Many businesses around the world still use Microsoft Word, Open Office etc. to edit documents.
Employees typically have Word docs on their computer and send the latest versions on e-mail when needing to share information contained in the document.
Disadvantages of traditional Office documents
- Cumbersome for people who have previously received documents and now need to find that document by searching their e-mail inbox, local PC file-structure or a network file-share to find the right version. Usually you'll have to search multiple locations because you don't remember where the document is.
- People have to make new requests for updated versions of the document.
- The document author will have to send new versions or send it to new people who also want/should have access to the same information.
- It is difficult to know if there is information about a topic because these documents are not searchable so you waste time figuring out if information is available somewhere.
- Some people will end up doing wasted work because they don't know there is relevant and valuable information available that would affect your work.
- Some people will make (costly) mistakes because they don't know that (critical) information is available.
Advantages of Wiki
- Maintain a central content repository in one place. Easy and fast access. Everyone knows where to find information.
- There's a search feature where you can quickly find what you are looking for (no need to look through a directory structure on your own PC etc.).
- Supports collaboration. Several people can edit the document at the same time.
- You can add hyperlinks to other wiki pages.
- You get version history and rollback features.
- You can comment on someone else's wiki documents.
- You can get alerts when important / interesting documents are updated.
- You strengthen innovation capacity in your organization by facilitating sharing of knowledge and ideas.
- You contribute to an openness culture, which in turn increases employee satisfaction.
When not to use a Wiki
- Sensitive and secret information.
- Documents to be printed that needs a special layout.
- Documents such as contracts that are not to be modified.
- Documents to be shared with external persons.