Since its establishment, Modell Aachen GmbH has specialized in interactive management systems based on the wiki technology. Our clients appreciate that we focus on both software as well as consulting services.

Our management systems focus on the best practice approach, decentralized process management and individual responsibility of the employees. The result of the collaboration with our customers is a solid and dynamic organization structure in which all existing organizational experience is used and the management system becomes an integral part of employees' daily work. We refer to a lived and interactive management system if every employee uses the wiki daily and participates regularly -  not due to external pressure but voluntarily.

Typical initial situations

In many companies process-oriented management systems suffer from an extensive lack of acceptance and are therefore not an integral part of staff member's everyday working practice. Oftentimes we encounter the following scenarios at our customers:

Every organization has defined objectives, expectations, agreements or well-established processes and responsibilites. This implies that every company has a management system, although it might not be documented. Many, even small companies have recognized that written forms of agreements and guidelines contribute to sustainable management and improved cooperation within a company.

Management systems are therefore valuable leadership instruments which can also get certified, for example to ISO 9001 or TS 16949. Another way to benefit from a management system is to use it as an informatoin and collaboration platform.

Evidence management systems are characterized by continuous decision-making and the gaining of experience within an organization without documenting this knowledge immediately. Since the everyday value of the management system is not recognized and the effort of documentation seems to be too great, new information of decision makers and knowledge-bearers does not get contributed to the managment system directly.

Eventually a central sector, such as the quality or process management department, notices the differences between reality and the management system's figures. This could happen for instance during an internal audit. Naturally the deviation will be corrected, for example with the help of a process mapping workshop. The consequence is documentation that always lags behind reality and which is therefore not useful as an information portal utilized in the employee's daily routine. If a management system is barely of any use, it is unlikely that staff or managers will be willing to contribute and help to shape the system through their own motivation. Thus the vicious circle of evident management systems continues. To improve these systems, attention is mainly paid to minimizing expenditure. This means documentation is kept as general and generic as possible. Therefore modifications is rarely required to receive a certificate or any other proof towards third parties.

Through this improvement the vicious cycle is further enhanced as the content of the management system has inevitably even less effect on employee's daily lifes. Besides providing some orientation for new staff or finding culprits when mistakes are made, the sole purpose of evident management systems is to obtain certificates with a minimum of effort.

Our understanding of expert systems includes process planning tools and BPM-tools by which a process-oriented management system can be built. BPM tools are often used with a strong planning character. Without suitable trainingn only a few staff members are able to model the processes of an expert system. At the same time the target group that interrogates information is mostly a small circle of experts. Because of its complexity many employees do not use this form of management system as an information portal. Therefore there is no feedback floating back into the system.

Since users have to expect to receive little or no feedback in terms of a socio-technical loop, the planning functionality is of particular importance. As a logical consequence, expert systems are enriched with many features that improve the planning quality of the process planning. This way inconsistency of processes, information sources, bottlenecks et cetera can be identified and optimized in advance. The resulting extensive functionality increases the effect of being too complex to be edited or used as an information tool by staff members.

After planning, the greatest challenge of an expert system is to establish the processes as part of employee's daily lifes. Due to the lack of the employee's reconcilement and inclusion, the system will not be widely accepted. This also means that the implementation primarily takes place through compulsion. This constraint can be applied very well by IT systems, for example through an implementation of processes in the ERP system. Therefore expert systems are predestinated to be used for planning and implementation of discrete algorithmic processes which get hard-wired after they have been planned in workflow systems. On the other hand they are not suitable for the coordination and development of social and creative processes.

The solution: interactive management systems

Interactive management systems based on wiki technology are a combination of integrated management systems and process-oriented knowledge management. Sie zeichnen sich, unter anderem, durch folgende Eigenschaften aus:

Evidence management systems have not achieved levels of high acceptance in terms of their use as information portals. This is due to the fact that their comprised information is often outdated and its level of detail is very low. They therefore provide no solutions for the problems of everyday life.

In contrast, the basic idea of interactive management systems is to provide constantly updated (synchronized) and detailed (decentralized) information to integrate management system documentation into a staff member's daily life.

