Best practices

Category: Best practices (16 posts) [RSS]

Sep 08 2016

You change. We change.

Source codeOriginal image created by Kuszapro

The software industry has developed tremendously in the last couple of years. Starting from a simple practice of ensuring better human efficiency and performance, it has increased so much and so fast, by both value and volume, that now has become a science. Today’s world is facing different issues than the past generations and new trends have forced the software industry to reorganize and find alternative ways to solve business and community related sensitive situations.

Level of interaction

Depending on the level of interaction with the user, Alan Cooper has structured the applications in four postures. The sovereign application is a software that is used the most. Usually it monopolizes the user’s attention for the greatest amount of time.

When an alternative solution is being used for a specific purpose on which the sovereign application is not performing as expected, a transient application is introduced. It attracts user’s interaction for a limited amount of time as it appears, gets the job done and exits the landscape immediately. If it is used for a longer period of time it becomes an auxiliary software to the sovereign one and it’s categorized as a parasitic application. The one interacting the least with the user is the daemonic application which is running in the background and doesn’t require direct human interaction.

Scale of implementation

On the other hand, considering the scale of implementation, there are two main categories: situational and enterprise applications. The difference between them consists solely on the target audience and the range of requirements.

Situational applications are usually considered fast to develop and implement, easy to use and flexible enough to be modified. They satisfy a specific, limited type of needs therefore are easier to implement and don’t require a considerable amount of planning and testing. Due to these characteristics are more preferable for small groups.

The enterprise application is the total opposite of the one mentioned above. It is usually more generic and satisfies a wide range of business purposes which are intended to be addressed by a large number of users. It requires meticulous planning, higher investments and have proved to be much more difficult to implement or change.


XWiki the best solution

Once with the strong focus on developing cloud technologies and deployment platforms, companies tend to implement situational applications on a wider scale, slowly over-passing the traditional enterprise applications. An example of platform supporting the development and use of situational wiki applications is XWiki. Using top-end technology, our wiki embraces change, therefore is considered to be one of the best solutions in terms of situational application for both big and small enterprises.

Our teams can perform on both the Waterfall methodology which is more preferred by clients who know exactly what needs they have, while the AGILE methodology allows us to start working with a limited amount of information and define requirements during the development process.


Top 3 reasons why XWiki is the perfect solution for your situational application:

  1. Easy to develop and implement means saved time, fewer costs and more money for your company.
  2. Being user friendly it allows your employees to focus on the most important tasks and increase their productivity which eventually increases their motivation and the company’s revenue.
  3. Flexible to meet your dynamic requirements. The development process can be resumed whenever you feel like it. To satisfy your latest needs without starting from square one, XWiki is adaptable and cost effective.

If you want to see examples of what situational applications we have developed please visit our references page.

George Nikolic
Marketing Specialist @ XWiki

Jul 04 2016

Improve your everyday work with business apps

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Multi-departmental validations: when haste makes waste

Have you ever spent days stressing out because you were waiting for an urgent confirmation which required the approval of several teams or departments?
And while you waited "patiently" for your coworkers to reach a decision and find the time to get back to you, you merely underwent 10 reminder calls per hour?
... Don't you find these situations a tad stressful?

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Good news! There is a solution: it is called a "business application".

When you go business app, you don’t come back

A business app is a custom-made application for companies or organizations designed to help its activity. It can entail:

  • a simplified approach to a bank account opening process
  • optimizing information management in order to make strategic decisions
  • or any other customized application designed to boost your efficiency

At XWiki we often face clients who suffer from this crucial information management to improve their business. They usually work on documents or excel sheets that are updated by several people asynchronously, then sent by email or replaced on a server. Multiplied versions thus start to pile up - version 1, version 2, final version, final-final version - and one can hardly decypher the information he or she is actually looking for.

A popular misconception is that the solution is too complex to implement - it isn't.

Indeed business apps will enable you to:

  • centralize information: rather than spending time searching through emails and documents that have been updated by different teams, you can collaborate on the same document;
  • enhance productivity: by obtaining multiple and quick validations you are able to handle more work in less time;
  • work stress-free: building optimized processes will reduce your pain point and improve your health - say "bye bye" to your imminent burn out.

Licence to chill

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All things considered business apps will improve your life!
... and the proof is in the pudding: here are some detailed examples of our clients.

Chronopost International was experiencing difficulty with obtaining a rapid green light from its sales teams, its IT department and its local agency network to create an account. Client requests were not centralized which resulted in inefficient communication and a tiring management process.
In less than three months, XWiki delivered a business application that significantly reduced the response time of the different teams involved. It is now possible for the sales team to know at any time which requests are ongoing and what is their status!

DCNS - an international high-tech company and one of the few global leaders in defense naval systems - went through similar difficulties.
Some teams were working on incident reporting and communicated their excel files via email. They were constantly dealing with multiple versions of the same files which resulted in information loss. Not only were these asynchronous updates not allowing an efficient status to several departments, but delaying the alerts was multiplying incidents.
This is why XWiki centralized their accident reports and developed an instant alarm system. A short time after its launch, DCNS claimed our business application had prevented more than 200 material incidents.

So why would you stress yourself when you can just as easily get a license to chill? Contact us to set up your business app project.

Sarah Nitenberg
Project Manager

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Jun 03 2016

Intranet managers: projects and budgets for 2016

A couple of months ago, we attended an early presentation on the results of the 7th study on the topic "Intranet managers: projects and budgets for 2016".
Lead, analyzed and presented by Philippe Grange (Facts & Numbers/Group Solutions), the study offers an encouraging vision for this year’s incomings.

