Welcome one and all. Nice to see your smiling faces once again. So, the subject of the week is Wikis. I don’t know about you, but the name sort of produces mental images of a beautiful beach hut surrounded by palm trees, coconuts and white sanded beaches for me.
Which, when you come to think of it, really isn’t that unusual, considering the term is derived from a Hawaiian word meaning quick. However, unlike the description that I provided, wikis are actually internet based pages that can be edited by multiple users. The most famous of all being Wikipedia.
Honestly, who doesn’t love Wikipedia? If you have a question about just about anything, chances are, you’ll find the answer you’re looking for on Wikipedia. So many people have put their time, effort and knowledge into compiling this huge bank of information for all the world to share.
Now, image if you could take the idea behind Wikipedia (a whole bunch of really smart people, sharing their knowledge) and make it just about stuff that you need to know for work. Well you can. Enterprise wiki software allows companies to implement their own wikis that staff can edit to share information between teams, work groups, projects or everybody within the organisation depending on their needs. This way they can utilise all of the knowledge and expertise of all their staff, and make it available to other staff who can benefit from it.
Quick refresher before we get started
Do you remember my post from last week? The one where I introduced you to Airservices? You know, the company that my team and I will be doing our assignment on? You: “Yes Candice”. Good. Now that we’ve got that sorted, we can start to think a bit about how Airservices could make use wikis to enhance their business procedures.
What’s the Wiki Strategy?
Look, there are a lot of ways any organisation can make use of wikis to improve communication amongst staff and gather and share information, but the particular strategy that I am going to look at this week is staff rostering. Airservices has staff at sites all over the country, and a good portion of these staff work shift. Because of the vital role that Airservices provides to the Australian aviation community, they must have staff working around the clock. This is not just the air traffic controllers directing aircraft, but the technical staff supporting the systems that they use. These staff all work on a rotating shift roster, which, as any of you who have ever worked on any sort of roster know, is continuously updated to accommodate holidays, sick staff, mutual swaps and training. And, we all know how annoying it is, when the roster is changed, and you don’t know about it and you either don’t turn up for work when you are supposed to, or you turn up when you are supposed to be still snuggled up in bed.
How could Airservices use make wikis work for them?
By implementing a Wiki for the purpose of staff rostering, staff would be able to view their current roster over the internet at any time. This would be beneficial to staff on leave, as they would be able to access the current roster from home to see if any changes to their regular shifts have been planned. This would reduce the number of times staff come in (or don’t) for the wrong shift and would mean that all staff are always across when other team members will be unavailable for work. Of course, edits to the roster wiki would have to be restricted only to rostering staff, but it could also be beneficial to include a page where staff can edit a table outlining the leave that they would like to take. This would allow staff to have a view of when other staff will be on leave as well as update their leave requests when they are out of the office.
Do you have any particular wiki software in mind?
As I mentioned last week, Airservices have recently started using Yammer. Yammer would be perfect for this purpose as it can be accessed from anywhere via a web browser and allows for security controls to be placed on pages. This would give Airserives the ability to create a group for each shift team and assign privileges to the members determining which members of staff can edit the page contents, and who is only allowed to view it.
What do you think? Would this be a more efficient way of maintaing a shift roster? Can you think of any other benefits that could be gained from taking this approach?
Thanks again everybody for reading. I’ll see you all next time.