The last time I posted an entry here, I was ranting about how the lack of widespread knowledge can ruin your content management objectives. Ranting is fun, maybe even helpful or at least cathartic, but in and of itself, it solves nothing. I have to admit, I cheated with that post. The rant was real, but I knew that we were planning to do something about it – we had some training on the schedule. We’ve done training before; in fact several years ago, we were doing short, highly focused training on a regular basis. That worked for some subjects and with some people, but it missed the mark on ECM.
ECM is different.
It’s not that short, highly-focused training is bad, but it only works for some subjects. For example, think about Brussels sprouts. According to SelfNutritionData, Brussels sprouts are:
“…low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. They are are a good source of Thiamin, Riboflavin, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium and Manganese.”
So, if we agree that all or any of those things are worthwhile goals, a training class on how to prepare Brussels sprouts that people will want to eat (think pan roasted) would be appropriate.
ECM, on the other hand is more at the level of “nutrition” – why do we need a balanced diet, what are vitamins, why do we need fiber and how do these things affect our health? ECM isn’t easy to focus on in a short session. So, even though we are using SharePoint to support our ECM effort, we began our training with a class that barely mentioned SharePoint. We, or rather Steve Weissmantalked about taxonomy, metadata, business processes and the ways in which we can work so that we can find what the content we have, when we need it, in order to add value to our business. Value – that is a critical concept in this training. Why did we save this stuff? What are we going to do with this stuff in 1, 3, 5 or 15 years? Who else needs this stuff? Why do we need vitamins?
Tomorrow, a woman on my team will pick up where Steve left off and start to talk about the broader concepts as they relate to our business. “You heard Steve talk about taxonomy, let’s talk about our taxonomy.” “You worked through an exercise with Steve to define metadata for a fictitious company, now let’s talk about our metadata.” Then, in a couple of weeks, and after completing some homework assignments, my teammate will start to talk about SharePoint. In other words, after we’ve covered nutrition and we understand the need for vitamins, it will be time to talk about Brussels sprouts.
This won’t be the end of the training either, we will follow this up in two ways. First, for most people, we will continue to speak of ECM in broad terms. We are planning some short follow-up sessions and we are planning to demonstrate solutions as we complete the various projects that are underway. Now that people have a grasp of the core elements, I will be sending them links to AIIM blogs, articles and webinars that some may find interesting. Second, for a small subset of people, we will try and entice them to attend AIIM training. Actually, the woman who works with me is currently working her way through the ECMp online class and enjoying every minute of it. I’d like to see more people in our company take that class, I’d like to see a few more CIPs and I’d like to see some bacon crumbled in with those Brussels sprouts.#SharePoint
#sharepoint #metadata #Taxonomy #ECM #training