There’s nothing new about a Wiki. Wiki’s were originally developed in 1995 by Howard G. Ward Cunningham. Despite using what many techies consider dated technology, Wiki’s remain a viable tool for many companies, including ours, to store, share and collaborate. Wikis are great for several reasons:
- It’s collaborative. Everyone can contribute – meaning we share ownership of the documents.
- There’s a search function. Enough said!
- We can link one page to another if we need to.
- Revision control. Our operations manager, the Wiki admin, can ensure any edits are accurate and return to a previous version if they are not.
- It’s free! Well, it can be free. Wikia and Wikispaces offer free Wiki hosting options. There are also other paid options available to get you started – such as QuickBase, which is what we use.
What do we use it for? A little bit of everything:
- Internal processes. Employees need to ask for time off, get information on benefits or be reimbursed. Everything they need to do is in the Wiki. We also include order-processing steps, hiring instructions for managers and more.
- HR information. Benefits information is stored on our Wiki, called departmental policies.
- IT troubleshooting information. A Wiki is a great place to store technical information.
- Services. To keep our service consistent, we’ve documented the procedures for each service we offer. Our services team refers to this, and the sales team references it if there are questions during the sales process.
- Training. New employees can poke around in the Wiki to see how to do their job and get a better sense of our company.
- Customer service. Information on how to handle an upset customer or an issue with software is included in the Wiki.
We love how flexible and scalable the Wiki is, and should I mention the search function, again?
My next blog will cover another process we use in our Wiki, called customer complaints.