Siri meets Component Authoring – A Productivity Marriage Made in Heaven

By Bryant Duhon posted 02-24-2014 14:26


In this #AIIM14 preview, Seth Earley provides a glimpse into the how to really get search working for you. After all, you don’t want your folks wasting time simply looking for the information they need.

Seth Earley, AIIM 2014 speakerSeth Earley Chief Executive Officer, Earley & Associates,is a well-known expert in search, content, and knowledge management strategies. He has extensive practical knowledge of information architecture and has directed numerous IA engagements. Teams under Seth’s direction have worked with many clients to develop enterprise-wide information architectures for both Fortune 1000 and dynamic mid-size companies, as well as for non-profits. Seth is a popular speaker and workshop leader at conferences throughout North America speaking on intranet design, knowledge management, content management systems and strategy, taxonomy development, and other related topics.

A recent client of ours found through some joint analysis that their knowledge workers were spending up to 20% of a work-week researching answers. Little by little, they there were racking up 8 hours of research and reading every week. Why? To find answers.

They had work planning systems, ERP systems, content management systems, technical notes, collaboration spaces. Sounds like they had it covered, right? Often, as we seek to solve a content/knowledge problem, isolated solutions pop up to leverage a new technology (Yammer, LinkedIn, SharePoint in the Cloud), and the content gets fractured. The knowledge workers are left to pull it together.

So, we create a search app, pull it all together, roll it out into the field to much acclaim, and, a few weeks later nothing’s changed. Nice interface! Easy to use! No new productivity.

Reason? You could be missing the very idea that Siri has driven home – we want to ask our computers a question and get an answer. Trouble is, many content management or search app solutions are locked in the Stone Age. They may work, but it returns a long result set of documents and pages and bulletins to be read. So, the knowledge worker does a few searches and reads through the documents to find answers. And hours tick off the productivity clock… Nice interface… no productivity.

It’s time to get out of the content stone age, take a page from the concept embedded in Siri, and let people ask natural questions and give them answers – not reading assignments. Search applications and content management solutions need three things to jump into the modern era and deliver higher productivity:

Context- A solid taxonomy and metadata to give our search the context it needs to tag things. With the proper context, search apps behave better than Siri – ask a question and you’re very likely going to find the right set of documents… more is needed…

Componentized Content – Part of the problem is content is tagged and stored at the document level. To give people answers, we’ve got to find an easier way to create componentized content. Authoring tools based on DITA are opening up new possibilities, and allowing companies to quickly and easily create text-based content at the component level. Link those components to the right taxonomy and meta-data and you’re well on your way to providing answers.

Beyond Generic Collaboration to the Process – Last, if we can better understand the process that is using the content, we can design the content to support steps in the process. When we do this, we create a search-based application. The context of task gives the search even more information about the likely answers for the request, and we complete the picture to optimize productivity.

Sound too complicated? It really isn’t. One of our clients, a Fortune 500 company, completed a solution like this deploying the first release in just four months from the start date. In my next blog, I’ll dig into a bit more on better practices for quickly creating componentized content for the morass of whole documents you may have…

KM Finally Becomes a Reality Through Search-Based Applications
April 2 from 10:30 AM to 11:00 AM

Search-based applications provide a new approach for enabling the development and deployment of lost-cost functionally-specific KM solutions. Using examples from financial services and manufacturing, Seth provides an overview of search-based applications, and discusses how to build a compelling business case that will engage business sponsors. In particular, we discuss how to leverage business resources to reduce costs and minimize demand on IT sponsors; and discuss approaches to ensuring a low TCO over the applications lifespan.

Take a look at all of the sessions in the AIIM 2014 ENGAGE track.


#ROI #AIIM2014 #Taxonomy #knowledgeworkers #Collaboration #Search #findability #AIIM14 #Collaboration