Wiki of the Month July 2015
|Table of Contents|
HelioWiki is an SMW-based intranet wiki for Heliocentris' Quality Management System (QMS). Since 2011, the Heliocentris QMS is powered by semantic::bpm, a SMW-based QMS developed by gesinn.it GmbH & Co. KG.
Heliocentris Energy Solutions AG is a technology leader in energy efficiency solutions and services for customers around the globe in the field of Information & Communication Technologies as well as Training and Research. It employs approximately 150 permanent employees as well as 30-50 temporary staff.
Heliocentris as an innovative technology provider required a suitable tool to support its vital quality management system. At the same time its success builds on the intellectual capital and experience that the company has been accumulating during many years of project development and implementation work for clients around the world. Consequently, knowledge management is another major concern and central part of the company’s corporate DNA.
To cater for the requirements in both areas, Heliocentris was looking for a software solution to bridge the gap between structured process documentation for quality management purposes and unstructured information work in context of the company’s knowledge management efforts. In addition, the company hoped it would find a solution that encourages an even more collaborative work approach amongst employees to improve information flow and processes across Heliocentris’ different departments.
A highly secure solution was required as sensitive information on projects and innovations would be documented in the system. The solution had to be hosted in Germany for reasons of data security whilst guaranteeing high availability for Heliocentris international staff. In addition to three German offices, various international locations such as Dubai and Vancouver required access to the system. With regards to quality management, the software had to fulfill on all ISO 9001 certification requirements entailing the seamless versioning of documents, multi-level authorization routines and easy access for both laymen and experts. To enable the company’s knowledge management efforts, the system had to be easy to use for everybody in the company and largely self-explanatory, minimizing training investment and inviting employees to explore the system without major external guidance.
Employees at Heliocentris had been using Wikis before and were thrilled by the collaborative nature and the flexibility of Wiki systems. Both quality management and knowledge management efforts in the company would profit from a collaborative work approach. However, neither current Wiki systems nor any of the established documentation systems were able to provide the full spectrum of functionalities required for Heliocentris’ efforts. In particular, none of them would boast the required mixture of structures and unstructured information gathering, representation and analysis that Heliocentris was looking for.
Heliocentris found the solution to its challenges in gesinn.it’s semantic::bpm. semantic::bpm bridges the gap that Heliocentris was trying to overcome: it combines structured data and analysis with the flexibility and ease of use of a Wiki. It allows employees and management to collaboratively design and discuss processes and other work-related issues; and it has all the features that are required for a professional quality management system according to ISO.
semantic::bpm is based on MediaWiki 1.19.x (Long Term Support Version) provided by gesinn.it's semantic::core distribution. Semantic MediaWiki adds database capabilities to allow the collecting, analysis, consolidation and combination of various structured data. It automatically links related data and information helping to ensure that QM information, company handbooks, process flowcharts and management systems are always up-to-date. The software’s graphical engine, combined with the system’s database capabilities, automatically generates process flow charts that can be sliced and diced to each user’s specific needs.
A number of other extensions like Semantic Forms, Semantic Result Formats, Semantic Forms Inputs, Semantic Drilldown and a customized version of GuMaxDD build a complete Enterprise Wiki with focus on stability and maintainability.
semantic::bpm defines the formal naming and definition of types, properties, and interrelationships of entities (ontology) in the domain of process management and quality management systems. The following diagram is an excerpt from the overall ontology.
Typical processes are:
- Develop Vision and Strategy
- Design and Manage Products and Services
- Market and Sell Products and Services
- Deliver Products and Services
- Manage Customer Service
- Develop and Manage Human Capital
- Manage Information Technology
- Manage Financial Resources
- Acquire, Construct, and Manage Property
- Manage Environmental Health and Safety
- Manage External Relationships
- Manage Knowledge, Improvement, and Change
The Heliocentris wiki gardeners take care for adoption and successful use of HelioWiki. They collect issues and user feedback and prepare the roadmap for changes. One of the next big steps will be an upgrade to the current MediaWiki LTS version to benefit from new features like Visual Editor for example.