Wiki helps Anglo Belgian Corporation with implementation of new ERP system

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.

ABC wiki
ABC wiki

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.