Back on Track

Before my iPad rant, I was talking about working with hard copy, red pens and a lot of people. People talk about WAM, walk-around-management, I guess this has been WAC, walk-around-collaboration. The good news is these documents are done, they all look great and we are about to distribute them to a very important audience.

That will allow me to return to SharePoint, systems development and the more mundane aspects of running a small IT shop like ordering toner and perhaps finding my desk. Before I leave these documents behind though, there’s one last detail to complete, and this one’s in SharePoint. Each one of these documents has a life going forward, and this year, I’m going to make sure that we are properly set up to support the future role each one plays.

Access – First and most important, each of these documents will be clearly identified, properly described and easy to find. When someone says “I need an electronic copy of the 2009 Annual Report”, there will be no question about where to go. In addition, I’m going to create the site for the 2010 Annual Report; when it’s time to start development, everything we need will be close at hand, including “field notes” containing the tacit knowledge that comes from grinding through this process.

Repurpose – This is an ECM term that most people haven’t heard but it describes a function they all perform. The documents we prepared have a wealth of company descriptive information in them and bits and pieces will likely be reused. It won’t take long before someone asks for “…a copy of the picture that was on page three of the Annual Report”, or if they can get a copy of “the write-up in the new brochure about…” All of these images and text components are in a folder, ready for reuse. Beyond that, the slides from the Annual Meeting will soon be in a slide library. These are good things for two reasons: First, it saves time; people shouldn’t have to recreate that which is already done. Second, it results in consistent stories. The worst thing you can do is give a presentation that contradicts something you said in a different document.

Navigation – If you search this blog for ‘navigation’ you will probably find it close to a word like “difficult”. SharePoint navigation is one of the things our users complain about and one of the harder nuts we’ve had to crack. We are getting better, and my goal with respect to these documents is to never have someone ask me where they are. I also don’t want to rely on search, I think important documents should be easy to find via an intuitive process. I’ll let you know how that works.

One thought on “Back on Track

  1. I'll comment on my own blog to support how important this really is. Turns out, I forgot to bring one of the presentation files with me. I discovered this 15 minutes before the meeting but I was able to retrieve the file in plenty of time.

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