Enter the Wiki…

It’s Thursday. Today was spent doing some prelminary work on the new wiki-based knowledge document I’m going to roll out soon. Read more to find out all the juicy details….

I’m using PmWiki. I researched several options, but settled on PmWiki. It has some nice features: works on just a Web Server (no MySQL server needed), it is flexible & expandable, page edits are easy and it has an RSS capability.

I am replacing two systems that, while providing a online place to store valuable info, just aren’t easy enough to use in our environment. I give props to my predecessors who set these systems up, but they are closed systems, not able to handle a changing knowledge set very easily. I applaud the idea of an online repository of the knowledge it takes to do what we do. I hope to take it the next level with the wiki-based document.

We have a bunch of freelancers (I’m actually the only staff person who edits) so we have a constantly revolving group of folks coming into the facility. There are workflow issues that continually seem to evolve. Something like a web-based document is an extremely good way to share the info among a group like this. The wiki feature set is perfect for this because it will allow us to capture all the bits and piece into a single document that is easily updatable by everyone in the process. The ease of updates, I hope, will keep the info fresh. Any errors will be easy to correct. The revision history will make it easy to track changes and provide accountability to ensure accuracy.

I know I sound like an advertisment for wikis, but I think I’m on to something. If I can begin to eliminate down time while someone seeks the answer of how to perform a given task, it will be worth the effort.

The system isn’t complete yet, but here is a screen of the beginnings:

The main menu sidebar. Links to the Edit suite pages and other rooms. Trying to figure out what the major category areas are. That’s what’s nice about the wiki – it’s fluid.

More on the progress as it evolves. I have to migrate the data out of the 2 previous, separate systems manually into the new system. I’m not crazy about that, but as with any kind of manual data migration – you get much more intimate with the data as you copy and paste and reshape it into the new system.

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