Content Organization before Technology Application

By Bob Larrivee posted 04-27-2011 13:43


One thing I have heard over and over in this industry is that the technology is in place but the situation is still no better than it was. Findability of information is still a major challenge and concern even when search engines are used. Many of my students cite that their organization had/has implemented technology to manage their content but the content itself is still in a state of chaos. When I ask about organization of their content, I often get the response that management thought technology would solve that problem even when using SharePoint. Then they point out that what they have witnessed is the migration from a “digital landfill” – shared network drives and local hard drives – to a “digital dumpster” where the information is contained but still not findable and certainly not cleansed.

In my view, the first steps in any project should be to audit, inventory, cleanse, organize and prepare your content for migration into your chosen technology. Do a quick audit of say 5% of your information to get a feel for what you have and begin to assess the structure and identify patterns in the way content is currently managed. The inventory is a more detailed look at your content to identify the specific elements of content you own and cleanse the content ridding it of ROT – Redundant, Outdated and Trivial – information. Once this task is complete or even in parallel, you begin to organize it in ways that support the business and then prepare it and your selected technology to migrate it into the assigned corporate repositories.

Technology implemented for the sake of technology will not work and certainly will not replace the human factor when it comes to organizing your content to support your business and findability. Organization of content is vital to the success of an ECM environment. If you are ready to move forward but are not sure where to begin or what to do next, seek professional assistance and/or training to get you started.

What say you? Do you have a story to tell? What are your thoughts on this topic? What is on your mind? Do you have a topic of interest you would like discussed in this forum? Let me know.

Bob Larrivee, Director and Industry Advisor – AIIM

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