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Why CMS and Wiki are helpful for project management?

2006-01-19 12:32 FantasySoft 阅读(...) 评论(...) 编辑 收藏

    What's CMS? CMS stands for Content Management System. From the name, you may guess it can help you manage the content. In order to make you get the clear view about the CMS's advantage, I will compare how the things are going on without or with CMS. Let's dive into these five typical scenes.

    Scene 1: One or two newbies are involved in our project team. The experienced members will prepare the material about the project and share it with the newbies. Without CMS, the experience sharing is time-consuming job. Because nobody keep this information in one place and nobody ought to take the responsibility of doing this. With CMS, all members are involved in the content maintenance and keep updating the project information in one place. The tutors will be happy ones with the consolidated content resource.

    Scene 2: Some members leave from project team. The projects do rely on the members rather than be blocked by members. Without CMS, work transfer will be low efficient. Because the leavers don't know clearly about the work that should be handed over at the same time the takers also don't know what should be taken over. With CMS, the affect of members who get off the responsibilities will be narrowed.

    Scene 3: The members cooperate on some task. I believe more than 50% time is spent on the communication with each other in one project. Especially when members are cooperating on some task, the efficient communication way will make more sense. Without CMS, the members usually talk by phone or send mails to make out the solution. These two ways is not good enough for project management. First, although phone call is immediate but not serious enough, there is no content to be traced. Second, mails are persistent information holder but they are out of maintenance and hard to search and share. With CMS, the new communication way will be provided. In CMS, several workspaces would be created. And administers can set the workspaces accessible by only some members or the whole team. The members can communicate with each other in these workspaces. They can publish some topics and give feedbacks about the specific topic, even cooperate one topic.

    Scene 4: The project leader assigns the task and tracks the process. The most important and most helpful feature of CMS is that members can update the content of one topic and the change can be viewed easily. If you have set watch to some topic, the system will inform you when other member has changed the topic. This feature is useful when project leader assigns the task, tracks the process. Also, the members can report their status easily. 

    Scene 5: The team has developed more and more projects and experience is shared across the projects. The team should develop as the projects' development. How to develop the team? The improvement of team members for technical knowledge and business sense should be key part. Without CMS, the improvement function will be hard to apply. Although some corporation usually has one knowledge base library, but it isn't team-specified and not updated in some case. The biggest disadvantage is that not everybody is involved in building up the knowledge base library. Because there is no way encouraging the members to share their knowledge. With CMS, all the problems can be solved easily. We can involve all members in CMS to share their knowledge. Because we can evaluate their performance from CMS according to the frequency of members' topic submit. If all members participate in building up the knowledge base library, they will extend the skills by themselves more quickly. This will be good drive for team development.  

 

    OK, here is my perspective on the advantage of CMS. Let's have a look at Wiki's features, as CMS. I don't want to talk about where the Wiki derives from, as there are so many references about it. I just talk about the Wiki's features as CMS.

    First, Wiki just is one concept and there are many kinds of implementations of this concept, we call the implementation as Wiki System. Wiki System usually is Open Source Software and individuals, non-profit organizations; even commercial corporations can use it for free. Meanwhile there are some reliable products provided such as Confluence–the Enterprise Wiki from Atlassian. So you can decide which one is appropriate choice according to requirement, budget and so on.

    Second, Wiki is easily maintained. Wiki System generally provides administration tools for you so that you can setup Wiki System and many other configurations without special training. For the content that are published to Wiki System, you also don't worried about it. Because Wiki System provides wonderful version-tracking tools to take good care of the change applied to the content. You can reverse the version or pick up one version you'd like to from the full version list.    

    Third, Wiki can work well with other systems to provide powerful functionalities. Wiki is also friendly for users. Anybody with one browser can use the Wiki System. At last, Wiki is neutral to OS at all. You can deploy the Wiki System to any kinds of server. Actually, most Wiki Systems are written in PHP or Java, which aim at mobility.

   
   
That's all my points about CMS and Wiki. Maybe they're not clear and mature enough. Any feedbacks or comments are welcome. Thank you very much!