This question comes up often during our workshops. Participants see that both platforms can help with document collaboration and information sharing, and they start to wonder which platform is more appropriate for their needs.
While this can be a long discussion, I am only going to provide a few key insights here, and please add your comments below so others can benefit from your experience.
What is SharePoint best at?
- More appropriate for managing "documents."
- More appropriate for managing calendars and tasks that are structured.
- More suitable when you want to setup several levels of user permissions.
- More suitable when you are using Windows and so is your team/company and therefore integration with Windows, with Microsoft Office Applications, and Exchange/Outlook is desired or mandatory.
What are wikis best at?
- When you want to co-create content at a more granular level (quickly and easily update sentences and paragraphs, expand and branch into new pages).
- When you are at the early stage of an idea or a project and flexibility and innovation is more important than structure.
- When everyone is on equal footing and involvement/engagement are key as opposed to having a hierarchal structure and a structured review process.
- When users are using a variety of platforms (Windows, Macs, others).
Having said the above, it is common to see teams use both tools. Some projects and initiative require the flexibility and ease of use of a wiki while others require the more structured approach that SharePoint offers. Sometimes it is easier to start a project using a wiki and then when the project develops further and formal documents start to take shape, SharePoint can then be introduced.