Vom 6. bis 8. Juni 2011 hat Atlassian Software, Hersteller der Kollaborationssysteme Confluence und Jira, wieder zum alljährlichen Atlassian Summit ins InterContinental Hotel in San Francisco geladen. Mehr als 600 Kunden, Partner, Entwickler und Atlassian-Ansprechpartner aus 25 Ländern waren anwesend. Als Experte mit dabei: Martin Seibert. Der //SEIBERT/MEDIA-Geschäftsführer ist am Dienstag, dem 7. Juni 2011, als Redner in San Francisco aufgetreten und hat sich mit der Frage befasst, wie die Wiki-Nutzung im Unternehmen gestärkt werden kann. Das Thema seiner Präsentation: Wiki adoption – How sweat and gimmicks make a great wiki.

Aufzeichnung der Präsentation "Wiki adoption – How sweat and gimmicks make a great wiki"

Die Präsentationsfolien


Der Vortrag im Wortlaut

When you walk out of this door again, I want you to know how to become the best wiki evangelist in your company.

Or lets use a picture:
When you walk out of this door again, I want you to know the way to wiki heaven.

Have you ever been to heaven?

My name is Martin Seibert.

I have been striving to go to heaven ever since the early days when I was seven years old and started to play chess. I grow pretty strong for my age but I soon had to find out, that there were others in my age, that were much better than me.

Isn't that disappointing?

I started to play handball as my opponents refused to lose against me constantly.

I grew pretty strong in handball also. Until there were others, that simply played better. I tried Volleyball and came to the same result.

That was until I found out about the magic of business. You define the field in which you are in. And miraculously you can find the way to heaven.

I am in heaven in my company. It is a tiny niche. But if even I could make it there, you will definitely.

Do you believe me? Will you make it to wiki heaven after this talk?

I will do my very best to help you get there. And directly behind the last gate you'll meet Matt Hodges with a free Confluence license for you ... No! Just kidding.

Going to wiki heaven is much better than anything, that Atlassian can offer - and that's awesomely much as I learn day by day. Going to wiki heaven will make your career. It will make you an outperformer in your company. You'll be cool.


Okay. That was the point, where I wanted to give you all the opportunity to leave.

You still have as the next two slides just give you some background about me.

//SEIBERT/MEDIA is a full service agency, that tries to help other companies to get to wiki heaven. That's absolutely thrilling as they sometimes ask us to help them wherever we can and imaginable. And sometimes we just come in as a specialist for one certain topic.

I started the company back in 1996 and we have 60 employees today. And in the time before heaven is was often bored with website design projects.

But today we work for 30% of Germany's DAX50 companies and experience all nuances of wiki adoption in small and very large groups. And the bigger a company gets, the more challenging the wiki adoption tasks become.

But onwards to wiki heaven ...

Please show me your hands ... (raising both hands in the air)

Just a test if you're still with me: Please show me your hands ... (raising both hands in the air)

You'll need these again later ... like now ...

So who of you has a Confluence instance live in your company?

Okay. When I got my hands on Confluence the first time it felt like heaven. The slick interface. Cool usability. And all the powerful features. Awesome.

It definitely felt like heaven ...until I found out, that I had forgot to bring in my colleagues.

Did you ever feel that: "They simply just don't get it!" :-(

Lets look at a situation with our biggest client. We were there in a so called business design project and were asked to write so called user stories. It turned out, there were no user stories but only 24 page-long word files with heavy structure.

"Oh! That could be a wiki document in your confluence wiki", we suggested to the Company-Manager.
He: "Yeah, but we need this structure. Look at this here. It's a section where we put in document changes. Who did what when. That's important for us."
We: "Yeah, cool. That can be done with the wiki automatically."
Manager: "But will it look exactly the same?"
We: "No."
Manager: "Then forget it."
We: "Why?"
Manager: "Look, everybody is working under high pressure in here. If we change our processes it will cost us loads of time. I need efficiency in here. I have heard the fairytales of enterprise wikis way to often. We need to earn the big bucks in here. No time for toys and fun."

