Monday 8 October 2007

Collaborating in Workspaces

As part of my dissertation, I have been exploring the concept of employees working in "spaces" rather than on siloed PC's or shared folder drives. I have been expanding my enterprise workshop manager idea. There are 2 reasons for this:

  1. By having informal discussions with colleagues, I realised that an enterprise would want much more than a workshop manager. They were all pointing me towards some method of capturing the knowledge created in a workshop, linking to the relevant output documents and giving the content some context.

  2. When I started looking at enterprise wiki solutions, I realised how powerful they are. With the emphasis on simplicity, I was able to focus more on the content instead of worrying how the small pieces would fit together.

The main product I have been looking at is Confluence from Atlassian. I had heard alot about this product from other bloggers, so I decided to have a look for myself. I have found it very easy to use so far, and most importantly, Confluence does the simple things right.

So what does the use of an enterprise wiki offer? Well I am loving the concept of working in "spaces". A space is created for a project, many pages (overviews, documents, attachments, conversations etc) are created within this space providing a better visualisation of the project for its participants.

There are the more obvious advantages also - reduction in the use of shared folder drives, better document versioning, reduction of email spaghetti. Overall, I just love the look and feel of working in a project space, allowing me to access all relevant documentation in a searchable, taggable, personalisable space.

One interesting thing I will be looking at will be the comparison of a low-cost product such as Confluence with an enterprise giant such as Lotus Quickplace.

More to come on what I am actually doing, not getting much time to blog at the mo!

1 comment:

Doug Cornelius said...

Colin -

Of the Enterprise 2.0 technologies, I think wikis hold the most promise.

One thing I am cautious of, is having one big enterprise wiki. My current strategy is to deploy wikis to communities of practice. The biggest reason is the ability to subscribe to the RSS feed for the entire wiki for that community and see what your community is doing.

The other reason is that a wiki is not an answer to everything. By combing the wiki with other resources of the community of practice you make lots of tools available for them to capture their collaboration.