiki can be used by everyone to start every work day. Here they can find the relevant daily information from the firm as well as important information for connected internal and external systems.

56. Overview of developments in the firm for employees

Information such as newly acquired customers, completed projects, lessons learned from projects, and miscellaneous changes in the firm procedures or structure can be made available through a wiki. In this way a wiki advances the firm’s transparency and encourages employees to identify themselves with the firm; in short, it helps develop and define the firm culture.

57. Documentation and maintenance of marketing information and reports

A wiki can be used to document and centralize marketing campaign information and to evaluate the results. This can replace the classical “press portfolio” as it is now used. Another important example is a wiki’s ability to graphically display  the result of Adwords campaigns.

58. Standards and policies

Behaviour rules and guidelines can be made available to everyone through a wiki: for example, what criteria should be used for passwords? What are the dress codes for work days and for special events? How are absences from work recorded? What should an employee say when answering a phone call at work? What are the uses for the internal systems?

59. Workers’ council information

Members of the workers’ council can use a wiki to distribute information to selected groups: such information might involve contracts with the firm, information on council and union activities, on wage policy, and on negotiations and agreements with the firm management.

60. Personal purchase portal

Many firms give their employees special advantages for purchasing the firms’ products. Wikis can provide a personal purchase portal through which the employees can get information on special offers, discount sales, rebates, and general news.

61. Repository for information from the firm’s subsidiaries

A wiki provides a central vantage point from where employees can follow the developments, successes and challenges of the various individual offices and locations; this can be accomplished through the wiki portal page by publishing a monthly overview of the subsidiaries’ information, including turnover, estimates, revenue flows, expenses, and so on.

62. Material and personal resource allocation planning

A centralized, transparent way of documenting material and personal resource allocation such as a wiki can ease the planning of how to best use these resources, thereby avoiding potential conflicts. Project managers can prioritize the required resources within the wiki and request the corresponding allocation of those resources. And the latest version of the allocation is always available.

63. General internal forms

Forms such as those used for vacation requests, expense reports, and company car use can be made available through a wiki, which means less time spent administering.

64. Wiki help

Whoever works with a wiki everyday has to know how it functions. Wikis have areas dedicated to tips and tricks; here a user can quickly and easily find help in using the wiki appropriately; wikis also support self-learning, which means the company wiki “champions” don’t have to spend all their time helping others learn how to use it.

65. Office pool and further extras

An enterprise wiki can be a lot of fun, too. The wiki can be used to organize the office betting pool for tournaments (if legal!); it can be a collection of links to other interesting content, and it can be a great place for insider jokes. Finally, a wiki fun area saves a lot of joke emails that previously could only be shared by a “to all” distributor.

66. And your applications?

And? How do you use your enterprise and what do you use it for? Let us know by using the comment form below. We would be happy to hear about your examples. 🙂

Are you considering introducing a wiki? Are you evaluating promising software? Do you need support with an up-and-running wiki project? We are experts in business communication and would be happy to consult with you, so please contact us. Further information on this topic can be found on our special page on enterprise wikis.

Further information

Architecture of a Wiki-Project: Elements, Process, Approach, Rules
Architecture of a Wiki-Project: Customers’ Frequently Asked Questions
Factors for the Success of Wikis 1: Technology is important, but not King
Factors for the Success of Wikis 2: Organization is the Key
Factors for the Success of Wikis 3: Overcoming Resistance from the Company Culture

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