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TWiki Success Story of Motorola

Motorola Systems-on-Chip Design Technology

The TWiki is used in Motorola Systems-on-Chip Design Technology. We had been using an APIS wiki on our intranet within the confines of a single project team (an XP team, where it was used as a team communication tool), but APIS had proven to be rather flakey - we fixed at least 10 bugs just to get it working. TWiki installation was straightforward; security implementation by .htaccess also, though support documentation is generally 'sparse' wink We run Twiki "out of the box" on a vanilla Apache server; no customisation other than templates has been required.

After a short period running the wikis in parallel we converted over entirely to the TWiki. Other project teams started to take notice of our activities and started creating new webs and contributing to existing topics. We are now hosting 7 different webs, extending the 'team' from an on-site project team to a virtual team including members in Germany, UK, France, Australia, Russia and the US, with about 60 regular contributors (and growing).

The way these different webs have grown is interesting. Each web has an owner, usually a project team leader. Some owners have customised their pages for their project, others have just taken the default. Looking through the webs, I can see different uses in each. Examples:

  • Requirements capture
  • Newsgroup
  • Cooperative authoring environment
  • Rapid production of web pages [for subsequent publishing]
  • Issues lists
  • Meetings calendar
There is strong interest in using the knowledge base for customer support, but here it is competing against a "corporate authorised" mechanism so we're not going to push this.

On this note, there have been TWiki detractors. Depending on how you use it TWiki performs the same functions as a number of "corporate solutions" (usually clunky lotus-notes things). We have been accused of non-compliance by using the TWiki. To avoid the flak we have come to refer to the TWiki as a "communication scratchpad". Weasel words, but at least we don't get fired!

-- CrawfordCurrie - 01 Jun 2000

Update. We are now just one of at least 5 twiki installations running in Motorola. We've developed a bunch of plugins, a lot of support scripts for our XP site, and have generally switched a lot of focus onto the wiki. Even it's detractors are slowly starting to like it. As well as our own project group, we host webs for 17 other groups in Motorola, including one group which is using it for cooperative standards authoring. Activity was recently 16,000 page hits in a day. The knowledge base never came about.

Alive and kicking!

-- CrawfordCurrie - 16 Jul 2002

Motorola Tetra World Wide System Development (TWSD) - updated 18 Jul 2007

The Copenhagen Motorola Tetra World Wide System Development (TWSD) center introduced TWiki in 2004 with the purpose of transforming our quality management system (QMS) from a static set of documents to a dynamic process development tool. The result has been very successful.

Instead of having MS Word documents on a web server all QMS topics were reviewed and transferred to TWiki topics. Each QMS topic was assigned a process ownership team that has full access to maintaining the document. Additionally each QMS topic includes a Comments topic which anyone is allowed to edit. To the users of the QMS they experience process instructions for each specific business process which is always up to date. And additionally they can raise change requests, share best practices and lessons learned instantly.

The result is far better than we ever hoped. QMS topics are now updated continuously. Monthly updates are not uncommon. Changes are incremental and follows the actual business flow in a natural way. User participation is incredible. People raise improvement proposals and share lessons learned all the time because they are empowered to do so, because it is easy and fast, and because what they share is available to everyone instantly.

Before we TWiki-fied the QMS the documents were updated approx once per 2nd year and we received approx 1.5 change request per year per QMS document. After the introduction of TWiki the update frequency of QMS topic is now several times per year and the inputs from users has increased by a factor 30.

The result is a major leap in the effectiveness of our Quality Management System and this can be seen in our business results. We develop projects faster, more efficiently and with higher quality. And people feel ownership of the process. It is their process. It is not out of date noise created by an ISO9000 expert sitting in a dark room.

The unique features of TWiki - being much more than just a wiki - has enabled us to create a user maintained quality assurance system while still maintaining the change control and quality records that is required in an ISO9000 environment. The TWiki Application features and the access rights enables us to maintain a well managed QMS combined by free, open and fast Wiki methods. The combination of Wiki and intelligent structural features makes TWiki unique and extremely powerful.

And the story does not end with the QMS. Once you have a TWiki only ideas and innovation sets the limits to what you can use it for. Since 2004 most departments have created their own webs and are using TWiki very effectively with TWiki applications for

  • Weekly reporting and automatically generated hotlines.
  • Control of test resources
  • Project Management Planning
  • Tracking of anything a project needs to track.
  • Vacation lists
  • Resource management for test systems
  • Sharing of information that changes all the time
  • Capturing of lessons learned - not at the end of the project but during the project as things happen
  • Quality assurance plans - with tracking as each task or item is complete
  • Meeting minutes
  • Local how-to documents that are always up to date
  • Management of internally made test tools
  • Change control boards
  • Tracking of small projects on single page topics
  • Metrics
  • Reviews
  • Action Tracking
  • Overview of records from defect management system (plugin that interfaces ClearQuest)

Motorola supports further development of TWiki and has a member in the core team and several Motorola people participates in active development. Motorola encourages development in better user interfaces for editing and performance improvements so that TWiki will work as well and fast for us in 10 years as it does today.

About Motorola TWSD:

Motorola Tetra World Wide Development is responsible for Motorola's Global TETRA development.

Motorola - at the forefront of mobile communications for almost 80 years - tailors end-to-end communications solutions, all over the world. Motorola is leading the way in high performance digital wireless solutions that enable individuals and professional teams to work smarter, faster, and more safely - wherever they may be. Motorola is a worldwide leader in developing, implementing, and optimizing TETRA systems. Continuous enhancement of our leading position in process controlled software development is a focal point, which has been acknowledged twice in SEI CMM assessments, both with level 5 as the outcome.

-- KennethLavrsen - 18 Jul 2007

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Topic revision: r11 - 2010-07-04 - PeterThoeny
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