The timeliness of the management system's content can only be ensured if a decision or gained experience and its documentation is simultaneously synchronized. The managemet system becomes a daily refreshed image of the organization itself as well as a high-quality information portal of process structures for the employee's everyday life. This synchronization can only be achieved if the addition of documentation takes place in a decentralized manner, occuring where matters are decided or experience is gained. So synchronism is closely related to decentralization.

Evidence management systems have not achieved levels of high acceptance in terms of their use as information portals. This is due to the fact that their comprised information is often outdated and its level of detail is very low. They therefore provide no solutions for the problems of everyday life. 

In contrast, the basic idea of interactive management systems is to provide constantly updated (synchronized) and detailed (decentralized) information to integrate the management system documentation into a staff member's daily life.

From a technological point of view the web 2.0 wiki technology is perfectly suitable for decentralization as it explicitly favors the involvement of all readers (see Wikipedia). Installed on the enterprise server all information can be read and modified by the employees. A different window or even a special author license is not necessary.

To ensure that content gets configured and maintained in a decentralized manner, the benefit to the individual employee needs to be greater than the effort required to make changes in the wiki. This is why Modell Aachen focuses on simplicity and user acceptance. Our clients view this attitude as one of our greatest strengths.

The primarily goal of decentralization is to ensure a high level of information detail, relevance and timeliness that provides additional value to everyday life. Management itself gains characteristics of process-oriented knowledge management and consequently gains value for employees. However, this high level of detail cannot be assured by a central location as detailed knowledge and capacity is missing.

A general reservation concerning wikis assumes that information contained within them is not reliable. At Modell Aachen all slides of Q.Wiki are equipped with a range of features including process descriptions, work instructions, and information pages. An approval workflow allows for both- reliable information and full interactivity of a wiki. The approval workflow can be freely configured.

Although the wiki technology emerges from the basic idea that all users can see and modify content, it does not necessarily always have to be this way with Q.Wiki. Specific areas or individual pages can be subject to dedicated rights.

The decentralized documentation allows users not only to administrate due requirements but also due involvement as a platform for participation is created. This leads to several positive effects.  Firstly, acceptance of processes and process documentation increases when crucially shaped by those affected. Secondly, several models of motivation theory show that participation significantly influences the acceptance of requirements as well as  an individual's motivation. This effect is of even greater importance to the growing collaborative-generation, also called Generation Y that barely gets in action without questioning requirements.

Even if you do not wish to implement Q.Wiki in its entirety, decentralization can still provide a number of benefits. Useful features include: version history; respective change history; automated document control; agreement on contents; possibility to simply link content and great search ability. Furthermore you have laid the Q.Wiki technological base fo an interactive future.

When we at Modell Aachen talk about integration we rarely mean integrated management systems, as the implementation of different management systems is a matter of course to us. Rather we mean technical and organizational integration of management system documentation into the everyday life of all employees at every level of the company structure.

Regarding organizational integration, it is crucial that the management system documentation becomes part of meeting culture as most decisions and experiences are communicated in meetings. This means that in every meeting the wiki is opened via a projector or on screen. Once something is discussed that has an effect on a process, a responsibility or emprical value, it should immediately be added to the wiki where appropriate. This way, agreements that are solely verbal are reduced and results become more sustainable.

By technical integration we understand the technical IT system integration of the management system. In consequence a close relationship between production systems (eg SAP) and the descriptive management system documentation is created. The open source web 2.0 wiki technology is ideal for system integration in order to form a bracket around the systems used. Thereby the management system documentation becomes a process-oriented navigation system in which staff members can find all information, files and programs in required chronology.

Your benefits

  • Solid processes - all staff members implement best practice methods

  • Effective management - sustainably administrated in a manner that is participatory and embraced by staff

  • Accelerate processes - reduce run-through times and increase throughput

  • Control changes - control your organization in times of change

  • Achieve goals - use the management system to achieve the company's objectives

  • Utilize knowledge - utilize the collective knowledge of your staff

  • Minimize search times - find information with the latest search technology

  • Lead sustainably - reduce repeating discussions and establish clarity

  • Harmonize processes - standardize processes across departments, locations and countries

  • Use collective intelligence - the best ideas and processes should prevail

Our know-how at your location

We answer any questions and identify potential capacity. 
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