Factors for the success of Wikis

The Atlassian confluence blog has published the first of a series of post looking at some of the factors that determing whether the implementation of a wiki will be successful or not. In this first post called "Technology is important but not King" the author looks at the challenges technology poses.

The first point the author makes is that the Technological challenge is often over-complicated writing that "...these technology factors are only about one-third of the equation for a successful Wiki introduction"

As the author says it is still important to bear in mind a number of issues, including the following:

  • Choosing the right wiki software - obvious yes but crucial to the success of any wiki project. Choose the wrong product and you're going to end up with a wiki that no one is going to use.
  • System operation - you need to decide early on whether you want your wiki to be hosted externally, from your own PC or internally hosted. For most companies the latter will be the obvious choice
  • Technology infrastructure in the company - put simply this is about checking whether your infrastructure can support the wiki e.g. if you're using IE6 and it's not compatible with the product
  • Integration and Single Sign On (SSO) - I cant stress how important this! if you don't have SSO you'll just presenting users with another username and password they have to enter.
  • The position of the Wiki software in relationship to other systems - it's really important to think about how the wiki will interact with other systems, will users be able to push content to the wiki and vice-versa.
  • Evaluation of Plugins - there are a huge number of plugins available for a product like Confluence but it's important to remember that they're not all stable so thorough evaluation is required before installing them. Once they're installed their use should be documented as future upgrades of the wiki software may affect their performance.

A great post on some of the really important issues to think about when purchasing and using wiki software.