Monday, 13 November 2017

Benefits of using Wiki's over Office documents

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.

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