A Wiki is a place for storing information, it’s a collaboration tool, and it’s a space for sharing. Everyone’s involved, no one sits on the sidelines. If something needs updating you have the power to do it, and so you should. This makes it’s a pretty reliable platform for retrieving up to date knowledge. We talk about how that works with our clients in the mix too.
To do this, we use a type of software called a Wiki. A Wiki is what you’d get if you had a virtual cocktail blender and mixed Word with a Blog and then threw in a Content Management System. And yes, Wiki like in Wikipedia.
But we use our Wiki in a slightly different way. Rather than just a receptacle for information, we use it to store meeting notes, brainstorms, wireframes, snippets of code, and even present visual designs. The aim is to try to get as much information on each project written down. By doing this, we’ve found that our Wiki has become our main interface with customers – a kind of a mixture of intranet and extranet.
The actual software we use is called Confluence, which is made by Atlassian. They did an interview with us as part of a customer case study:
We tried a number of different approaches, and looking back they were all based on a central editing model. A wiki made sense because we wanted everyone to be able to contribute and participate. It is also closer to the way that we like to work with our customers. By allowing everyone to be able to add and reshape content, more people became involved. We moved from one person slaving away creating pages and the rest of us having to wait for them, to a situation where one person gets the ball rolling, and then other people can join in to complete the task.
Say, for instance, we’ve created a design and need to show it to our client. First, a designer makes a page, attaches an image, and they’re done with their part. But then I might look at it and realise that it needs a bit more explanation, or a link to a wireframe diagram to give context. One of our developers might have also mocked up how a menu works, and so they stick in a link to that. Our client might email the link around, and then add some comments on the page. This kind of collaborative workflow is one of our strengths, and it is really important for us to be able to add these various types of content easily.
You can read more here.