Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Wiki Vs. Email Grudge Match (Organizational Theory And Collaboration)

One of my students (Thanks, Pat!) sent me a very interesting post by Manny Wilson over at Organizational Theory and Collaboration. Apparently, Mr. Wilson put together the graphic below when he was at CENTCOM and trying to explain the difference between working via email and working through a wiki. This graphic was then picked up by Chris Rasmussen at NGA and used in its presentations on the same topic and was then re-posted by the Wikinomics blog (twice) a couple of weeks ago.

It manages to capture in an easy to understand graphic the same point I struggled to make with words in my recent article, "A Wiki Is Like A Room..." That is, wikis save time because they cut down on "transaction costs" within a group. Individually, each transaction only takes a small amount of extra time but over the life of the project, this time adds up to a considerable loss that could have been put to use doing additional analysis. It also stands to reason that the larger the group, the more time the group will save, all other things being equal, by using a wiki.


ShirleyP said...

The visual illustration is a clear interpretation of how a wiki clearly shows a couple of its many pluses--aiding with quicker collaboration and meeting time restraints. Thanks!

zby said...

This is a great picture - but it is about just one possible collaboration task. It is misleading to propose that it represents working via email (or working through a wiki) in general.