Collaboration across the enterprise is quite the bugaboo. Getting yourself and a friend to work together on a project is simple. Getting everyone in your group together isn’t so difficult either. But getting an entire company to collaborate using social tools like wikis and blogs is quite a task. It’s not easy, and it takes a lot of trial and error and coaxing.
At Silicon Valley Code Camp, I chatted with Peter Thoeny, CTO of Twiki, which started out as a wiki for the workplace. But it’s also a box of LEGO, he says, which you can use to build your own Web or workflow application that can run within the wiki.
Thoeny offers up a couple of simple solutions for enterprise collaboration:
Replace “E-mail All” with internal blogs – One client of Twiki’s was having a problem with employees taking advantage of “E-mail All.” The casual “send to all” for multiple messages a day was clogging the company’s mail servers, so Twiki proposed a series of department-specific internal blogs that allowed for editorial control. The content was visible on the company’s homepage, and a weekly e-mail was sent to all employees, offering highlights from the blog. The solution reduced the e-mail all messages to just one a day.
Wikify the company – File attachments are so yesterday. They’re also useful only the people who receive them. And those people often don’t save or store them in a place where they can find them later. Conversely, if a document is publicly available on a wiki, you just send a link. The content is now stored in an open corporate setting and has value to all, not just the intended recipients.