Why would an organization want to use wiki?

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There is much talk on Wiki being the next killer app and how it can potentially solve the world hunger problem 🙂

I wonder if Wiki is all hype or is there some truth to it? Why would an organization use wiki? or more importantly in what contexts would wiki be useful for an organization? What kind of organizational information lends nicely to be on Wiki?

In my view it depends on what is it that you want there? Could be organizational policies? Maybe NOT May be YES. It depends on how bold the organization is. Theoratically you can have mechanisms that ONLY few people in the oragnizationcan edit and change these policy pages and rest can comment on those. However this is against the fundamental spirit of Wiki and people are smart enough to recognize that fact and may get turned off [Having said that, even this would be a welcome approach if followed by organizations of involving all their employees and such approaches can be implemented though either Wiki or other regular smart web applications/content management systems].

What else could be there from an organizational context?
Processes? Could be a candidate where processes keep evolving — for example in IT industry where processes have to be tailored continuously for various kind of engagements. For example development processes in mainframe or embedded systems have things in common but are yet different at ground level, even within that we could have tailoring of processes for large/small engagements etc… The most suitable people to do this are all the practioners in the organization and what better way of doing it than Wiki?

Yes this is a radical approach — but so is wikipedia! If an organization can’t go the whole hog with allowing ALL practitioners participate in the evolution/tailoring of processes through wiki, the first step can be to have the team that is responsible for processes use wiki and then place stuff from wiki into the actual procceses repository…

Prevalent assumption within the organizations/barriers to Wiki: Wiki asa concept is radically different and contrary to the traditional top down, command & control approach [Which in their belief is tried and tested]. Users want to get the credit for work — in Wiki how do you define credit taking? , users want to control things [with wiki not just one but everyone who participates would get also get credit..] [With wiki, you can’t control thoughts/ideas from other people..]

Some examples: journalist/authors use it to do write collaborative papers/articles..


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