We just stared.

Manager: "Anything else apart from cumbersome wikis?" Someone laughed.

Have you ever felt like we did in this situation. Raise your hands to cheer me up please ... :-)

That is wiki hell, isn't it?

You sit in there and scream at the others: "Look! Up there! I can see heaven. It's just a couple of stairs away."
They answer: "Can't see anything."
You say: "But don't you feel the heat. We rot in hell down here!"
They shrug. You shrug.

Strong organizational support is the biggest task for all enterprise wikis. No matter what.

That's true for a Microsoft hell. But its also true for Atlassian.

Matt wanted me to have take-aways, that you can tweet. Tweet this.

But there are other problems also: A discussion with a manager at a German bank:

He: We have 16000 people using Confluence over here.
I: Wow.
He: Actually I couldn't care less. But now it's my problem.
I: Sorry. I don't understand.
He: Our official system is Sharepoint. Confluence is not compliant. Now all people announce their Confluence wikis as soon as an Auditor arrives. And that's where I have to care.
I: I still don't understand.
He: I need to know from you, what it needs to make those Confluence users use Sharepoint.

I had nothing but a big question mark above my had. I showed him our Sharepoint-Confluence-Comparison.

He: However I don't care about what's the better system. We have a clear objective here. Let's move.


Or let's look at a presentation with a manager of another big company.

He: Oh that's awesome. And it can be installed on my computer you said, right?
I: Yeah. For testing purposes. For real collaboration you want a managed web server.
He: That involves IT, correct?
I: Yep.
He: Then forget it.
I: Why?
He: They say: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Our Intranet runs. It is abandoned. But it's not broke.

What we can learn here: Users can be broken too. It doesn't help to have a running system, that no one uses.

So let's go back from wiki hell to wiki heaven.

This is a turning point in my presentation. I have shown you a lot of problems with wikis. They all basically ask: Why do I need it?

I am not giving you the answer in this presentation. As the new wiki evangelist from heaven you already know it, right?

Who of you, knows why he is so in love with wikis?

This is how you want it:

Everyone means, that all your colleagues join in in the collaborative process of a wiki. You want them to use it in the office, on the go and at home - everywhere. And you want to increase the amount of contacts everybody has with the wiki. Not once a week but once an hour should be a goal, that you have.

I am sure, that you can fall right into hell. But it's not possible the other way around. It's a stairway that leads to heaven.

How do you climb a stairway to heaven? (Pause)

Step by step. The same is true for our way to wiki heaven: small steps.

When I was with a big bank from Switzerland, we were talking about a wiki project.

I: You'll have to plan with a budget between 5 and 25 K Euros.
He: Oh. Why is that so low?
I: That's what we need.
He: But I am a project manager. Projects begin with 100K over here.
I: You'll have higher costs internally.
He: Yeah. That might work out.

When you plan you wiki rollout you have to understand that budgets in big companies mean waiting for committees to approve. And waiting means failing.

You cannot jump right into heaven. You can only go there step by step. No one cares if your pocket is full of money or not. The results will be very similar.

The best place where I learned this lesson was with another big bank from Germany. They laid off a whole department with over 200 employees except for 3 people.

It was because they couldn't fire these. They were the only ones who knew the details about this wiki thing, that was used by more than a thousand employees.

That's not exactly what I would call heaven, but definitely a good career move for these wiki champions!  

So let's look at some good areas for sweating.

This pie chart show you the three things that are important with wiki adoption. Organizational support. Jakob Nielsen, the well known usability guru calls that "Strong backing from the top". Technical things. And culture. Let's see how sweat can get you up the stairs to heaven. One by one.

Starting with the easiest part: technology. If you have Confluence in place a lot of the necessary basics are already there. But you have to make sure, that you do not miss out the cool plugins for workflows, tasks, forms and diagrams and a bunch more out there. And beware of IE6.

