(screenshot of a page from our main wiki used during the project)
Workplaces are changing at an incredibly fast pace with the irruption of the new digital technologies. They are not so new for a minority of workers, the “tech workers”, but they opere a constant redefinition of processes and workflows for the majority of the others.
These “disruptive” changes affect:
The american sociologist, Richard Sennet has studied the transformation of labour and work and stressed in his book, “Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation”, the problems arising from asynchronous temporalities of change. Some parts of the old systems stay pregnant whereas other parts are redefining their rules, leading to conflicts between them: the weight of the hierarchy remains, competition between experts may lead to some information retention. However, some parts of the new system are not so nice as promised: increased pressure on performance, continuous control and evaluation, a big amount of time dedicated to solving strictly technical problems. Moreover, a great degree of cooperation is very hard to achieve in a society where competition and individualism are the rule.
Some other questions remain open: is formalizing the unformal always possible or desirable? There should always be a balance between flexibility (openness to the unexpected and to change) and organization (task distribution, routines, scheduling…). Following stubbornly procedures can be very dangerous when one has no experience! Management is not a science, it is closer to art, and like any art, you must practice to achieve mastery.
A wiki has the potential to be a very powerful tool for exchanging and structuring knowledge, share ressources and help a workteam to organize the labour division and to collaborate remotely in order to achieve a common project. It can also be used for pedagogical purposes by allowing collaborative editing, commenting and adding ressources.