The in-house wiki does not only describe processes, it also gives instructions, like a manual, and bundles the specific rules on how the system should be used.
Anglo Belgian Corporation (ABC) produces diesel engines for use in large ships, locomotives and power stations.
Flow developed a wiki for ABC employees to help them use their new ERP system (Enterprise Resource Planning). Employees can also contribute themselves by adding information. That way, the wiki works as a learning instrument and as a communication tool, and helps with the issues that come with a fundamental change like a new ERP system (change management).
3 goals: help, insight, collaboration
To ease the transition from the existing ERP system to the new one, the system’s supplier provided a lot of documentation. The programmers also made a manual tailored to the needs of Anglo Belgian Corporation. However, ABC wanted to add something to that. There was a need to make the information easily accessible and to get everyone more involved in the project. Staff and co-workers also had to be able to exchange knowledge about the project, to ensure a smooth adoption of the new ERP system. In addition, ABC wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to provide everyone with insights into the ‘engine’ that drives the organization itself: the business processes. Employees needed to have a broad understanding of the organizational processes and of their role or the role of specific departments such as Finance or Production.
Sharing knowledge using a wiki
As a wiki is an open system, the choice was quickly made. You can grant access easily and people who want to share information about a certain subject can edit the wiki page. That’s a significant benefit. The wiki solution allows employees who have more experience with the new ERP-system to share their insights, advice and best practices with less experienced colleagues. In collaboration with the programmers and ABC’s project team, Flow first made a draft version of the wiki. The organizational processes were visualized by clickable image maps that take users to step-by-step instructions. Essential tasks were given priority, like creating a purchase invoice. Gaps were filled. By carefully documenting everything, the software also received a thorough end-user test.
The indispensable reference source for the ERP project
The wiki quickly received recognition within the organization. Some articles were discussed via mail or in a meeting and adjusted after consultation. During training sessions, the wiki was likewise referred to as a tool for reference and collaboration. That way, numerous minor problems were prevented that would otherwise have taken a lot of precious time for the project team to resolve. A co-worker from Finance who was already well acquainted with the ERP system, for instance, soon adjusted a couple of wiki pages about his area of expertise. These pages were later on used during a training. To prevent the wiki from becoming a barrier instead of a useful tool in the knowledge sharing, Flow plans a follow-up training for staff and co-workers at Anglo Belgian Corporation.