Let's move to culture and organization. In big companies managers often ask. Will this Confluence not be an enemy of Sharepoint? Isn't this Alfresco thing problematic for Confluence? Can't Confluence be part of SAP or Lotus Notes?

The answer is: The enemy of all these systems is not another system ... It's email.

So if you want to make a cultural change and alter bad habits, you should monitor email usage.

Who of you is consistently monitoring his and his co-workers email usage? ... If you receive an email that has an attachment but no client as recipient. Do you approach the sender and recommend the wiki? Do you recommend Jira when internal tasks get spilled around via email?

You should. It's because of the social media hurdle.

It tells you, that the more iterations you have, the better a wiki is. If you send off an email and get a yes or no back and that's it. That is as cool as it gets in digital communication. But in most cases emails go back and forth and add a tremendous layer of complexity to the discussions. No one knows what they were discussing earlier and efforts go up and up.

The problem with a wiki is, that creating a wiki page often is more time consuming in the beginning.

And aren't we all a bit short sighted. Who of you wouldn't walk straight out of this room if Matt would be waving with an ice cream? We all love instant gratification.

You have to make sure, that people see beyond the ice cream. There is wiki heaven waiting in this room for you! Remember the social media hurdle.

You might even set up a wiki therapy. Just buy a couch. Put it in your office and place a sign above. Whenever someone wants to sit on it he has to tell you something about his recent wiki usage first. I's your wiki therapy.

"Convincing co-workers is an act of constant talking and explaining until they finally honestly try."

Attention, ladies and gentlemen! This is a core step on your stairway to wiki heaven.

I couldn't underline "honestly" enough here. Remember the cases from big companies that I told you. There is only one problem with all these people. They have never seen the wiki heaven. They don't know that they are in word hell. They simply think, that life sucks. But it doesn't. At least not here.

If you can get them to honestly try, then you'll win.

We keep experiencing, that screencasts can do the trick of showing, what rocks quite good.

While this screencast runs please note, that is has only 37 seconds. That's easy and fast to consume.

And please also note, that it took me only 1 minute to record it. It is far from perfect. But it is efficient and effective. There are little steps to wiki heaven, that can be climbed so easily.

Go to Google and search for Jing. J-I-N-G. Jing. Download and install the free software on macs or PCs and run.

But there is more about sweating. Let's talk about another customer. They asked me how to find a wiki gardener. A wiki gardener is a Person, that makes a wiki fly. He or she sorts pages in the page tree, adds labels and gives supportive feedback.

We are living in an attention economy. People share their stuff on facebook to get likes. They tweet to get retweeted. Do you like the content of your co-workers on the wiki? Tell them in the comments. They will love you. And they will love the wiki.

It is exactly this situation, when people begin to see the light: "Ah! Now I know what you were talking about. I like this collaboration thing. That's different."

Back to our customer. I told them to sweat themselves. if we live in an attention economy and you try to delegate attention to others in the first place, you're screwed.

Don't search for, be the wiki gardener.

Do you remember the customer, who wanted to turn down all Confluence instances because they seemed obsolete?

If you create a wiki charter your wiki can become "enterprise-ready". You will be compliant with your system if you follow certain security processes and political discussions will come to an end.

Okay. Let's move to the second part of my talk. We have been talking about small steps and sweating. But we have also been talking about the attention economy and how to get people to honestly try.

The best thing to get a systematic and continous dose of attention for your wiki, that doesn't wear off that fast are wiki gimmicks.

I will show you samples of posters, pens, cups, paper notepads, stickers and desktop wallpapers.

While I show you the examples I would ask Matt to hand out the physical samples that we have.

Let's start with what has made JC Decaux a multi-million-dollar-company. I want you to turn their vision into your vision: We don't turn the city into a bilboard. We turn your company into a billboard.

