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I have a love/hate relationship with TWiki. I absolutely adore the web`u`write (tm) paradigm. Butt I struggle with how to get ordinary PC user to connect. Does anyone share my concern?

-- SteveRoe - 11 Jul 2002

Well, I love TWiki. It's a pity that it's so hard to get buy-in, though. In my last company, I was able to successfully deploy TWiki within engineering. However, beyond engineering, nobody accepted it (except for viewing, since that is "simply" intranet). Imagine, that was a company in the real-time collaboration space...

In my current company, I don't get anyone to use TWiki except for myself. Not even engineers are open to that (well, our acting team lead seems to be opposed, and the rest seems to follow par). Whenever I have to share something (ideas, protocols, documentation, tech notes), I put it on TWiki. My colleagues would read it, yes, but I no-one would ever contribute. Here, I regard the deployment as unsuccessful.

What it comes down to: One could view Wiki/TWiki as disruptive, because it implies a cultural change. People need to change their views on the intranet and collaboration. Who embraces change easily? Nobody initially grasps the idea of collaborative web-pages, where everybody is allowed to contribute. There are still concerns about document ownership and (malicious?) changes by anyone. Even within one company/team; something I never quite understood.

I also found that people (not only developers) open to Wiki:ExtremeProgramming are also open to Wiki:WikiCulture -- I guess both cultures share similar values and properties.

But of course, all that doesn't really apply to ordinary PC users, eh?

-- StefanRenz - 12 Jul 2002

I even tried to draw coworkers into my testWiki by insulting them on their Main.user page and challenging them to update it (we're all friends, so it wasn't a big deal). even that wasn't enough incentive. go figure. -- ChrisWolske - 13 Jul 2002

I have had mixed results, but not too bad. Maybe the difference is that I am putting a lot of important documentation into TWiki and removing it from its former place (it helps of course if you are in a position that you can get away with this smile ). Some people just got is straight away and dived in and started using it. Some were suspicious at first but got the hang of it. Some just don't want to use it - I guess natural suspicion of something new. Any new hires are directed to the TWiki as one of their first points of contact with our web. So maybe over time the culture will evolve. But I'm still going to nudge it by putting any new documents into TWiki, and migrating existing docs in when there is a need to update them. Ultimately it probably need sponsorship of a manager who will say This Is The Way We Shall Do It.

-- MartinWatt - 14 Jul 2002

I think SubmitTopicByEmail would help, as you could get people to 'just CC TWiki'.

I have a partial implementation (MailInAddOn) that I am starting to get reports of working for people; the code needs extending but it basically works.

-- MartinCleaver - 14 Jul 2002

I read somewhere about this schism :

  • everything that is not forbidden is allowed , which is the default law system in replublics/democracy, etc...
  • everything that is not allowed is forbidden, which seems to be the default in clans, party, dictatures, feodal world, etc, wherever there is a strong leadership that imprint culture.
well, (modern) corporations are rather in the second schema, more or less implicitely. the behave like me attitude more or less prevents pro-activity, if that get too far from the consensual culture. So unless some strong, recognized leader come with the idea, one have to wait until the "Chasm" is crossed...

-- LucAbom - 17 Dec 2002

MartinWatt said: Ultimately it probably need sponsorship of a manager who will say This Is The Way We Shall Do It.

And it's absolutely true. At my workplace TWiki didn't make much headway for several months but things started happening -- slowly! -- after three important events occurred:

  • Management said Martin's magic words above, and
  • Management were taking their own medicine (leading the way and pulling users into TWiki), and
  • Management finally agreed to spend some amount of hard cash on maintaining the intranet by granting our TWiki administrator group up to 5 hours each week to spend on maintenance and technical improvements. The improvements are guided by a 5-person committee chaired by representative floor personnel from each department plus the 2 admins. The guidance committee meets biweekly to discuss ways to increase usage and improve efficiency of the intranet.

In summary, TWiki won't achieve lift-off unless there's management backing in every single aspect of it.

-- TorbenGB - 26 Dec 2002

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Topic revision: r8 - 2002-12-26 - TorbenGB
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