Use a Wiki to Run Your Business More Efficiently

Share this article

Wikis have been around for a while, but their application to individual business needs seems to be growing. Not only are wikis a great way to collect information, but they also allow for easier collaboration, version tracking and file management – all vital features for any type of client project or team-based work. Plus, there are many more uses that may be less obvious.

Why Use a Wiki

While there are certainly some great, feature-heavy and flexible project management tools out there, a good wiki (that’s set up well for the specific use) can compete with the best of them. Some of the biggest benefits of using a wiki include:
  • Wikis are like a blank sheet of paper that you can fold, arrange and format in a way that suits you best.
  • Most wikis, because they don’t have the structure of a project management tool, have a very low learning curve.
  • A wiki can be a central location for all data related to a project or client that’s accessible from anywhere.
  • Wikis promote collaboration and reduce version issues.
  • Many wikis are free or very low cost.

How to Use a Wiki

Wikis can be used in so many ways, and the best part is the flexibility. Here are some ways you can use a wiki in your business. Project Management You can make a wiki an alternative to a project management tool that organizes client data, files and task lists. Many times, the custom setup and limited restrictions make a wiki more effective and less intimidating to use. File Archive
Another common use for a wiki in business is as a repository for business files – meeting notes, agendas, calendars, event data, etc. Having one general location for these files that’s accessible by everyone can be instrumental in keeping the team on the same page. Support A wiki can be used publicly (with open or closed contributions), providing support documentation for software, or answers to frequently asked questions about your product or service. Operations Guide One of my favorite uses for a wiki is an operations guide. I have used wikis to document processes for my own business as well as my clients’ businesses. This can be valuable when you have a team working on similar tasks and need to keep everyone in sync. Plus, it’s great to have a guide already in place should you ever need someone to fill in for you without experiencing prolonged downtime. Collaboration You can use a wiki as a working space for in-development ideas – publications with multiple authors, collaborative projects with colleagues, or any endeavor that requires participation by more than one person. Notebook On an individual basis, you can use a wiki as your own private workspace where you brainstorm, collect links, make lists and generate new ideas.

What Wiki to Use

There are so many wiki tools available that it can take some time and quite a bit of research to find the wiki that best fits your needs. Click over to the second part of this series, Pick a Winner: How to Choose the Right Wiki for Your Business, which provides wiki-selection guidance, a list of wiki tools, as well as a useful wiki comparison site to help you narrow down your options. Image credit: Stephanie Hofschlaeger

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Using a Wiki for Business

What are the key benefits of using a wiki for business?

Wikis offer numerous benefits for businesses. They serve as a centralized repository for company knowledge, making it easier for employees to find and share information. They promote collaboration by allowing multiple users to contribute and edit content. Wikis also keep track of all changes, providing a clear audit trail. They can be used for project management, documentation, training, and more.

How secure is a business wiki?

The security of a business wiki depends on the platform used. Most wiki software offers robust security features, including user permissions, password protection, and encryption. Some also provide backup and recovery options to protect against data loss. It’s important to choose a wiki platform that meets your business’s security needs.

Can I customize my business wiki?

Yes, most wiki platforms allow for customization. You can typically change the layout, add your company logo, and customize the navigation to suit your business needs. Some platforms also offer advanced customization options, such as custom fields and templates.

How can I encourage my team to use the wiki?

To encourage wiki usage, make it an integral part of your business processes. Provide training to help employees understand how to use the wiki. Regularly update the wiki with relevant content and encourage employees to contribute. Recognize and reward those who actively use and contribute to the wiki.

Can I integrate a wiki with other business tools?

Yes, many wiki platforms can be integrated with other business tools. This can include project management tools, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and communication tools. Integration can help streamline workflows and improve productivity.

How can a wiki improve project management?

A wiki can serve as a central hub for project information, making it easier for team members to stay informed and collaborate. It can store project plans, timelines, meeting notes, and more. Changes are tracked, ensuring everyone has access to the most up-to-date information.

Can a wiki be used for training purposes?

Yes, a wiki is an excellent tool for training. It can store training materials, tutorials, and FAQs. Employees can access the information at their own pace, and the content can be easily updated as needed.

How does a wiki promote collaboration?

A wiki promotes collaboration by allowing multiple users to contribute and edit content. It provides a platform for sharing knowledge and ideas. The collaborative nature of a wiki can help foster a culture of teamwork and innovation.

What should I consider when choosing a wiki platform?

When choosing a wiki platform, consider its features, ease of use, customization options, security, and integration capabilities. Also consider the platform’s cost and the level of support provided by the vendor.

How can a wiki support remote work?

A wiki can support remote work by providing a centralized, accessible platform for information and collaboration. It allows remote employees to stay connected and informed, regardless of their location.

Alyssa GregoryAlyssa Gregory
View Author

Alyssa Gregory is a digital and content marketer, small business consultant, and the founder of the Small Business Bonfire — a social, educational and collaborative community for entrepreneurs.

project managementwiki
Share this article
Read Next
Get the freshest news and resources for developers, designers and digital creators in your inbox each week