Wikipatterns videos, and more wiki multimedia stuff …

OK, I have to admit it – I failed. While I wanted to add Stewart’s videos on wiki adoption onto this site as soon as he put them up, add some of my own thoughts and elaborate on this stuff, I missed the easy opportunities of blog fodder miserably …

Perhaps it may appease you that I’ve been able to do some very cool client projects instead, visited cool conferences and Barcamp-alike events, presented and evangelized wiki stuff and more …

Anyway, as a follow-up I guess it’s my duty to link to the stuff you missed out, so here you go, there you’ll find all of Stewarts videos, he’s covering a wide range of wiki adoption issues and potential usage arenas.

Today, and with reference to tomorrow’s WikiWednesdayStuttgart I will only embed one video – on project management with wikis:

And if you’re looking for the other wiki multimedia stuff, there’s another post in a minute or so.

Wikipatterns – book review


Stewart Mader, author of “Wikipatterns – A Practical Guide to Improving Productivity and Collaboration in Your Organization” provided me with a copy – and I promised to write a review in exchange, both on Amazon which I did and here in my blog. Two disclosures are necessary, yes, Stewart’s working for Atlassian, provider of enterprise wiki Confluence, but it doesn’t shine through, this book is independent, and no, I didn’t receive any perks or goodies to make me write a positive review.

Now, I am planning to offer a session on wiki patterns and success factors of corporate wiki implementations at the upcoming BarCamp Mitteldeutschland next weekend, so this review is timely.

The main goals of this book are to provide practical advice and a toolbox of wiki patterns for encouraging wiki use, and it’s a really nice and handy resource indeed. The collection of patterns is systematized along people patterns, adoption patterns, people anti-patterns and adoption anti-patterns, all in relation to context, problem and solution/work-around. This way it supports proper use of this wide set of tools, as one can check whether, when, what, why and how to use a specific approach, and also what to do when counter-indicators are there. Moreover, this book is filled with practical examples, case studies and interviews with wiki champions, that demonstrate the real-life complexities too, e.g. that a successful wiki introduction in organizations needs a number of different roles interplaying.

Overall I can say that I really enjoyed Wikipatterns, even when most of the ideas and concepts weren’t new to me – I am following the corresponding wikipatterns wiki from the start and I do argue mostly along the lines of wikipatterns when consulting and working with implementation projects. In fact my wiki consulting toolbox contained wiki patterns all along, i.e. for several years, yet without me calling them that way.

grass rootsNow this book isn’t for consultants in the enterprise social space alone, it’s also an excellent read for managers and people who want to introduce a more collaborative way of working into their organisations and who are pondering wiki use: It’s an eye-opener, especially because it shows that success doesn’t come easily with wikis (does it with any tool?), and that it takes some effort and commitment. So, Wikipatterns both advises for a thorough needs analysis before starting off with wikis and to proceed swiftly and from a grass-roots starting point. For example Stewart makes it perfectly clear that Wikipedia isn’t the only use case to follow, that an organization’s wiki hasn’t much to do with Wikipedia, nor has it much to learn from it. I agree, and would add that choosing the right wiki engine is a success factor too and choosing a wiki engine shouldn’t be done lightly (like the folks who choose Mediawiki because everybody does it …) and without thorough analysis of actual corporate needs.

So, to close this entry (and somehow squarely with Amazons reviewer rules which ask you to give up your rights on your very own words …) I enclose my Amazon review, where I focussed more on the change management implications this book offers:

Stewart Maders “Wikipatterns – A Practical Guide To Improving Productivity and Collaboration In Your Organization” is a very well-written book that informed and enlightened me in many ways, giving me both ideas and inspiration.

On the outside it’s a well-filled tool-box of approaches and “implementation patterns”, complete with case studies and interviews with organizational pilot-users and implementers of enterprise wikis, that makes it suitable for “beginning wiki implementers”.

But while the primary focus is on “how to implement a wiki in an organization”, and the many paths and opportunities are treated comprehensively and with a hands-on-approach, it’s **also** an excellent book on “how to keep the energy levels up”, i.e. how to ensure the success of the organizations wikis in the long term.

Wiki patterns is thus also becoming essential reading for anyone involved in scaling and large-scale roll-outs of social software in the enterprise, i.e. for organizational architects, managers and consultants that want to understand the relations of organizational change management and social software.

Wikipatterns, success factors and consulting

There’s another interesting article in the BusinessWeek feature on wikis in the enterprise, called “No Rest for the Wiki“, where short examples of corporate wikis, like e.g. Intels Intelpedia, are introduced.

Worthy to note is that these enterprise wikis started out as small maverick projects by enthusiastic proponents and evangelists, who attracted followers and traction by “word of mouth” and “giving good example”.

This resonates well with Wikipatterns, an initiative by Atlassian, makers of enterprise wiki Confluence. Wikipatterns collects and organizes common patterns and anti-patterns of wiki adoption in the enterprise. It supports wiki evangelists and wiki consultants alike, because the patterns are both generally applicable and because they help in focusing change management efforts and attention in implementation efforts. While we all know that motivating employees to contribute is an old question of people management and organizational management, wikis and other social software are putting up both new opportunities and new problems.

