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1546RE: [TaxoCoP] Re: trying to improve a doc management system - where to start?

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  • annette feldman
    Sep 6, 2006



      Thanks for your reply and your thoughtful insights.  I should have said in my original post that I am in the process of identifying users to interview with the idea of gaining a better understanding of who is currently using what and how are they currently finding it.  I have spoken at length with some power users, but they are not typical and the system need not even exist for their sake, because they can simply drill through the file structure to find what they need.  I am hoping to open the resources up to those who are, not necessarily less comfortable with technology, but whose jobs require them to balance the amount of time spent finding things with the value that is found.  In other words, if they have to look too hard, they’ll find another way to get what they want (call a techie) or do without. 


      I do hesitate to change the basic structure, largely because it was created by my boss who really thinks it is as it should be and is somewhat personally invested in the system retaining his imprint.  I agree with you that the ability to manage the load process quickly is important to me working efficiently, but I’m not yet sure that I know a better structure than the one in place and feel it is foolish to risk a change without good reason, given my boss’ investment in it.  I’ve played around and tried to come up with a topic map that better suits the uses I currently know about, but there is a reason the organization is so murky – a lot of different people approach the information in different ways.


      I have not had a lot of experience with Sharepoint, but as I understand the way we are using it, metadata is added as attributes to files and can be used as filters in searches.  In addition, there is a full text search capability, and filters can be combined and stored in as to have the system run standardized queries, for instance, retrieving a set of economic reports for a market that can be specified at the time of the request.  The query is run independent of the structure of the files; it is not drilling down thorough any kind of tree.  I would like to know if there are query capabilities that are structure dependent, such as geographic rollups, including all markets in a region, or some such thing.  I just don’t know the software well enough, and the IT folks are not terrifically forthcoming.  Still trying to find the right questions to ask them, too.


      I will think more about your suggestions and check out the article you recommend.  I think things can definitely be improved and I do know that this will be an iterative process, I’d just like to get as close to ‘right’ on the first go round as possible!


      Thanks again for your time and your thoughts, and by all means, have another cup of coffee, on me.




      -----Original Message-----
      From: TaxoCoP@yahoogroups.com [mailto:TaxoCoP@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jeff Parks
      Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2006 6:13 PM
      To: TaxoCoP@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [TaxoCoP] Re: trying to improve a doc management system - where to start?



      I would say the fundamental issue is based in findability. The
      success of any technology, especially as it applies to Knowledge
      Management solutions like RM/DM tools, is based on a solid
      understanding of the business culture. How comfortable are those in
      your organization in using technology, in general? Is the structure
      and labeling of the content ingrained within the organization or is
      there room to create change which will increase the organization' s
      capacity (read "persons" capacity) to find information quickly, and

      (Related to this line of thinking is a recent article in
      CIO Magazine about going beyond scope, budget, and time to measure
      successful IT projects – including Use, Learning, and Value as core
      requirements to measure success and failure:
      http://www.cio. com/archive/ 090106/applied. html.)

      Without knowing more, I would suggest the structure of the filing
      system is critical; to both the capacity of Sharepoint to recognize
      and manage the information being queried; and for your capacity to
      keep up with the various documents that come across your desk for

      To test this theory, one solution would be to do a content inventory –
      or at least a representative sample of the documents you are managing.
      From this you can get a feel for how the content should be structured,
      labeled, organized – all of which can drive a more effective and
      efficient metadata solution – within the taxonomy. (A taxonomy
      created by an understanding of how those who are using the system
      would think to find information – not just on how it has always
      been structured, or on how you would find / organize everything.)

      Without knowing more, that's my "two cents". Am I close to
      understanding the issues you are facing or do I need another cup of

      Best of luck!

      Jeff Parks
      website: http://www.iaconsul tants.ca
      podcast: http://iapodcast. blogspot. com/

      --- In TaxoCoP@yahoogroups .com, aafeldman@.. . wrote:

      > Hi all,
      > I’m very new to the group and am having a bit of trouble even
      phrasing my question, but I’m hoping that someone will recognize
      what I need and can give me a gentle push in the right direction.
      > I’ve been asked to improve the functioning of a document
      management system that is currently (and for the foreseeable future)
      based in Sharepoint with a somewhat improved front end for querying
      based mostly on customized attributes. The current structure of the
      files is based on a mix of 1) time (current vs archived), 2) market
      segmentation (eg., macro vs micro), 3) groups of information that are
      generally requested together (eg., standard performance measures), and
      4) random other topics.
      > With the help of some documentation, I have been able to load files
      where they belong according to this system. I’ve been investigating
      topic maps to try to find a more consistent way of organizing the
      info. I think my first questions is, given the retrieval system of
      queries and the fact that I am the only one adding documents to the
      library, how much does the actual structure of the files matter, and
      is this an area I should be spending any time on? There is something
      of an issue with findability, but I think this is largely based on
      incomplete or erroneous metadata in the attributes fields.
      > Yes, I am signed up for Seth’s upcoming series on content
      management, but in the meantime, any advice on where to start? Thanks!
      > Annette Feldman
      > Portfolio Analytics Research Librarian
      > BlackRock
      > 300 Campus Drive
      > Florham Park, NJ 07932-1038
      > 973-264-2893
      > annette.feldman@ ...
      > ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
      > Check out AOL.com today. Breaking news, video search, pictures,
      email and IM. All on demand. Always Free.

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