Browse Tag by documentation

Knowledge management and handbooks in the financial sector: A wiki with blog for the Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district savings bank

“Finally, more time for business thanks to the Web 2.0 – The Saalfeld district savings bank cracks open its knowledge silos and finds a new way to deal with rules” by Christian Sauer (summary of the progress report by Nathalie Köpff).

It is well-known that many things in Germany are over-regulated. Instead of supporting creativity and entrepreneurial thinking and action, too much regulation blocks the big picture and leads to redundancy, or in extreme cases to contradiction. The introduction of the Web 2.0 breaks open knowledge silos, helps colleagues share newly-acquired knowledge, in a central place accessible by all, for example in the intranet. Members of staff should have an information platform available which motivates their active cooperation, adding discernible value.

Online organisation handbook and open documentation

The Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district savings bank wiki meets both requirements. One part of the wiki satisfies the statutory and supervisory editorial requirements. This area fixes the procedural rules for business operations. Amongst other things, there is an open area in which the staff can freely document their knowledge. A blog provides support for the system, giving a non-binding form of transmitting information.

The main page of S-Pedia links to important innovations
The main page of S-Pedia links to important innovations

The backing of the management was indispensable to guarantee a wide enough basis for support and initiative. Furthermore, users were needed who really see the need, and last but not least a suitable provider. To get the project of the ground, one has to concentrate on the users, as they will be working with the system later on. For this reason, members of staff from the most diverse divisions of the company were integrated into the planning process right from the start. Taking the requirements of the users into account early on, avoids acceptance problems later on and developments missing the users’ requirements. In the case of the district savings bank, the first job was to determine the central activities clearly and specify a name for the platform: S-Pedia. Continue Reading

Creating online documentation with BlueSpice for MediaWiki – tips and hints

Documentation with wiki engines isn’t an innovation anymore, you will find a lot if you look out for them. Especially software developers themselves seem to have a pioneering role in that segment. A lot of those documentation platforms take advantage of the collaborative character of a wiki and let the community be involve in the project. Public but also intern documentaries are increasingly appreciating the specific wiki structures to implement e. g. online manuals. BlueSpice MediaWiki offers powerful tools to support editors while working with the wiki to create online documentations. Please note that a lot of those tools are already available in BlueSpice free, others are additional and fee-required.

The main difference between similar proprietary systems and the open source system BlueSpice is the flexibility: You only get what you really need and you also only pay for the functionality you ordered. Furthermore, with BlueSpice there is neither a license fee nor a graduation of prices according to the number of users. The authorship grows without causing any further costs. And another very important fact is, that there is no vendor lock-in, which means your data belongs to you and is still available even if you decide to terminate the contract.

But let´s get back to the aspects concerning the content in documentations, which are normally most important for the argumentation during a planning and decision phase. In the following, we present the most important questions when implementing an online documentation and give some answers: Continue Reading

Create technical handbooks in an enterprise wiki – the TenneT TSO example

tennet-logo-180pxManaging documentation and handbooks has become one of the most common uses for wikis in companies. But how does such a platform actually look? Well, let us show you the business wiki “transpedia” from TenneT TSO GmbH.

TenneT TSO GmbH is a German subsidiary of the Dutch electricity supplier TenneT operating an ultra high voltage network (220kV and 380kV) with a total length of about 10,700 kilometres. This gives them coverage of 40 percent (140,000km²) of Germany so they indirectly supply about 20 million people with electricity. TenneT constructs and operates infrastructure for transmitting electrical energy both on land and at sea. In order to construct and maintain these far-reaching networks, they need to put guidelines in place. TenneT has been using a Hallo Welt! wiki since 2009, to maintain their technical regulations and keep them up to date. The system was upgraded to the newest BlueSpice version in 2014.

Essentially, it involves the handbooks Building and Construction (BuE), and Network Management and Working in the Network (NAN). These contain the internal regulations concerning the construction and operation of the technical equipment and, since 2010, have been displayed in “transpedia”. Continue Reading