This is an interesting work area for social software consultants, because when companies don’t have the time (and organizational slack) to experiment, when internal wiki proponents have no (promotion and decision) power, and when manpower is lacking they can leverage their specialized knowledge and expertise.

Indeed, as a consultant my main job is in explaining to companies the hows and whys of wikis and their effective use in the enterprise, i.e. proposing adoption paths, planning implementation projects and helping to upstart and trigger wiki adoption. So guidelines, best practices and systematic sets of success factors help in the “selling” of wikis to firms, again both by internal proponents and by external consultants like me when called in to consult on wiki projects.

Moreover, I think that both bottom-up, grass-roots and management sponsored projects can profit from the collected wikipatterns. And as more and more collaboration initiatives are leaving “skunkworks-state” it becomes yet more important to know how to engage those willing to participate and those who hesitate. Again, implementation efforts that target broad internal adoption need a powerful set of tools.

But this is not all. Social software consulting in my mind also entails helping companies to embrace the collaborative nature of web 2.0, so that they can take advantage of what it offers. Hence it becomes clear that social software consultants must master a wider vision of wikis and social software, Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 alike. Consultants must also reach across the fields of organizational change management, organizational design and strategy, because wiki usage is both happening in contexts and designed for tasks that are defined by organizational strategy. So creating the right environment for wikis is not restricted to some kind of change management and wiki uptaking coaching, but needs to understand and use principles, methods and tools of strategy-level consulting when due.

Let me give you just one example: strategies like Open Innovation and Mass Collaboration, where wikis and other social software can be used to facilitate collaboration. Consulting in this space may (and will) touch social software aspects, but the groundwork and basics are of an organizational (and strategic) nature. Lucky me, I am not a one-trick wiki pony, see some other areas of expertise.

Confluence Community Day 2009 – Erfolgsfaktoren der Wiki-Einführung

Hier folgen nun die Folien meines Vortrags am Confluence Community Day 2009 (“Muster und Erfolgsfaktoren von Enterprise Wikis”) und ein kleiner Rückblick auf die Veranstaltung.

Mir ging es bei meinem Vortrag – wie im Interview angekündigt – vor allem darum die Komplexität der Aufgabe deutlich zu machen. Dies nicht so sehr um den Teilnehmern Angst zu machen (oder gar vor Wikiprojekten zu warnen), sondern um den Anspruch, die Konsequenzen aber auch den potenziellen Nutzen aufzuzeigen.

Im Mittelpunkt der Argumentation standen die Design Patterns von Christopher Alexander, deren (durchaus freie) Interpretation in Form von Wikipatterns und Ideen zur Implementierung. Dass dabei Unternehmensrealitäten und Informationspathologien eine Rolle spielen ist selbstverständlich – Wikis setzen an der Unternehmensrealität an bzw. spiegeln diese wider. Die Akzeptanz eines Wikis in einer Organisation hängt so mehr von einem angemessenen Vorgehen bei der Einführung ab, als vielen Akteuren häufig bewusst ist … und die Einführung eines Wikis sollte von einem geeigneten Change-Management-Prozess begleitet werden. Gerade im Kontext von Enterprise 2.0 sind wir da schon weit in der Diskussion – und verstehen dieses immer mehr als “social business design” und immer weniger als technologieorientiertes IT-Thema.

Was wurde in den Diskussionen und im Open-Space sonst noch deutlich: Zum einen – und wieder einmal – wurde klar dass die Verortung von Wikis an Wikipedia (und auch die Namensgebung Wiki selbst)  die unternehmensinterne Verwendung einschränkt. Zum anderen ist mir aufgefallen, wie positiv die Mischung aus erfahrenen Anwendern, Technologen und Beratern für eine solche Veranstaltung ist – zum einen ergeben sich so schnell “interdisziplinäre” und  gerade daurch interessante Gespräche, zum anderen ist der Blick über den Tellerrand stets erfrischend. Vielen Dank an das Team von Communardo für die Organisation des gelungenen Community-Events!

Hier aber endlich die versprochenen Folien:

Weitere Notizen zum #ccd09 sind u.a. bei Joachim Niemeier,  Simon Dückert, Kai Nehm und im Communote-Tech-Blog zu finden. Björn hat zudem live-mitgebloggt, einige der Notizen sind hier im enterprise2open-Blog zu finden.

Wiki While You Work

This is just a short mental note for me that James Matheson is inviting us to collaborate on a wiki book called “Wiki while you work”claiming hoping that in the end we’ll have “a logical path for the successful deployment of wiki technology in […] organisations […].

It’s licensed under a Creative Commons license – CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

A well-received addition (competitive or complementary) to the WikiPatterns wiki that was initiated by Stewart Mader.

Oh, and you may search my frogpond blog for more posts re: wiki patterns et al.

Posted via web from frogpond’s posterous