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March 28, 2008


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We are struggling with this right now. We started in my department with a grassroots effort, but as word got out people become involved that want governance models, support plans, and a mandate. I am concerned that without some senior management direction that we will have multiple departments using different technologies and our knowledge will end up like it is today - housed in silos that the rest of the organization can't see or can't enter. Recommendations on keeping the grassroots zeal with a management mandate?


David, I think that if everyone is using the same wiki, growth and learning can be developed as it is organized. If everyone is using different wiki/systems within in your organization, then yes, silos is a strong outcome. If everyone is "playing" in the one wiki at your organization then seeing how it is used will emerge and structure can be implied from that.

Eric Litman

There's another piece to the adoption side: wikis, and at a broader scale, departmental or enterprise-wise RSS solutions, can fill the relevance gap increasingly found in the often exceptionally low signal to noise ratio of corporate inboxes. Lacking top-down solutions -- and Blackberries are NOT the solution, but rather a big part of the problem -- project teams and workgroups now have low-cost, low-barrier tools they can deploy in search of a Better Way.

At some point, there's value in moving wikis up the strategy chain to get them integrated into other internal systems, but given the significant new user behaviors required to fit them into workflow, establishing their value from the ground up has a far better shot at helping them find organizational permanence than a top-down mandate.

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