Less checking, quicker to learn
The MediaWiki has also shown its worth when inducting new members of staff, said Przybilla.
“If you don’t yet have the products and prices in your head, you can look them up here without having to phone or send an email, so we free up time and resources.” This increase in efficiency shows itself even more strongly in process documentation.
Depending on what they need to know, the members of staff can go into the functional details of an individual software module and trace step by step through its workflow. Anke Przybilla gives a illustrative example: “Suppose the car dealership Bauer wants an evaluation of the references to the brands of cars it sells, and wants this to exclude police reports or other peripheral mentions. Well, various standard exclusion filters are shown to the researchers via abbreviations in the relevant work module. These abbreviations can be looked up in the wiki.”
Picture: Screenshot of the BlueSpice MediaWiki at Landau Media
Bring the employees along with you from the start
You can look up these terms, abbreviations and work steps at will in the BlueSpice MediaWiki, and with utmost precision via linked subpages without having to fight through pages of documentation or bothering other colleagues. “This makes it very rare to get enquiries by email or telephone.” A further advantage is that the possibility of looking up terminology or process sequences relevant to more than one department diversifies the skills of the members of staff. Everyone has access to everything and the principle is that everyone has the permissions to write, and so can correct mistakes or give tips.
When introducing the wiki, it’s important to bring the employees with you every step of the way. Landau Media learnt that with hindsight, admitted Przybilla. “Initially, we only gave one presentation but no concrete training course.” Now it is good practice to train the employees individually and repeatedly to make clear the real uses of the MediaWiki. “This is very valuable, and I’m always getting positive feedback.” In the meantime, Przybilla has established a regular series in which she gives her colleagues tips and tricks for successfully using the wiki.
It is also useful to determine editors responsible for each department. These editors consider the content and its logical linkage – after all, there are sixteen different areas at Landau Media. Starting with research, analysis and press reviews, going through media logistics, customer advisory services, sales and quality management, right up to personnel and IT – just to name a few. Przybilla explains, “this creation of responsibility ensures that the MediaWiki is regularly and skilfully maintained so that the content is always up-to-date and outdated content is pruned away. This saves time intensive clean ups down the road.”
Productive interchange with other users
Currently, the MediaWiki Landau Media is coming to the conclusion of an upgrade to BlueSpice3. This has many new features, but also new functions, which need to be imparted to the members of staff. Just like for the MediaWiki’s introduction, it is useful here to have an in-house training course from Hallo Welt! GmbH. This is given for admins, who then act a multipliers in the wider organisation. The free webinars which are also offered on BlueSpice MediaWiki are also a positive, according to Przybilla. “But I really gained a lot at Come Together, an annual user meeting from Hallo Welt! GmbH. You can learn a great deal more there, from the experiences and ideas of other users, that could ever be possible just with training course.