As an internationally operating company in the segments of construction, technology and service the Max Bögl group of companies is relying on a BlueSpice MediaWiki from Hallo Welt! GmbH. The goal: professional knowledge management and – in the long term – a deeper integration of wiki-potentials into the software landscape of the enterprise.
“In our wiki we provide comprehensive handbooks, special knowledge from the various business segments and important information for our employees in a user-friendly manner.” This is how Olaf Peters describes the most important function of wikimax – the BlueSpice MediaWiki of Hallo Welt! GmbH, which was introduced about two years ago. As a psychologist, Peters is responsible for staff development and talent management in the company. Besides that he is the contact person for wikimax.
Based in Sengenthal (Bavaria), the Max Bögl Group is a family-owned company with more than 6,500 employees in 35 locations worldwide. It is one of the largest companies in the German construction industry. Since its foundation in 1929, the company’s history has been characterized by strength in research and technology. In-house innovations include a magnetic levitation train, a modular housing construction system called “maxmodul”, an intelligent segment bridge and a hybrid tower system.
Video: The Max Bögl hybrid tower system
The goal: Common level of knowledge for all employees
“A unique characteristic of our enterprise is certainly the broad range of services as well as the high depth of added value including our own steel and plant construction facilities, precast plants, a modern fleet of vehicles and equipment as well as our own building materials”, says Peters. Facing this holistic orientation with all its requirements and our annual product innovations it is quite a challenge to organize our company knowledge in an uncomplicated way to guarantee a proper implementation of corresponding projects. Therefore, two years ago the company decided to implement a MediaWiki as the core system for knowledge management.
“The kickoff came from the corporate development department,” Peters says. The CAD applications and IT systems for construction management – from planning to execution – require in-depth knowledge of both IT and the implementation of construction projects. Knowledge that must be available quickly at the respective workplace. In wikimax employees can inform themselves and find initial solutions and help as a supplement to ongoing support. IT applications, for example, are explained step by step. Depending on their needs, our users can get an overview or a deeper insight and find best practice examples as well as tips and tricks. “In this way, we create a common level of knowledge for all employees”.
“A wiki that users like to work with.”
While searching for a supplier, the Max Bögl group quickly came across Hallo Welt!, the developer of BlueSpice. A strong search engine, clear and intuitive usability, a clean authorization structure and a proven, open-source system architecture are the main arguments Peters cites for the decision. “We wanted a wiki that users would like to work with.” In the meantime about 900 articles are integrated in BlueSpice. In addition to IT, it is also used to present corporate strategy topics. And there are numerous training documents and extensive documentation on specific areas such as tunnel construction or maxmodul.
“We have seen the wiki as an opportunity from the beginning”
“Our employees saw BlueSpice as an opportunity right from the start,” says Peters. After a one-year test phase it was made widely known in the Max Bögl group of companies. Wikimax is currently being used by more than 1,500 registered users – and more to join.
According to Olaf Peters, it was crucial for the successful introduction of the wiki to define goals for the specific application at an early stage and to approach the matter with realistic expectations. “One of the things that helped was the admin training, which I did right at the start at Hallo Welt! GmbH”.
Alliances within the company and people who were enthusiastic about BlueSpice from the very beginning have proven themselves in offering lots of support and communicating the advantages of a wiki to as many employees as possible. “The first step was taken. Now we’re moving forward step by step together.”
Strong search function, clear structure
Since then, BlueSpice has been expanded more and more from the initially defined target group. There are attractive templates for portal pages and picture tiles, from which you can go directly to the article pages with just one click. There you can – depending on your level of knowledge – delve deeper and deeper into the material without having to torment yourself with page-long continuous texts.
Thanks to the strong search function already mentioned, which allows you to narrow down areas very precisely and forgive spelling mistakes, information can be found quickly – both in the articles themselves and in the attached media files.
“An example of our topics in wikimax is Building Information Modeling (BIM),” says Peters. BIM is an integral working method for the optimized planning, execution and management of buildings. The data generated during the project execution is collected and coordinated using a central data model. In this way, data entered can be reused in subsequent processes and work steps can be digitally networked with each other.
In wikimax the BIM method is explained to our employees. In addition, they find technical contact persons and can dive into typical application cases of the BIM method.
Our plans for the future: Expanding the wiki use case in width and depth
In the meantime, Max Bögl has established contact persons for the various focus areas in wikimax. Depending on the topic writing rights are assigned to a specific group of people who maintain the content. Since wikimax should be accessible and transparent for everyone, reading rights are not restricted as far as possible. For Peters, a central task for the future is to expand into other departments. “We want to provide an even broader information base to our employees.” On top of that we are interested in strengthening the depth of information.
Peters summarizes: “Basically, we want to know what the system is capable of an make full use of its potential. “Semantic MediaWiki in particular offers opportunities for data management that are only just beginning”. Being an innovative company, we have set that claim to ourselves.” (sa – 07/2019)
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