Wonderful Wiki Strategies – The Airservices Approach

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.

Picture: wallcoo.com

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.

Wikipedia: Wiki
Wikipedia: Wiki Software
ZDNet: Exploiting the Power of Enterprise Wikis
Fusion ECM: Enterprise Wiki Strategies

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9 Responses to Wonderful Wiki Strategies – The Airservices Approach

  1. This sounds like a great solution to the challenges of maintaining and distributing rosters. I like yammer for reaching a group of people but based on my experience maintaing a team calendar I really like Confluence as it provides a calendar with dates and months: I don’t think yammer has this does it? I can see one drawback for confluence is that it can only be edited by one person at a time whereas yammer allows multiple concurrent edits.

    • Hi Amanda. Thanks for the feedback. I have recently been introduce to Confluence, and based on what I have read so far, it looks like a really handy tool. I just checked out the calendar feature that you mentioned, and it looks amazingly useful. Pretty much fits the bill perfectly. And as far as rostering goes, I don’t think that it would be too big of a deal if the document was only editable by only one person at a time, so long as it can be viewed by multiple people at once. Thank you so much for the tip, I think that I might just look into this option a bit further. Very much appreciated.

  2. kocharshilpa says:

    Hi Candice,
    great post and i completely agree with you. Use of wiki as a roster will be a good solution to the problems that mismanagement of roster cause to the staff and the employees. The example you have sited is a practical one that most of us can relate to. You have listed almost all the benefits that this will have and still leaving your readers to suggest another one is a clever move :p
    Definitely this will help minimize the human errors which are very common otherwise with manual roster system and is a real time approach as well.
    Happy Blogging 🙂

  3. 2ndweb says:

    Hi Candice,
    Excellent post! I think that Air Services could definitely make use of Wiki’s to facilitate the delivery of staff rosters. There may be some issues that staff would need guidance around – especially relating to the organisation’s policies. For example, can staff update their own rosters? How often can they make changes? How do you ensure staff are working the required number of hours? etc. However, I think the collaborative, efficient and as you mentioned – accessible nature of the platform would be extremely beneficial to the organisation. The other benefit I can see is that by delivering rostering over Yammer (a critical business element – no roster, no pay!), staff will have to engage with the platform, and will be more likely to utilise it for other areas of their work, thus encouraging social collaboration and technology utilisation.

    Keep up the good work – look forward to next weeks post!

    Cheers, Ben 🙂

  4. ssarahmccarthyy says:

    Hi Candice,
    Great blog post. I love how you introduce wikis through the Hawaiian meaning of the word and provide conversational language throughout your post to keep the reader interested. Great idea for airports to use wikis for staff’s shifts, would definitely make rostering much easier.
    Thanks, Sarah.

  5. Pingback: Wikis for enhanced collaboration with external parties – Airservices case study part II « inn346qut

  6. inn346qut says:

    Great post as always! It’s a very creative use of a wiki 🙂 And I see it the same way as Amanda, it’s not going to be easy to implement it within a simple wiki but that’s just the problem with the wording of the assignment. You look for use cases of wikis and than come up with not optimal answers because you think you need to write about wikis. Same for my post btw. 😉 However, I think the concept behind your idea stays true that’s the most important thing 🙂

    Cheers, Alex

  7. Pingback: Internal Social Networking for Airservices: Can getting employees to talk to each other boost engagement? | candiceruddle

  8. Pingback: Wicked Wikis! « AURELIE @QUT

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