Special Interest Group: Women in Information Management (WIIM)

Newbie and Naming Convention Help

  • 1.  Newbie and Naming Convention Help

    Posted 08-25-2020 21:55
    Hi-I've been a member of AIIM for a couple of years. This is my first post. I work in communications at a construction company that does not have an overall knowledge/document management strategy. There is absolutely a need and I have proposed developing a knowledge management initiative, but have not yet received buy-in. My manager, who is in charge of Branding and Communications, sees the value and is allowing me to work in a "knowledge management" role for our team in hopes of selling what we do to the larger organization. I realize this is not the most efficient way to approach this as a company, but it does give me the opportunity to learn and put some knowledge/document management practices into place, at least for the Branding and Communications team.

    It's overwhelming to know where to start.  I've been looking up resources on the AIIM site and lurking in the AIIM forums to see if I can absorb as much as possible. I've taken the Taxonomy and Metadata course, but feel that I jumped in over my head.

    At this point, I've decided to start with an audit, clean up, and organization of our team's files which are stored on Box.com, and to create file naming conventions.

    Question 1: Is there a recommended resource for naming conventions for shared files on a cloud storage platform?
    Question 2: Is there a recommendation on where to start when you realize your organization needs this, but you've never worked in a knowledge/information management role?

    Thank you,
    Anna









    ------------------------------
    Anna Cangialosi
    Communications Manager
    Barton Malow Holdings

    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Newbie and Naming Convention Help

    Posted 08-26-2020 11:14
    Hi Anna:

    Big topic and I'm sure there will be lots of help for you here.  Have you checked out AIIM's Toolbox kits and Quick Study papers?  They are a big help!
    https://www.aiim.org/SearchPage?keyword=quick+study (examples:  File Share Cleanup Quick Study; Electronic Records Management Quick Study)
    https://www.aiim.org/SearchPage?keyword=toolkit&page=3  ( How to Clean File Shares; How to Plan your Digital Workplace)

    As for the topic of Naming Conventions, many organizations have number coded conventions that match their records retention schedules or the number coded record names, however, my org decided they didn't want anything complicated like that.  Our naming convention is very basic:

    {YEAR} {SUBJECT or BUSINESS NAME}  {SPECIFIC DETAILS}

    For example:  2017 Educational Scholarship Program - Advertisement 

    For example:  2015 Business Plan and Budget - Approved 2014-11-26 

    For example:  2016 WSP – Grading Progress Report 

    For example:  2016 Bow Valley Bridge Services - BIM Inspection Report for BF72018 

    For example:  2016 Alberta Municipal Affairs - Well Drilling Report, 2016-03 

    For example:  2015 Forestburg Seed Cleaning Plant - License & Inspection Report 

    For example:  2012 Junior Achievement - Presentation to Council

    Hope this helps and good luck!



    ------------------------------
    Connie Prendergast
    Records Management Clerk
    Flagstaff County
    Sedgewick, AB CANADA
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Newbie and Naming Convention Help

    Posted 08-26-2020 16:07
    Thank you, Connie!

    I did check out the File Clean Up Quick study which was very useful to get me started but didn't have much on naming conventions. I'll check out How to Plan Your Digital workplace.

    The examples you provided are very useful...thank you very much for taking the time to respond.

    ------------------------------
    Anna Cangialosi
    Communications Manager
    Barton Malow
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Newbie and Naming Convention Help

    Posted 08-26-2020 11:31
    Hi Anna,

    Congratulations on taking on this project! Here are my thoughts on your questions. Feel free to reach out if you'd like to discuss further.

    1. I think file naming conventions are helpful in identifying what you have and how long you've had it without ever opening the document itself. I've brought this article to management and have received buy in to use it agency wide. https://www2.staffingindustry.com/Editorial/Archived-Blog-Posts/Adam-Pode-s-Blog/Probably-the-best-file-naming-convention-ever

    2. I've been in Records Management for about 5 years. I started with taking an inventory of what the agency had and where it was stored. I live in Washington State and work for a Local Government Agency so our records retention schedules are determined by the state archives and some federal governing agencies. https://www.sos.wa.gov//archives/

    Effective records management helps everyone achieve better productivity and reduces the risk for the agency if they can't find what they need in a timely manner.
    An example of effective records management I like to use is the grocery store. Even if you've never been in the specific store before, you can follow the signs above the aisles and on the walls to find the produce department or a jar of pickles. Grocery lists usually consist of milk, butter, cheese, bread. We aren't specific in brand names or sizes right?

