A week doesn't go by where I don't hear from some administrative group who wants to work in a wiki, but wants their work to be private. When this happens I almost always tell them, "Then a wiki isn't for you. If you want to collaborate with a small group where no one else can see it use Google Docs." When I say this they almost always respond, "We dont mind people seeing it, but we don't want them to see it until it is more polished." Of course, that defeats the whole purpose of a wiki where the values that are "baked-in" declare that everyone, no matter what their role, has something of value to contribute. If you mess with the values you break the very conditions which allow the tools to work in the first place. I personally don't believe you can be a little 2.0. I think it's more binary.-- you are or you aren't. Which is why I think most enterprise 2.0 efforts will fail. You have to believe.
I am a huge believer in workstreaming technologies for this exact reason. I've talked to several groups struggling with distributed work teams in the last few weeks, and in every instance the missing ingredients were the workstreaming capabilities, and because it's all blurring, the associated lifestreaming technologies.
Which brings me to this Coding Horror post: Don't Go Dark. I'm thinking there is much that old-school management can apply to their jobs that has been learned from the agile software development world:
Don't go dark. Don't be that guy in the room. Hiding your code until it's "done" may feel safer, but it isn't. Sharing your ongoing code with your coworkers is scary, much less the world -- but it also results in feedback and communication that will improve your code and draw you closer to the project you're working on. And isn't that why we all write code in the first place?
That advice doesn't just apply to writing code it applies to everything that we do. It's why wikis work. It's why I tell people who want to work in the dark in a wiki that they should use something different. If you aren't ready to work differently don't think for a minute that the enabling technologies will work for you.
As they say, transparency is the new black. Step one in moving to agile management is to stop being a scaredy cat and to start working in the open.