Wiki as CMS (Content Management System) for HR Departments

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Most organizations regard CMS (Content Management System) as a solution to their contents problems and believe that through installing CMS can effectively solve the issues for accumulating business related documents and information, facilitating knowledge management and sharing, and improve the efficiency of collaboration.

However, most of the companies jump onto CMS tools such as wiki or other customized softwares without the insight of content strategies and consideration of user requirement from internal editorial infrastructure.

As Halvorson argues in Content strategy is, in fact, the next big thing:

Most companies can’t sustain social media engagement because they lack the internal editorial infrastructure to support it.

They don’t have a content strategy.

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Clearly outlining the importance of establishing an internal editorial infrastructure within an organization to curate and remove irrelevant or erroneous contents from the CMS.

While Solis further illustrates the need of integrating: publishing calendars, editorial oversight, content performance analysis, and cross-discipline collaboration into enterprise’s social media channels:

New media necessitates a collaboration between all teams involved in creating and distributing content, including advertising, interactive, communications, brand, and marketing — with an editorial role connecting the dots.

In order to benefit from the implementation of wiki or other similar CMS tools, organizations need to clarify their content strategies first.

Basically, an effective internal wiki platform should serve the functionalities such as: intuitive, simple and efficient to use for both contributors and modifiers. The structure of contents should be systematically simplified and easy for users to search, organize, structure, and modify. The purpose of utilizing social media tools in workplace is to facilitate workflow, not increase the workload.

The strategies of implementing Wiki as CMS tool for organizations are:

  • The importance of consistency – internal editorial infrastructure:
  • It is important to establish a clear internal editorial infrastructure within the implementation of wiki, due to its unique nature of collaborative knowledge and contribution. Since all the contents are updated and modified by the users throughout the time, without a group of modifiers to curate and maintain the consistency and accuracy of contents, the system will simply become a repository for overlapped or unauthorized materials.

  • Strive for Simplicity:
  • It should be immediately clear for users to perceive where they can find the specific page within a well-structured content hierarchy. Users should not have to spend time digging into a wiki platform and ending up with overlapped information or irrelevant internal links. From the perspective of user-centre design, the user interface and process should be intuitive and comprehensive to use as well.

  • Meet user’s need – Selection and Customization:
  • Depending on different target features and functionalities required, there exists numerous wikis tools or even customized softwares can be chosen from. Normally organizations select a CMS or wiki by its popularity, cultural affiliation, or corporate edict, that is, without properly considering the contents published. However, the adoption should be ideally based on the content strategies and the requirement of internal editorial team.

  • Reward outstanding contributions:
  • When using for the purpose of project management, education and training, or other collaborative functions, the quality contributions should be rewarded in order to encourage active engagement within the department or even organization. Despite from the internal editorial team, individuals who dedicate to the creation and modification of current contents should be praised publicly. As I mentioned in my previous post, Rewards always speaks louder than regulations.

    Related Posts:
    How can an HR department benefits from wiki? by Abdulrahman Alarifi
    HR’s wiki strategy: Using wikis for learning and education by Amanda Belton
    Wiki usage strategies in the Enterprise – Focus on HR Departments by Charleston Telles
    Wiki Strategies for HR Department by Karen Evans


    1. Strategies for Organizing Wiki Content, tychoish, a wiki
    2. Strategic Content Management, by Jonathan Kahn
    3. Content strategy is, in fact, the next big thing by Kristina Halvorson on February 25th, 2010
    4. What Content Strategies Work Best for Small Businesses? by Scripted Writers in Writers
    5. 4 Crucially Important Content Development Strategies
    6. The Discipline of Content Strategy by KRISTINA HALVORSON


