The implementation of TWiki in practice
In general, the establishing of a wiki must be supported through a series of measures. If these activities are successful, the system – as I know from my own experience – will quickly be accepted and used by employees. At //SEIBERT/MEDIA, TWiki has been used since June 2007, now containing a total of eight Webs. The main Web alone grew to contain more than 1000 topics within just a few months.
TWiki also proves its worth with the depiction of quality-management-processes, which take up a lot of space in our intranet wiki, and for the documentation of projects in small to middle-sized work groups due to its primary focus on cooperation. Employees actively use the system in order to depict internal processes collaboratively, to spur on improvements and changes in company processes, and to discuss and organize internal events.
Exemplary for the active communication and collection of knowledge are the documents, in which learned lessons and results from customer projects, meetings, and internal knowledge circles are maintained, available to all employees. TWiki simplifies the storing, processing, and expanding of templates and directions. It is well known that this is barely possible in static intranets, which often suffer from the “One-administrator-syndrome” and therefore grow slowly.
It is also certainly true that a wiki can lead to redundancy. Therefore, it is important to structure and maintain documents hierarchically, which is made easier through TWiki. The assigning of an experienced employee to be the wiki administrator – and thus to a certain extent responsible for the structural care – has proven itself to be sensible.
The advantages of a structured wiki
With professional and goal-oriented management, TWiki fills the framework of “knowledge management” with content, continually building broad parts of the company’s knowledge capital. In its practical application, it becomes clear what makes TWiki so special as a structured wiki: it combines the advantages of a wiki with those of a database application while not requiring a database itself.
The relative openness makes possible the structured adaptability to individual company needs. On the one hand, this guarantees the problem-free transfer of unstructured content to structured content (and the other way around); on the other hand, TWiki is also excellently suited for the development of further wiki applications.
As already mentioned, TWiki is more advanced than other systems not least due to its expandability and the highly developed level of its plug-ins and extensions. The following exemplary modules already make clear the performance and additional functionality of TWiki:
- The Workflow plug-in allows the actual status of every topic to be controlled and followed and also documents all work steps and changes in a topic.
- The Table plug-in makes possible the simple creation and integration (editable) of tables in documents, which can be transformed into PNG or GIF graphics using the Chart plug-in. In combination with the Spreadsheet plug-in, TWiki is enriched with the important basic functions of table calculations.
- The Webstatistics plug-in expands TWiki to include valuable statistic functions and makes visible how often which topics are chosen and which employees make the most changes in the system.
- The Notification plug-in makes it possible to inform employees automatically by email when topics relevant for them have been changed. This shortens response time and also saves time spent searching manually for such changes.
- Thanks to the TagMe plug-in, topics can be marked with tags, thus allowing content to be found through tagging words.
- The Smilies plug-in should also be mentioned: it is not necessarily relevant for the documentation of processes and knowledge, but it brings in a certain amount of (professional) emotionality and relaxedness into the system, which contributes to the use frequency. 🙂
These are only a few of the more than 200 expansion modules. The system-oriented TWiki is highly adaptable to individual demands and is for this reason the Wiki system that in my opinion – also due to my experiences with it – is best suited for use in a company intranet.
Download (1,1 MB): Our wiki brochure in English (PDF)
Read this post in German.