Say goodbye to e-mail – wikis are bringing the workplace together

I just ran into this story run by the Globe and Mail buried deep down in my bookmarks. It is an interesting take on how wikis are tending to replace email as a means of group communication and collaboration. As ScrumMaster, I’ve been running my sprints since February using wikis. I find that if used consistently, collaboratively and with discipline, by the entire group, they make for a powerful solution to:

1. Reduce time lost in reading, archiving and tracking emails (wikis provide for pull-style information access whereas I find email a solid push distraction)

2. Effectively track progress and ownership

3. Maintain transparency in the group as well as the organization

Erstwhile wiki hosting service JotSpot is now Google Sites. There are several others out there as well.

Excite and JotSpot founder Joe Kraus maintains an inspiring Google Site here.


3 Responses to “Say goodbye to e-mail – wikis are bringing the workplace together”

  1. PM Hut Says:

    I agree that there’s currently a lot of hype about wikis and how they’re reinventing communications.

    I think that lots of online Project Management applications out there can do the wiki job, and they have much better ACLs (not to mention the PM features such as graphs that are not usually wikis built-in). Your 3rd point is excellent but I think it might not be valid in all cases…

  2. Kartik Says:

    Thanks for your comment.
    What I’m talking about here specifically is management at the [sub-]task level, not at the project level. In other words, an effective way for a self-organizing team of developers to divide tasks amongst themselves and track progress. An example of this is how I use the wiki as a bug tracking system – anybody organization-wide can log defects, and anybody from the dev team can fix them and scratch them out, leaving it to the testing team to routinely test the scratched out items and tag them “done”.
    For the 3rd point, I agree that not all information can be made public all the time. One of the things I use wikis are for publishing retrospection/root cause analysis results. This helps us as well as other teams, and is a little less awkward than sending an email to *everyone* saying “we made some mistakes and would like you to learn from them” 😉 Again: push vs pull…

  3. Kartik Says:

    Google Spreadsheets become wikis. Good for wikichat 😉

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