I first experienced how powerful such floor displays are at a big customer. Actually they used them for their intranet. But let's read what we came up with.

"Obstacles in your way? The answer is in the wiki." That is rather serious and maybe boring.

Internally we liked the one, that connects with the popular Chuck Norris jokes: "Even Chuck Norris puts it in the wiki."

Once I talked to one of our clients: "There is only one place in the office where managers can really think." he told me. "It's on the toilet." Did you know, that Google has notepads on their toilets to help employees document and share their thoughts on this place?

So we ask: "Why not take five minutes to think about wiki content?"

And also for this use case we have a funnier one: "Put everything in the wiki except for that!"

I love pens as gimmicks a lot. They are cheap and travel a lot from hand to hand. And they are tight connected to knowledge and documentation. That's how a pen with an imprint "Put it in the wiki" and your wiki URL really speaks for itself.

What I even like better is, if you take out the ink cartridge. Then it's more of a command, than a reminder because you can't write with the pen anymore. :-)

"Is your wiki half full?" also plays with the beverage saying and is exactly then present when people lean back to relax and drink some coffee.

The paper notepad is the perfect companion for the pens.

The stickers are cool, but a bit dangerous also. When we created a wiki campaign for one of our customers, a multinational automobile supplier, they kicked out the stickers, because they feared a situation in that they would be forced to peel of these stickers from every other door or window.

But I have the enterprise-ready and fully compliant sticker now. Do you know these antistatic slides. I just combined it with a sticker. And voilà. No peeling terror possible.

Apart from that funny one my brother actually had an idea for improvement. The next sticker generation will be much smaller, so that they can be put on sheets of paper, that have been wikified.

When your target group is rather more skilled, they might enjoy a reminder of the productivity-boosting keyboard shortcuts in Confluence on a mousepad or a desktop wallpaper.

If you look at all these wiki gimmicks in an overview please keep in mind, that they will rock much better in your corporate design and with your own messages.

When we do a project with all this stuff we ask our clients to budget a ballpark figure of 5K Euro for all services and all production costs.

See http://seibert.biz/gimmicks for more info on that topic.

And then there is a hybrid element. It's a bit sweat in the beginning and a cool gimmick in the end. You could call these examples automated newsletters or autoresponders.

The trick is, that once you train a new person or you sign up a new employee you put them on a list. And just like from Atlassian kitty they will get useful reminders of your wiki and its possibilities.

For up to 2000 recipients you can use MailChimp for free.


So. That's almost it. We know about sweating. We know about small steps. We know about gimmicks. And we know about wiki heaven.

Please let me end this session with four tips how you should proceed with your own stairway to heaven.

Start with holding breath for a second. It's not easy to deploy a successful wiki. Respect the complexity and take time to think.

But you should also keep in mind, that only results count. Waiting equals failing.

And we also remember that budget means waiting. You will always put freedom above budget. No matter what.

And you keep the 2-hour-rule in mind. When you try to teach swimming without water you'll definitely fail. If you can convince your c-level managers and other employees to honestly try Confluence for two hours they will love it.

And they will open the gates to heaven.

Do you see the stairs up?

It's just like in agile projects. This is a game of a lot of iterations. Iterate and adapt. Plan, Do, Check. On and on.

The cool thing with these iterations is the things that happen during your progress. Do you remember when we asked the others if they could see the light and they couldn't. That's really frustrating.

But after you take a step or two you will hear other people scream at their co-workers: "Don't you see, that we rot in hell down here!"

With every step you take you'll notices one or the other guy next to you joining the wiki club and walking up the stairs. That is instant gratification at its best.

And if you consistently take the next steps you'll soon be walking with almost your whole company. That is an awesome feeling.

I lied, when I told you, that I would show you the way to heaven. I don't know a single company, not even Atlassian who has reached heaven. But I hope that I could offer you a look at the fun it is to walk the stairs up to wiki heaven.

So don't let your wiki rot. Start sweating now.


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