Stewart Mader on his Future Changes blog includes this brief video on using a corporate wiki to manage and track projects,that provides a summary of one of the more useful functions for a wiki I’ve found while working on learning-related projects at Nemours.
A couple years ago I participated on a team that developed a internal project management certification program based on PMI principles, but adapted to the Nemours culture. Along with an internal project management blended learning curriculum, we developed a series of project management templates (using Word of course) for project managers to use for initiating, tracking and managing projects.
At the same time our company web development department provided our learning team with access to a Confluence wiki space that we started using on a limited bases for sharing documents and team information. I decided to push the use of the wiki further by adapting the project management templates to wiki pages that enabled me to easily track various learning development projects almost entirely within a dedicated wiki space. It took a bit of extra planning at the outset to setup the wiki space, but once created, it was a snap to update project status reports, to share those reports with colleagues and subject matter experts, all within a lightweight web-based framework.
Finding Information and Documents Fast
An additional benefit I’ve found more recently is how easy it is to retrieve project documentation once it’s been developed in a wiki. It becomes as simple as doing a keyword search and within seconds locating project pages and links. Finding the right project documentation on a shared drive from a couple years back would often take considerably longer.
While wikis have many advantages for managing learning projects and other group tasks, in my experience they are never as easy to use effectively as the wiki evangelists claim. Like other web tools, it takes practice, and sometimes trial and error, to learn to use them effectively.