M&S was engaged by ABC, a publicly traded company, for a multi-national Oracle initiative. Upon joining, M&S recognized the need to easily share, collaborate, and centrally publish information. Knowledge and information was inside the minds of stakeholders, key individuals, and the many other people involved at different points in the project. Overly lengthy meetings and numerous emails were the main forms of extracting information for the project and within the organization — communications that were becoming increasingly inefficient and inaccurate as pieces to the puzzle were lost or became stale. They had many people from many groups contributing to the project and needed a web-based environment designed specifically for open, immediate collaboration by any contributor.
The value of Web/Enterprise 2.0 social software was no longer a secret reserved only for the most cutting-edge — or as some might have labeled them, “bleeding-edge” — organizations. M&S reviewed potential products available on the market (early 2006) and decided on TWiki. TWiki is a flexible, powerful structured wiki and application framework. Wikis are designed to be user-friendly out-of-the-box, but like any enterprise solution, there are important considerations when setting up a solution for broad user adoption. In the case of something so powerful like TWiki, our main implementation work was related to ensuring extraneous features and functionality were made unavailable so as to become even simpler to the end-user.
Within two weeks of deciding to implement the M&S solution, the application was available to the customer, hosted by M&S Consulting. M&S provided training sessions to ensure team members were familiar with adding and updating content on the Wiki and users were publishing information: more volume and with more speed than expected. Years later, after the large implementation was completed and rolled-out to the organization, the M&S Wiki remains the source of information that people go to for a glimpse into the thoughts, ideas, and impetuous for decisions made at the time.
Having the information readily and centrally accessible through the web means that old email archives and any other creative means to get at old communications are simply not required. Further initiatives have learned from the success and more M&S Wikis have been implemented for them as well.