    Think about the grocery store when you name your folder/file structure.
    Here's an example. You know when you go to the dairy department, you will find the following.

    Dairy Department
    milk
    butter
    cheese
    eggs
    sour cream
    coffee creamer
    - you wouldn't find fresh fruit or vegetables, or canned goods here. Think about that when you're organizing your files/folders.

    Name your folder structure similarly, as an example Projects. If you know you have a project for a specific company, are files/folders related to that project saved in that folder? Or are they spread out and difficult to find?

    Projects
    ABC Company
    - pictures
    - estimates
    - drawings
    - packing lists
    - invoices
    - As Builts
    Hopefully these examples help. If you need additional assistance, please reach out.

    Have a great day!
    Jaime



    ------------------------------
    Jaime Cotter . Records Management Coordinator
    P. 360.501.9558 E.jcotter@...
    www.cowlitzpud.org
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Newbie and Naming Convention Help

    Posted 08-26-2020 16:11
    Thank you, Jaime! I checked out the links you sent and your grocery store example is a great way to help us as I work with my team on this project. Appreciate the offer to reach out thank you again for taking the time to help!

    ------------------------------
    Anna Cangialosi
    Communications Manager
    Barton Malow
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Newbie and Naming Convention Help

    Posted 08-26-2020 12:19
    Good Morning Anna,

    I am so happy you posted this! Unfortunately I do not have advice but I am a newbie as well and am looking to gain knowledge of Records Management and better understand knowledge management. Please share any ideas you have as I am currently developing a plan of action/development for myself to best provide a service to my organization.

    Jess

    ------------------------------
    Jessica Brown
    Records Manager
    Alaska USA
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  • 7.  RE: Newbie and Naming Convention Help

    Posted 08-26-2020 16:13
    Hi, Jess-Glad to know someone in the same situation. I will reach out and keep you updated as we work through this. Feel free to contact me, too, as you work through things and we can share successes, failures, lessons learned.

    ------------------------------
    Anna Cangialosi
    Communications Manager
    Barton Malow
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Newbie and Naming Convention Help

    Posted 08-26-2020 13:45
    Hi Anna
    our service catalog, part of our departmental  website, which describes our services and explains who to contact for more info, etc. 

    service teams' wikis and websites that provide deep dive information about the service

    a Knowledge Base (KB) that is part of our ServiceNow platform which is used to store support articles

    We ensured that the KB articles are organized into categories to match the categories in the service catalog because we felt continuity was essential for end-user experience and clarity.

    Each year we hold an "ecosystem content refresh" effort in order to improve the content in the entire ecosystem, bring it up to date and to share new tools and best practices with our Knowledge Authors. Each service must have at least one Knowledge Author. We begin the process with a kick-off workshop and then support the authors during the refresh time period. Of course, we encourage authors to improve their articles and content more than once a year.

    Another important element we have are keywords (metatags). We wanted to provide our Knowledge Authors with keyword recommendations to include in their articles, service descriptions and wikis/websites. The purpose is to make it easier for end users to find the information they are searching for and to encourage all of our authors to use the same language when referring to the same thing and to use language that resonates with the customer. It was a complex effort to develop the list. 

    We have a robust set of author Guidelines which provide templates, best practices, etc. about writing articles for the KB and for end users in general.

    We also have ServiceNow Dashboards to help authors track articles that receive ratings and comments that indicate some improvements are needed. We turned on Comments to enable this.

    We decided to make our Knowledge Base open to the public to support people's habit of doing Google searches for just about anything. This created the need for an internal KB for more technical articles that we don't want in the public. This requires permission and log in to access. 

    We have informally adopted KCS (Knowledge Centered Service) as one of our foundational approaches and while we haven't been able to do much about it formally it has been an excellent perspective to work and prioritize from.

     

    Marlita Kahn
    Service Manager
    IST - API
    University of California, Berkeley
    2195 Hearst Avenue
    Berkeley, CA 94720-4876
    415-760-5882 (mobile)
    marlita@...







  • 9.  RE: Newbie and Naming Convention Help

    Posted 08-26-2020 16:20
    Marlita--thank you! This is very helpful and I will spend some time on your department website and the KCS site. You've provided information that will get us started and give us longer-term goals to work towards (guidelines, best practices, templates). I appreciate your time!

