Putting 'Knowledge management 2.0' into practice : the process of setting up a wiki as a knowledge management tool in a public library
Documentation and information
Proceedings of the 9th European Conference on knowledge management
9th European Conference on Knowledge Management, SEP 04-05, 2008, Southampton Sloent Univ, Southampton, ENGLAND
, p. 807-816
University of Antwerp
This paper describes the process of setting up a wiki for knowledge management purposes and at the same time proposes an overall approach for organisations that want to facilitate knowledge sharing through a social software tool like a wiki. The public library of Vlissingen (Holland) has always been concerned with creating and sharing knowledge in order to improve organisational effectiveness, both for itself as for its customers. A knowledge management audit - organised last year - was the first step in developing a knowledge management strategy. This audit revealed that the intranet as a knowledge management system was hardly used by library workers, because it lacked interactivity, the contents were often out of date etcetera. After an evaluation of alternative knowledge management systems, it was decided to replace the intranet with an internal wiki. The term 'wiki' refers to both wiki sites and the software used to maintain them. Wikis can be and are used in multiple ways as conversational knowledge management systems and/or as knowledge repositories to support the goals of organisations, including libraries. Moreover, wikis offer numerous advantages: they can be easily edited so that knowledge can be captured and authored collectively, new pages can be created with ease, the content can be updated in real time, little user training is required, et cetera. The process of setting up the wiki in our library took several months and was divided into six phases. During the first phase the workplace culture and environment were evaluated. Potential requirements and uses for the wiki were identified. Designing the wiki involved issues like technical implementation, visual design and establishing the initial content. In the test-phase, a representative group of users - so-called early adopters - were selected to run a pilot. Finally, the wiki was launched and brief training sessions were held to inform users about the wiki and to motivate them to capture and share knowledge through the wiki. In the near future, the wiki will be evaluated by means of a set of predefined critical success factors.