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How many of us have spent hours setting up wiki spaces and pages, only to find out the structure and organization possibly create more work and less content creation? I know our team has been there. To help solve this, I’m sharing the live stream I did with K15t on this topic:
And today here I’m going give you the basic hints to start organizing your corporate wiki.
Because we want a wiki to be successful and fulfill its mission. Whether it’s document management, knowledge base, teams collaboration, or any other goal we set for it. But always aligned to the business strategy and with the existing corporate settings (internal processes, policies, department structures, existing projects…).
There are three basic hierarchies to take into account: Wiki, Space and Page level
You don’t have to organize the whole wiki on day 1. Wikis evolve thanks to their community (Ward Cunningham referred to this as the wiki’s Organic Principle), so the structure will grow over time. But don’t fall in the empty wiki syndrome either! Create a basic initial scaffolding to encourage users to start adding content.
|The empty wiki syndrome is an analogy to the famous writers' Blank Page Syndrome, where a person experiences a block, gets stuck, and stares at a white page without knowing how to start.|
Before we start seeing how to organize our wiki, choose your planning tool: A piece of paper, a text editor, a whiteboard, or anything else. A pro tip: do not start directly in Confluence. This is suggested so you focus more on the tool than on the structure.
Here it's recommended to start with your own organizational setting to create a space for projects, services, clients, products, categories, departments, or similar entities.
At Appfire we’re a solutions company and group our apps into 9 solution-based categories. This looks like one space per solution category (e.g., the BI/Reporting category where I work is a space). Additionally, we work in core teams called triads to handle the products in these categories. The team is made up of Product Marketing, Product Engineering, and Product Management, so we also have 1 space per each of these teams.
At the space level, there are more mechanisms to mimic our corporate unit whether it is a product, project, service, a team, or any other. In Confluence, we can use Space blueprints, which are templates to create spaces with an overview, a few pages, and sample content to help you get started.
Product solution space
Going back to our own BI/Reporting category in Appfire as a space example that was previously mentioned, we follow the same mental model as before, mimicking the corporate setting on our page hierarchy.
Since we work in core teams, we create the same structure: Product Management (PM), Product Marketing (PMM) and Product Engineering (PE). Then, we add children pages based on the work of each team e.g., Product Roadmap under PM, Email Nurturing under PMM or Security Audits under PE.
Space hierarchy for the BI/Reporting category in Appfire
The last part to discuss is the organization within our pages, how we structure the layout of the content, using text formatting, headings, images, tables, and so on.
i) Consistency here again is important, and Confluence offers more than 100 templates to help your team prepare marketing plans, communicate incidents or add your meeting notes.
|Page template or blueprint? The two are very similar. Blueprints are templates created by Atlassian or by third-party apps, and page templates those created by you.|
ii) Well formatted pages are also key. Take a moment to make it easier to read and understand your content. Use layouts to structure the content and tables to present your most important data.
We created a page template to outline a consistent analysis process that’s easy to put together and read through. With this template, we don’t have to worry about remembering key metrics or indicators to look at, the template and content placeholders do the job for us.
For more details and examples, head to The Hub and check out the full post.
Gorka Puente _Appfire_
Principal Product Manager
55 accepted answers