Friday, October 21, 2005

The way forward

Main strategies needed to create and implement a solution. Here they are:

1. Capturing Knowledge: Information + Experience. This is you Key Goal and main topic of discussion in the book.

2. Giving users multiple access points to information. Having just one way of dealing with documents and other objects is not recognizing that we all people work in different ways, so not everyone will feel comfortable searching and working in only one way.

3. Giving users a powerful “integrated” search engine. I like to call it the Find engine, something flexible and powerful enough that allows you to "play"with results, and find valuable information.

4. Creating policies and guidelines to host a Document Repository.

5. Fitting to the Organization. Not the other way. This means all to often people look at the tools not aware that the tools are the ones that need to conform to our way of working , not the opposite. Yes, we may have to enhance our processes, but not all at the same time, it could be very distracting and time consuming.

6. A KM system should match the way people work and help them achieve their goals.

7. The system should match the organization's structure. By modifying the way you are structured, that on itself is a major change. You should be very careful on how to approach changes, because remember that you work and are part of a system, and changes in the structure are critical. The suggestion is to try and work with what you have, and once you implemented the technology, make small changes.

8. Business processes must be matched as workflows.

9. Fostering continuous practical training. People need to be reminded once in a while about certain features of a given technical environment. Training people to "learn" how to work with and use a system does not mean the system "will" be used. Reality shows that people will forget mostly everything by the 6th day their training passed. It is important to coach them and hold their hand in the beginning so that change does not scare them enough to prevent a successful transition.

  • Creating an information map:

  • Knowing how many, how big, which types of files your organization currently holds is crucial for you to measure implementation efforts on a Repository. Knowing were point A (Where you are) will better guide you on the detail required at this particular project. When you create a map, there are policies required that get created along, like how many files do we want to keep per type, or how should we delete obsolete files, etc. Your process for transitioning point A to point B is as important as defining the target.
  • Create Rules and guidelines for grant related information and other e-documents for users to follow.

    • It is essential to provide users guidance for the sake of system efficiency. Without the BUY IN from users, you will not be successful in the long run. Period. Your users are the most important part of the entire process. You need to involve as many of the most visible as you can. Without them your efforts and cost will increase mightily.
    • Most companies fail to capture their knowledge because there is no Vision and Strategy about rational knowledge, or people assume that there is one but in reality there is a paper document policy not fully translated into the digital world, or no automated policy system that helps you monitor compliance. Thinking that in today's massive libraries you can manually verify policies is not smart.

  • Files/process organization.

    • Streamline document creation and storage. Increase accessibility through search tools.
This theory about how things should develop in a project comes as a conclusion from projects that did not have a clear methodology for repositories. As most of the material, these are lessons learned from many projects that did not have or did know which steps to take.


Blogger lemora said...

I think the Way Forward is great as a general guideline but it could be more digestible (readable / understandable) if every step is matched with a real-life company example achieving each step no matter if the industries in that example-per-step vary from each other. This commentary just to show readers that this a real-life proof of this steps wisdom.

10:37 AM  

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