Set up a new organisation

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Procedure.svg Set up a new organisation
Organic Design procedure

Preparation and Administrative

If the organisation already exists, then the Migrate an existing organisation procedure may be more suitable. To begin with the process we need to know a few things. If there is a well-written business plan the information can be taken from there but experience shows that in most cases the organisation is in need of more clarity and structure, thus the process of setting up a new organisational system is equivalent to defining the organisation for the first time. Some questions that need to be clarified are:

Work Agreement

  • What are the clear values that are being worked toward by all parties involved? Is there a work agreement?
  • The work agreement should contain the values (terms and conditions) agreed upon and the scope of the work agreed to, so it is like a quote.
  • What are the needs of the client organisation? What are the organisational goals the system needs to help fulfil?
  • Who is filling which roles in implementing wiki organisation?


  • What is the organisation currently doing, that is, which tasks is it performing and which roles are being filled, what are the departments?
  • What is the current state of organisation and what is missing for wiki organisation to be implemented?


  • The work agreement should be used to get quotes from competing teams to ensure that a decision to commit resource and time is based on a clear understanding of value delivered and the process rules out corruption. In this process it may become clear that the offered solution is not what is sought after by the client, which is better to find out at the beginning

Map existing organisation

  • Once requirements are known, compare existing setup with the template. This done done by filling in an company/system article
  • The organisational system is prepared in parallel with the existing one to minimise disruption, activity and content is moved across in phases.

Move existing domains

Set up LAN

  • Internet account
  • Phone solution? VOIP options?
  • What is the connection like? Speed, reliability?

The general idea for hardware is to get good standard equipment, but be protected against failure by having good procedures in place for handling data restoration or hardware replacement and installation.

  • Router: (Lynksys WAG54GP or similar)
  • LAN: Gbit ethernet is practical cost, preferably use optical cable not copper
  • Server box (Standard server box (make sure it is a stock BIOS and parts etc)
  • Workstations (1 per office worker)
  • Laptops (1 per agent in the field)
  • Sources of good quality hardware
  • Site hardening available

Install Server(s)

Some places will want to have both a LAN server and a web server, others will be happy serving the wiki directly from the LAN server.

  • Firewall (just linux default utils are fine)
  • Email (IMAP running on internal server, procedures for setting up a new client etc)
  • Backup (an automatic LAN server to web server backup exchange over SCP, plus a manual staff procedure on to optical media for larger files and for testing that backups are ok)
  • Shared files and documents (samba is best because it's well supported in linux and best not to be purposely difficult to windows users)
  • IRC channels (or use freenet until we can set up our own on our servers)

Install Workstations

Install New Wiki

  • Set up a Wiki (Install_a_new_wiki and see LocalSettings.sample.php)
    • Ensure the wiki you set up is the same version as the example you are taking the record types from, i.e. use that empty-sql to populate your MySql tables.
    • Base your Localsettings on the example RA wiki.
    • If the new wiki is not in the same wikia as the example, you will need to install all the extensions exactly as they are in the example.

Import articles and templates

There is a script which does this automatically called, refer to that for the current list of articles that are included in a wiki organisation. The list is the red #dpl queries in the middle of the program.

Export/import all the record types Category:Records and all the forms in the Form namespace. Then export/import the following categories of templates:

Transfer data and bots

Refine and Extend Structure

  • You may wish to use Special:RecordAdmin to make new record types. Do this after you have set up all the standard record types and you have tested them with example records to make sure RA is working.
  • Map roles & procedures, resources (especially those which are bookable), knowledge base, best practices etc
  • Create specific portals (see Wikipedia:Enterprise portal for the meaning of portal here)
  • Create templates (ones that represent organisational entities) and their forms

Train staff in system usage

What info we need from the client

When a new server is set up for a client we will need them to configure some settings for their domain-name (unless it's a new domain and they want us to take care of registration, in which case we just need to know the domain(s) that require registration). Here's the info needed in the former case.

  • Full company name: For invoicing and domain-name registration
  • Primary domain name: (eg.
  • Sub domains: (eg. www, wiki, crm, files)
  • Email addresses: (a list of email addresses required for the domain, and whether each is a POP box, or should forward to an existing address)

You will need to ask your domain provider to set up an A record for each sub-domain pointing to

See also