    ------------------------------
    Anna Cangialosi
    Communications Manager
    Barton Malow
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Newbie and Naming Convention Help

    Posted 08-27-2020 14:19
    Apologies for replying to this twice, but I noticed only part of my reply posted so much of it became rather nonsensical. Here's another attempt.

    our service catalog, part of our departmental  website, which describes our services and explains who to contact for more info, etc. 

    service teams' wikis and websites that provide deep dive information about the service

    a Knowledge Base (KB) that is part of our ServiceNow platform which is used to store support articles

    We ensured that the KB articles are organized into categories to match the categories in the service catalog because we felt continuity was essential for end-user experience and clarity.

    Each year we hold an "ecosystem content refresh" effort in order to improve the content in the entire ecosystem, bring it up to date and to share new tools and best practices with our Knowledge Authors. Each service must have at least one Knowledge Author. We begin the process with a kick-off workshop and then support the authors during the refresh time period. Of course, we encourage authors to improve their articles and content more than once a year.

    Another important element we have are keywords (metatags). We wanted to provide our Knowledge Authors with keyword recommendations to include in their articles, service descriptions and wikis/websites. The purpose is to make it easier for end users to find the information they are searching for and to encourage all of our authors to use the same language when referring to the same thing and to use language that resonates with the customer.

    We have a robust set of author Guidelines which provide templates, best practices, etc. about writing articles for the KB and for end users in general.

    We also have ServiceNow Dashboards to help authors track articles that receive ratings and comments that indicate some improvements are needed. We turned on Comments to enable this.

    We decided to make our Knowledge Base open to the public to support people's habit of doing Google searches for just about anything. This created the need for an internal KB for more technical articles that we don't want in the public. This requires permission and log in to access.

    We have informally adopted KCS (Knowledge Centered Service) as one of our foundational approaches and while we haven't been able to do much about it formally it has been an excellent perspective to work and prioritize from.

    Marlita Kahn
    Service Manager
    IST - API
    University of California, Berkeley
    2195 Hearst Avenue
    Berkeley, CA 94720-4876
    415-760-5882 (mobile)
    marlita@...







  • 11.  RE: Newbie and Naming Convention Help

    Posted 09-05-2020 17:37
    Hi Anna - great question and we are glad that you reached out to this group / organization.

    As Connie mentioned, you've come to the right place (AIIM) and she has sent you in the right direction the Quick guides as well as other resource and educational materials that are available here. I also believe the taxonomy course material though overwhelming was still a good foundation. You may draw from what you heard more than you realize.

    When it comes to naming conventions, I don't know if there is right or wrong, consistent is what matters most.

    Agree on the structure, terms, format, may be specific or broad such as "must begin with Date yyyy/mm/dd" - also your current process and capture technologies may play a part in how you create and use 'file names' but even in Box you want to start with the folder structure (at the highest level).

    Overall, if your team / organization is just getting started on these initiatives forming a committee / work group and sharing responsibility and making agreements is a great beginning. Build business / use cases that help tell the story of "why" this helps the overall corporate objectives.

    Good luck and reach out anytime. Stay safe, stay healthy stay kind.
    Regards, Julie Harvey

    ------------------------------
    Julie Harvey
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Newbie and Naming Convention Help

    Posted 09-08-2020 10:26
    Thank you, Julie! This is helpful. Appreciate the suggestion of "why" this is useful and communicating that across the department. We often get feedback from people saying that they don't have time to think about where to save or what file naming conventions to use, but also complain when they have to filter through files with useless filenames.

    ------------------------------
    Anna Cangialosi
    Communications Manager
    Barton Malow
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: Newbie and Naming Convention Help

    Posted 09-09-2020 11:08
    Naming Convention - more reasons for why, and for consistency in patterns that may seem unimportant:
    Examples of how a naming convention can help people find things in folders.


    ------------------------------
    Connie Prendergast
    Records Management Clerk
    Flagstaff County
    Sedgewick, AB CANADA
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: Newbie and Naming Convention Help

    Posted 09-30-2020 10:31
    Connie-this is a great example! I plan on sharing this with my team to show why each detail in the file name is important. Thank you!

    ------------------------------
    Anna Cangialosi
    Communications Manager
    Barton Malow
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: Newbie and Naming Convention Help

    Posted 10-02-2020 10:04
    You're welcome, Anna.  Always glad to help out!

    ------------------------------
    Connie Prendergast
    Records Management Clerk
    Flagstaff County
    Sedgewick, AB CANADA
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: Newbie and Naming Convention Help

    Posted 10-01-2020 16:58

    You are welcome! I'm glad it was helpful. 

    The more we create clarity through building informed users, it begins to shift the culture toward more adoption..   change having a positive v. negative impact. And that is when transformation happens 



    ------------------------------
    Julie Harvey
    ------------------------------