The digital transformation: a key element for companies

According to the results, we notice that general management and human resources departments are involved in digitization projects inside companies.
Mainly financed by DSI and conducted by the Communication Manager, the general management’s financial commitment shows that digital transformation becomes a strategic and key subject, in which the HR department is equally involved. One of the possible interpretations is that Y generation employees are becoming more and more important in a company. These contributors have new behaviors, with notable and massive utilization of social and mobile media. Maintaining the  control over these aspects will allow HR departments to better integrate young generations in the company.

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What are the intranet managers achievements in 2015

Among the achievements of intranet managers in 2015 we find:

  • the modernization and redesigning of the intranet. This also takes into account the tool’s ability to connect to mobile devices.
  • the release of a collaborative intranet
  • the implementation of SNC
  • the accomplishment of POC, the creation of studies regarding the tool’s usability or the achievement of a tasks book
  • the development or releases of new applications and/or modules

Secondary, we notice the development of "Serious Games" or of MOOC. We observe that the answers depend on the stage of digitalisation in the respondent company. We can group them in 2 categories:

  • Companies in study or launch phase     
  • Companies that are in the second phase of their transformation project

What are the budgets and projects for 2016?

This is the good news of 2016!

According to this study, budgets are increasing in 2016. Even better, not only are they growing, but the average increase is in the range of 50%.
This represents, in my opinion, a sign of the growing awareness of the strategic importance and value that digital transformation projects bring to a company.

These budgets will be mainly used for:

  • the development of responsive and accessible tools for mobile devices
  • the implementation of SNC (Social Network of the Company)
  • promoting the intranet or the SNC
  • the elaboration of a workplace
  • the monitoring of the project’s evolution

Where do wikis fit in this ecosystem?

Wikis registered good results, making the top of the list for projects quoted for 6 to 18 months with the KM (Knowledge Management) and intranet personalization.

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Wikis are perfectly adapted tools for collaborative work issues, due to their strong participative dimension, but they’re also excellent for organizing knowledge and information in the company.

The expectations of intranet managers in relation with providers for 2016-17

As a wish list, here are some the objectives intranet managers have set for 2016-17:

  • Speed and agility: the development of tools according to the user’s needs and expectations
  • Being informed regarding the best-practices on the market
  • Offering assistance in the implementation phase of the projects and support for the release
  • Suggestions of new features that exist or can be implemented
  • Simplification of the tools and of the back office admin
  • Alignment of the cloud with the security exigences needed for safely managing the company’s internal information
  • Efforts in simplifying (purifying) the consultation and contribution interfaces
  • For SNC, as for the intranet: improvements in the aesthetics and performance!
  • Security doesn’t have to act in the detriment of easy access.

If you also want to configure an intranet on a short or medium term and most of your needs are expressed in this list, do not hesitate to get in contact with our team for a demonstration of XWiki Cloud or for a feasibility study. We are always happy to interact with people who are interested in subjects like the digital transformation of a company, information and knowledge management and also collaborative work and the Digital Workplace.

Benjamin Lanciaux
Marketing Communications Manager @ XWiki

Apr 28 2016

Corporate Amnesia - When Organizational Memory Walks Out the Front Door With Your Knowledge Workers

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“Organizational memory is the accumulated body of data, information and knowledge created in the course of an individual organization’s existence. Falling under the wider disciplinary umbrella of knowledge management, it has two repositories: an organization's archives, including its electronic data bases; and individuals’ memories. Corporate amnesia is a phrase used to describe a situation in which businesses, and other types of co-operative organization, lose their memory of how to do things.“

Wikipedia

As the economy improves, the churn rate of experienced staff increases as well. Challenges in recruiting and developing young talent coupled with the retirement of senior employees bring to light the issue of memory loss. Every time a person changes employer, a part of the company’s memory is lost as well. The lack of continuity damages the organization’s competitiveness. Common problems include:

  • Difficulties in running complex systems and an inability to complete long-term projects
  • Repeating old mistakes and a failure to learn from past successes
  • Decreased productivity
  • Reduced interest in understanding company history
  • Loss of corporate identity, dilution of mission and culture

One could say a new employee's experience can compensate for the missing know-how when someone else departs. While a new recruit may be highly knowledgeable and bring a fresh perspective it can take up to a year for her to become fully productive. In this economy, the ability to learn faster than competitors becomes essential not only for growth, but also for company survival. Organizations can avoid expensive mistakes and take advantage of opportunities through knowledge preservation.

So how can we prevent corporate amnesia?

  1. Create reliable databases for easily storing and finding knowledge (reports, policies, competitive intelligence data etc.)
  2. Do a Post-Mortem at the end of each project to determine and analyze the elements that were successful / unsuccessful 
  3. Foster a culture where people are encouraged to communicate and share their know-how and ideas
  4. Create a comprehensive onboarding procedure and mentorship program to facilitate the assimilation of new employees
  5. Nominate knowledge experts so new recruits can easily find the go to people for a given subject matter
  6. Implement succession-planning tools, including knowledge preservation-exit interviews and handover sessions.

If you’re not looking to reinvent the wheel, through these methods you can reduce the likelihood of mistakes and ultimately save time and money while strengthening you competitive advantage.

Dec 07 2015

10 Basic Questions You Need to Ask When Choosing a Wiki

With dozens of easy to use and affordable wiki solutions, many companies opt for wikis to store procedures and best practices. This post explores the key factors you should be looking at when choosing the best wiki for your business. ...

Dec 03 2015

5 Ways You're Wasting Your Time Looking for Information

The larger your organisation, the most likely you are to waste time looking for resources and relevant information as part of your job. Studies show that a typical knowledge worker can waste more than 10% of their time each week looking for specific pieces of information. Here are 5 common causes for these issues and how to fix them. ...