A little test:
The IT documentation you find in companies is up-to-date and reliable, isn’t it? The quality is high and required information is immediately available. Decisions in strategic questions are no problem at all, thanks to intelligent information. This also applies, for example, to decisions on cloud transformations or the integration/separation of IT organizations. Right?Not realistic?
And if it is? What if intelligent information does work in IT?Let’s do a thought experiment:
Imagine, for example, that your company buys another company and you are responsible for the integration of IT. You don’t have any information about the new IT. How do you start your project/program to quickly provide intelligent information about the still unknown IT landscape? How do you quickly create a sustainable integration?
Admittedly, the approach of classic document management or ECM projects does not work. You’ve probably already recognized this yourself — they are too lengthy and cumbersome, the effort far too high, and the results far from sufficient.
Clearly, a New Approach Is Needed
You recognize that information management must be modularly structured from smaller agile projects. Yes, and innovative methods and modern technological approaches are in demand, such as text analytics, audio and video integration, intelligent search functions, chatbots…
That’s right. And: Information management in IT must pay for itself after a short time, within a few weeks — and it should be strategic.
Innovative Approaches to IT Information Management
Okay, “documentation” doesn’t sound very innovative. It’s not, so you’re taking it to a whole new level. It’s not documentation anymore, it’s intelligent information. Completely new and innovative approaches to methods and the technologies used are the way forward. IT information management has to be simple — not only in its use, but above all in the creation and processing of information, as well as in maintenance.
New Technological Approaches Create New Perspectives
The technological components include a portal with web/mobile access, the use of text analytics and intelligent search functions, gamification and interaction, text-to-speech as well as speech-to-text, chatbots, video and audio.
The industry is slowly realizing that the separation between actual content management (text, audio, video, structured data …) and content preparation and presentation, content delivery, is particularly important.
Project Approach and Project Organization
Think Big, Start Small! Quick wins and management buy-ins are typical for projects. In information management projects there is always at least one stakeholder, defined goals, and at least one information manager (for smaller projects, even part-time) who controls the project/program. Your information managers have to involve the management and large parts of the IT staff selectively. Therefore, project reporting is not exclusively aimed at management. Success dashboards motivate, and elements from the gaming industry also contribute to broad support. Colorful, entertaining, motivating. In each of us there is an inner play instinct.
Information management is not a classic project with project start, project phases and a defined end. IT information management is a program comparable to CSI (Continual Service Improvement).
In smaller projects, you should plan two weeks for the first phase. In extensive programs, this can be up to twelve weeks. If absolutely necessary, continue the traditional documentation for the moment — but don’t start any new areas. Identify the key stakeholders and coordinate their goals. Define the reporting and the continuous stakeholder management process. Just like a typical project.
The project organization is determined and methods are defined. The information manager(s) take over controlling the processes and coordinating the participants. This saves stress. They also define the scope — and first areas are identified where traditional documentation is replaced by IT information management.
In order for this to happen, a technology concept is developed in parallel. Don’t exaggerate — think big, start small. Consider an extensive expansion, but at the same time provide options to become productive immediately and generate benefits. Ultimately, your project is about information, not about building a zoo of technologies that is as complicated as possible.
Start with the agreed-upon team and stakeholder management. Informing everyone regularly, gamification and actively seeking feedback from your information managers are critical to success.
All right, let’s go. The process model and methods are defined, the (rough) structure for information is fixed, and IT information management is fully integrated into the organization and processes. The entire process, from the evaluation of existing information, information creation and regulation to publication, is controlled by your information managers. Sounds like a well-deserved coffee break.
Now the detailed structure is defined. Define information sources to include. Determine the authors with your information managers. Start with the implementation of the technological solution. At the same time, metadata and templates for the content are defined.
Regulation: Ongoing Information Management
The last phase is less a project phase than ongoing IT information management. New content is created and published; existing content is kept up to date. Technological advancements flow into implementation, and existing technology is continuously adapted to the requirements. As in the CSI, information management is also subject to a continuous review and improvement process. An important cornerstone is project reporting and dashboards, as well as intensive communication between information users and information providers. Triggers support your information managers in efficiently updating information. Triggers can be new stakeholders, changes in stakeholder goals, adjustments in contracts with suppliers, organizational changes, or the implementation of IT changes. Further important instruments are click rates, ratings, or user comments.
Summary, or the Story of How You Became a Project Hero
A look at the last few weeks: What about your integration project described at the beginning? Congratulations, you have succeeded in integrating IT. You were quick and made excellent decisions based on intelligent information. You also used the project to replace dusty IT document management with innovative IT information management. Your IT now works more agilely, the new and innovative approaches create enthusiasm in the teams, and more and more areas of IT optimize themselves using your example.