Friday, November 14, 2008

Team Wiki

We have a team wiki for our development team. It's sometimes difficult to decided what goes into the wiki.

I have a rule that after I've been asked the same question three times by a co-worker I put it in the wiki.

How do you decide what goes in your team wiki?


  1. Allow me to quote from Michael Lopp's excellent book Managing Humans:What you're going to do is set up a wiki for your group. Nothing fancy, there's a ton of them out there. With this wiki in hand, you're going to start to insist that interesting pieces of documentation stop being uselessly sent around via e-mail and be placed in the wiki. You are the evangelist. Your first answer to any question regarding information should be, "Check the wiki," and if the answer to that question is "It's not there," your answer is "Add it." Feature specifications, how-to documents, anything of value that is slowly gathering dust in your inbox needs to live in the wiki.The goal with the wikification of your group is not only to create an information repository for the team, but also to get them into the practice of using it. Their mental process when they need to find something out shouldn't first be "Who should I bug?" it should be "I wonder if it's in the wiki? And if it's not, why not?" I'm a fan of teams bugging each other for information, but if it's critical information, why doesn't it live somewhere where acquiring it doesn't involve me stopping whatever it is I'm doing to dig through my inbox three times a week?Now, you're thinking we haven't touched on the status report issue yet, but we have. Once you've established your wiki as the de facto standard for information about your group, it's going to spread. When another team needs a piece of information from your team and they get forwarded a URL to the wiki, they're bookmarking it, and each bookmark of your wiki increases its value inside of the organization. With a little consistent persistence on your part, your wiki isn't going to replace the need for a status report, but it is going to create a virtual presence for your team. Your wiki should be the recognized source of pipin' hot information in your group, and the sooner that happens, the sooner Joe Blow is going to stumble across your hard problem.

  2. Excellent quote - thank you!
    I edited your entry so that the links and formatting work. Keep posting html and I'll Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C it from wysiwig view and Ctrl+A, Ctrl+V it from HTML view.