Enterprise Wikipedia, or How to Draw a Tree
Our enterprise Wikipedia is a blend of an internal Constitution, a set of regulations and an archive of job descriptions and duties of each employee. This is a set of rules on how you should or should not act under regular circumstances, or simply how to fulfil tasks properly, but not necessarily the way you thought “it would be better.”
Fortunately, we have already invented, tested and made a record of the best approach to task completion on our internal Wiki. Now every employee can learn how to perform a task in the correct manner by simply accessing the software, with no need to re-invent the wheel. And if someone happens to fulfil a new task for the first time, they are more than welcome to share their experience on Wiki with others. Together we can review and perfect the procedure.
A Bit of History
Our Wiki software was developed not so long ago – in 2016. But its history goes back to 2013, when there was only one document – a set of regulations for new employees that included common provisions that are the same for everyone. By the way, we are still using that document to regulate our inner interactions. However, access is available only through Wiki.
Since 2013, a lot of things have changed in our company. For example, the company has been busy recruiting, the team has been growing and a couple of new departments were formed to fit them in. Currently, the company employs more than 40 people, and Wikipedia has grown to 15 sections regulating the duties of all specialists. These sections are constantly being updated with new documents and new provisions, to ensure the descriptions of processes remain relevant.
The company’s philosophy includes the principle of process standardization. Sergey Grybniak, the founder of Clever Solution Inc., believes that at some point any company that wants to develop and gain traction should undergo standardization.
Without standardization and controls in place, a company’s success and growth will be limited, and they will face the following problems:
- Lack of a clear understanding of the mission of the company and of each employee
- No proper regulation of duties
- Misunderstandings between team members and supervisors
- Different interpretations of the final result
- Employees’ expectations that do not coincide with those of the employer
Many other disappointing things arise among team members where there is no clarity, detail and common point of view.
How to Draw a Tree
Imagine a scenario where you ask two different people to draw a tree. What would you get? One might draw some kind of a green tree, with no distinguishing features. Another may draw an apple tree with apples hanging from it. If you ask someone else to do the same, you may end up with a fir. There will be three different versions of the right thing, but you still won’t get the tree you expected.
However, if you take time to explain what kind of tree you expect and provide them with more detail, (and the more, the better), then there is a chance you will get the desired result. And this approach applies to pretty much everything.
Clever Solution Inc. is no longer a small sized business, since the company has expanded significantly over the last couple of years. When it comes to the development of a company, growth is by no means a negative phenomenon. However, it almost always entails some difficulties.
When there is a newcomer on the team, their supervisor or someone with more experience has to put aside what they are doing to introduce the newbie to the team, bring them up to speed, explain in detail what “the tree” should look like in our company, and so on. Sometimes it may take a couple of days. What happens when several new players join the team within a short period of time? Each of them will surely have their own background and views on “how to draw a tree”. This considerably slows down the workflow, which obviously is never a good thing.
As the company has grown, the number of documents with instructions on process implementation has grown and been updated along with it. By 2016, we had enough documents to create our own digital library of knowledge. This is how our internal Wikipedia was born.
Thanks to this resource, each new employee (or any promoted or transferred colleague) can learn on their own how everything in the company or in a given department operates. Not that it takes newcomers less time to get the big picture, but at least there is no need to distract anyone to spoon-feed them information. So far, Wiki is the best tool for knowledge-sharing and guiding employees through our standards. As for implementation control, it’s simple – if you are not happy following the rules, you can make your own, but someplace else.
Our company continues to grow, as does the volume of duties and responsibilities. Clever Solution Inc. has reached the level where our regulatory tool must be in place to ensure internal clarity. Otherwise, under the circumstances of ongoing innovation and recruitment, the efficiency of our workflow and the company’s overall performance could be affected. Our enterprise Wikipedia works almost like a magic wand, helping us to support high-level performance and maintain orderly management.