Wiki Patterns

Patterns for successful wiki use

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This pattern involves setting up an induction process for new starters. It is a great pattern for spreading adoption of a wiki because it addresses two issues at once; it solves a very common organisational problem and it also initiates new employees to the wiki.


This pattern is most relevant for small organisations or individual departmentals where induction into local work practices is required. The pattern facilitates the capture and dissemination of knowledge at a department or team level.


The steps that could be followed to implement this pattern are as follows:

  • Open an 'induction wiki' for new starters
  • Seed the wiki with any existing induction documentation and embed it in the wiki. Link to existing documents and processes and where possible, port information into the wiki.
  • Introduce the induction documentation in the wiki to new starters as soon as they enter the company
  • Make the new starters' first job to read the induction wiki, clean it up, improve it, become the induction Champion .
  • Make the new starters responsible for handing the induction wiki on to the next new starter
  • Ensure the relevant people in management and HR act as Maintainers and keep an eye on the process

Further Reading

A short Slideshare presentation that covers this pattern can be seen at

Case Studies

After the highly successful completion of a project, a development team at CSC Australia received many requests to start new projects for the happy customer. The total amount of new work was larger than the original project and it was broken up in to a number of smaller projects. The development team found itself pulled apart and growing at the same time.

Two critical issues were encountered. First, how to retain and disseminate the development culture and knowledge of the original successful projects and second, how to train the large number of new staff who were being recruited, in this case mainly graduates.

The solution to both of these issues was found in the department's wiki. An effort was already underway to capture the newly created department's knowledge in a wiki and it was an easy step to add a 'graduate training' page to the site which listed, in a way relevant to the new recruits, all the wiki pages and references that the graduates had to be aware of.

One graduate started a few months early and he was used as the 'guinea pig'. He was given the task of following the graduate training procedure that was defined on the graduate training wiki page and then improving it. Being a first draft, it needed a general clean up and there were a number of things the graduate could not understand and so he talked to the relevant people and updated the training procedure.

By the time the main body of graduates arrived a few months later, the graduate training procedure was well polished. The new graduates were quickly inducted into the department and became productive much more quickly than would be expected without the wiki based training.

Every year, the last batch of graduates are asked to update the graduate training plan wiki page for the next year's intake. The content that the graduate training plan refers to is constantly improved as part of the department's standard knowledge management practices.

Case study provided by Saikore

At Optus IT, we have lots of processes for new starters. These processes are spread across our Intranet, people's emails, our Document Management System as well as file shares. We often found that it takes our new starters around two weeks to get up and running, very often with some things missed. We needed to speed up this process and ensure that all our new starters get everything they need.

Several users created new starters pages for their teams. Each new starters wiki page was specific to each team, with common features to both also included. These new starters pages linked to appropriate forms, described tasks that needed to be carried out and also encouraged the new starter to contribute where they may have found a process changed. This achieved several things:

  • Saved our new starters time
  • Improved the consistency of information across our teams

Case study provided by Sherif Mansour

new_starter.txt · Last modified: 2018/11/28 14:02 by splitbrain