Monday, January 7, 2008

Wikis - Tools for KM

A Wiki is esentially a content management system plus.
They can be used to manage web pages (articles, etc.) as well as other documents, and all information in a wiki can be searched and categorized.

They are also a form of groupware, used to enhance communication and collaboration:
- Wiki pages can be changed by anyone; people can work together to create web documents.
- They allow collaborative content work and production, simultaneously.

In other words, a wiki provides two main services in one package: a tool for knowledge creation / collaboration, and a tool for sharing explicit knowledge / managing content.

It strikes me that a perfect application of a Wiki would have been the aula virtual glossary revision that we did at the end of 2007. Instead of offering feedback and having a central agent to make the changes, if it had been a wiki, updates could have been on the spot and dynamic.

An interesting site showing just how a Wiki can be used in terms of KM.
http://netwiki.amath.unc.edu/Main/HomePage

Here is an interesting blog, detailing how wiki's work as KM tools:
http://www.zoliblog.com/2007/1/18/wikis-are-not-knowledge-management-tools/

Here is a link to a site which contains a Master's thesis on Wikis as tools of Knowledge Management.
http://cooney.wikidot.com/

2 comments:

Karen said...

The very idea of a wiki seems to embody key features that would make it an excellent KM tool for organizations like the Bank.

It is all about collaborative authoring .... something that we do regularly. But, you might argue, if a document management system (such as IDBDOCs) were well-used, it would support collaborative authoring.

So, what would a wiki add? A wiki would allow for collaboration of a more informal nature .... a wiki in the Bank would not be used to create a formal document, but to create a common language, to explore the establishment of standards for some processes or documents that are not standardized, and perhaps to create ideas and proposals.

An example: In preparation for a workshop last year, Juan Cristobal and I explored what an annual operative plan (POA) meant to different sector specialists in one COF . We looked at three or four examples of POAs and found them to be as different as night and day. I would have thought that something so operative and so much a part of the everyday management of project execution would be more standardized.

The lack of standards make the execution process a function of which sector specialist is responsible for the project.

SO... at this time, when the specialists of VPS become responsible for project execution, a wiki might be a very effective KM tool. Specialists could collaborate on key definitions, such as "POAs" (and several others). They would propose, discuss, edit and come up with a definition. As word got around about the discussion, it may begin to generate a "standard" (in an informal sense) or it may contribute to a proposal for a standard (in a more formal process).

Any thoughts?
Karen

Kyle said...

An example of a Wiki used for KM:
http://www.km4dev.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page