Tag Archives: web 2.0

Wicked Wikis!

3 Oct

Today we keep on investigating how web 2.0 tools can help companies improve their businesses. Do you remember that last week I talked about microblogging and how it could help improve corporate collaboration? Well, time to discover what else the mysterious world of web technology has to offer. I will again illustrate my statements using  Air Services as an example. Through my different posts you will therefore be able to see how all these tools can actually work together to come up with a real Web 2.0 implementation plan for this company.

Ready? Let’s talk about Wikis!

Yes, Wiki as in Wikipedia, which I know we all are familiar with. I’m sure that each of us have at least once use Wikipedia to find out about the Tajikistan’s population, Justin Bieber’s discography or the history of the creation of the corkscrew. No? Ok maybe I’m curious about weird things, but it doesn’t matter what you are looking for, you can find it on Wikipedia. As far as I’m confident that you all use it, do you actually know how this website works? Where do all these pages of information come from?

Wikipedia is simply one example of what a Wiki is: A wiki is a website that allows users to add and update content on the site using their own web browser. Through a collaborative effort of the site visitors, pages are created, text and images are added, link to other pages are included, creating this huge database of knowledge that anyone can edit.

Some advantages of Wikis are that:

  • Contributions are made by a big number of people with different perspectives, making the content rich.
  • The quality of the content is high since contributors are incentivized to share helpful and relevant information otherwise their edit will be deleted by other users.
  • The wiki can grow very fast since the number of contributors can be huge.
  • Wikis are flexible and easy to use.

Because of the flexibility of this tool, Wikis can be used by organisation in many ways:

  • Managing meetings and calendar
  • Knowledge management
  • File archivage
  • Brainstorming and innovative thinking
  • Reference material and operations guide
I am going to focus on the latter use of Wikis.
Air Services is operated by 3 different teams that works together to insure safe and sound air traffic:
  • Air Traffic Control manages Australia’s airspace
  • Aviation Rescue and Fire Fighting solves a wide range of incidents from medical emergencies to fire fighting
  • Projects & Engineering designs, develops and maintain technological systems

Because Air Services business is highly specialized, a set of procedures is linked to each team. It is critical that each team working on similar tasks are kept in sync and follow the same guidelines to achieve maximum efficiency and coherence.I would therefore recommend Air Services to set up a Wiki per department, stating a procedure check-list, an operations manual or any other instructions related to their job.The goal here is to simply write down the recipe of the department success.

This is even more critical for Air Services as they have to deal with the issue of an ageing workforce. Indeed, because the business is specialized, a high proportion of employees have a long career in the organization, and today, 67% are older than 40.
Staff retiring raises the problem of passing on knowledge to new recruits, and training them, which can really be time-consuming. Having a well written procedure guide already in place can speed up this process.
The manual can then be used as a reference material that guide employees towards doing a better job. If anyone doesn’t know what they need to do or how to do it, they can simply refer to the procedure guide.
Why use a wiki to do so?
Nobody really likes writing procedures manuals. It’s boring we know that. But what if everyone collaborated, writing down specifics as they do them, in the area of their expertise. Way easier don’t you think?
The flexibility of the wiki is also perfect should procedures evolve and updates be needed.
Still not convinced that it is the right tool?
Ok here are 2 more arguments: If  you are afraid of making a mistake in writing a procedure down, don’t worry you can track the history of all modifications and go back to a previous version of the manual.
And last but not least: it’s FREE!

As usual I will finish this post by providing some takeaways for a successful implementation of the new tool:
  • Use one unique wiki software. There is no need wasting time  training different people in using different wiki softwares.
  • As for every web 2.0 tool, TRAINING is key. Don’t expect people to spontaneously use a tool they are unfamiliar with. You need to lead them to use it slowly over time.
  • To avoid the risk of misuse of the wiki, the editing option should be made available only to registered members of the company. However, no moderation is needed. It is important to select who can participate in the wiki but the selected contributors should be trusted.
Do you know any company that are already using wikis in this way?

Feel free to read my team related posts about how Airservices can use wikis to:
manage knowledge (Andrew)

REFERENCES:

WEB 2.0 for Dummies

13 Aug

Am I the only one who thought that Doodle was just an iPhone app with this weird little alien jumping from platform to platform? That del.icio.us was a cooking blog? And Pandora the planet inhabited by the Na’vi in Avatar?

Yes? Oups! It’s high time for me to catch up with some of the Web 2.0 tools available.

After having randomly tested some of the tools hidden behind these mysterious names, I feel like I’ve just come out of a cave.

Image

How did I survive without all these amazing resources?

Here is a selection of my favourites that I intend to use on a regulars basis from now on:

GOOGLE READER

As I said in my previous post, I like fashion. I watch about 20 different blogs about streetsyle on a daily basis and I used to have them all classified in my favourite tab. It was really time-consuming to click on each link to see if a new article had been posted and not really handy.

 I always wondered what this RSS symbol meant and hallelujah it happens to lead to my salvation!

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a format used to syndicate news and other web content. Google reader enables me to grab these RSS feeds from the different blogs I’m interested in and display them for me to read without needing to visit each site individually.

New me: Save time and read even more blogs!

DOODLE

I think everyone is familiar with the hassle of having to plan a trip or a teamwork meeting. I usually spend hours or days calling and emailing my friends back and forth to find a convenient date.  I’m tired of having to hear about Pierre’s lunch scheduled with his Grandma on Sunday, Paul’s appointment with the dentist or Jacques’ hot-dog eating competition.

With Doodle I’m going to cut down on my paracetamol bill! It is really easy to use and you don’t even have to sign up.

The user simply creates a poll with different timeslots. Participants can then vote for the date and time that suit them, and the user can choose the best matches for the group.

New me: Less headaches, know less about my friends’ weird hobbies.

DROPBOX

I actually discovered this tool a week ago through a friend that wanted to get hold of the pictures I’ve been taking since I arrived in Australia.

Posting my photos on Facebook could have been an option but their definition would have been reduced. My USB key was too small to share all my pictures through one unique transfer and emailing wasn’t an option either since I would have had to send hundreds of emails to get all my files to her.

Using a Dropbox came to her as the best solution to exchange our pictures in a secure and fast way.

Dropbox is a tool that allows you to store your files and retrieve them whatever computer you are using. This is called cloud computing. You simply drag the documents you want to save in a folder and you connect to your Dropbox using any device anywhere in the world if you want to access them. The best thing about this tool is that you can easily share your recorded files by sending a link to your folder to any other users.

New me: Finally have some pictures of myself in Australia

The new super organized version of myself wishes you a nice day!

Here is a quick poll to have an idea of which tools are used the most:

Web 2.0 Applications

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