    13 thoughts on “Wiki as CMS (Content Management System) for HR Departments

    1. Hi Edie,
      Excellent post. I cannot agree with you more. It is so important when implementing a CMS that is contributed to by numerous people, that a strategy is put in place to ensure that all the data is accurate, appropriate and unduplicated. Not everybody understands how to properly organise and display data, they just know what they know and are happy to put it anywhere. This can lead to a mish-mash of information that confuses more people than it helps. You’d almost have to think that in large organisations it would almost be better for staff to submit wiki changes to the editorial team for publication to reduce the amount of mistakes that are made, but I suppose this would defeat the purpose of the wiki…

      • Hi Candice 😀
        Thanks for your valuable comment which I really appreciate!
        I am concerned about the issues generated by co-authorship within organization as well since the format of contents and structures should be consistent and efficient to retrieve when wiki is applied internally. I am also interested in how to establish a precise internal editorial infrastructure within organization. Once the infrastructure is set up, employees and responsible staffs can all follow the regulations to achieve the purpose of wiki-everyone has the freedom to use, edit and distribute the contents. 😀

    2. Hi Edie
      Really good post…
      I think we all in the same page here when it comes to strategy. and i believe you know that i am an advocate for strategies.
      But when you ask yourself why organizations don’t have strategies despite the fact that they have been using these collaborative tools for quite some time..I believe this because
      – Strategies are very context related and require time, insight and close relation from Consultants to draft and to invest in such strategy.
      – To do that you need to justify that by some ROI which obviously Social tools lack.


      • Hey Abdul 😀
        Thanks for your informative comment!
        I highly agree with you that the main reason why organization which practices social media tools cannot benefit and retain great ROI from it is the lack of appropriate assessment beforehand and insightful strategies. Most of them can only capture the trend and jump onto it but without thorough consideration and customization. Just like loads of Facebook Fanpages lack effective content strategies to encourage reaction from customers. When it comes to Enterprise 2.0, the product is the content itself, and it is also the primary element which determines the outcome. 😀

    3. Pingback: Wiki Strategies for HR Department « e2karen

    4. Hey Edie,
      I agree with your point about “The purpose of utilizing social media tools in workplace is to facilitate workflow, not increase the workload.” If using social media will increase original workload, this is not effectively tools.
      By the way, according to your reward approach, if staffs cannot have positive contribution, do they will get some punishment?

      • Hey Rick 🙂
        Thanks for your feedback!
        It’s very important when company wants to introduce a new technology into the workflow since it can also bring about possible cost and side effects such as time and effort spending on training and adapting new technologies, as well as the risk of decreasing efficiency and increasing workload in the beginning of adaptation.
        I believe that company need to do a thorough assessment before jump onto any new initiatives and figuring out is the new tools can effectively generate sound benefit and is it ideal for long-term practice. Unfortunately most of the organizations are solely blind followers without proactive insight of how to fully utilize and benefit from social media tools.


    5. Pingback: HR’s wiki strategy: Using wikis for learning and education | Amanda Belton

    6. Great post Edie. I think it’s a good idea to have a page moderator who occasionally checks the page for consistency and accuracy. While wiki provides the ability to co-author a page, there should still be a page owner who takes responsibility of the contents. In the case where inappropriate or irrelevant information were added, the owner has the responsibility to remove it. Do you agree?

      • Hey Karen 🙂

        Thanks for your comment!
        I can’t agree with you more about your idea, as a wiki user, I always find it quite disturbing when some irrelevant, incorrect or ambiguous contents have been added to the pages, sometimes even me contents are modified and hijacked by some disgruntled users. Since the wiki page will be referred and accessed simultaneously by all the users at anytime, I believe that it might be more effective to assign the editorial rights to specific responsible group when it comes to confidential information or sensitive topics, in order to avoid possible defamation or distribution of wrongful information.
        However, since one of the purpose of applying wiki tools within organization is to make collaboration work more efficient, for general contents and projects, I agree that your suggestion would be better, even we may still need to evaluate the cost of HR and see whether it is worth or not. 🙂



    7. Pingback: HR in Social Network: Building up company’s Reputation « LET'S Enterprise 2.0

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