When developing an information management strategy within an organisation, it is useful to consider information needs on three levels:
team, division, business unit, etc
The needs of each of these three levels must be met if a coordinated and effective solution is to be maintained in the long-term.
Failure to address any one of the levels will lead to areas of the business or individuals finding their own solution, which may not fit well within the strategic goals of the organisation.
These are not new ideas, but they will be explored in the context of intranets and other corporate information systems.
At the top is the corporate information that is useful for the whole organisation. This ‘global’ information is generally fairly well addressed by the corporate intranet (even if the intranet itself needs improvement).
Examples of corporate information include policies and procedures, HR information, online forms, phone directory, etc.
Interestingly, there may be a limited amount of truly global information, and it may not deliver the greatest (measurable) business benefits.
Team, division, business unit
The middle level is perhaps the most interesting, as it covers all the information shared within teams, divisions, business units, etc. This information may be critical to the day-to-day activities of the group, but of little interest to the rest of the organisation.
Examples include project documentation, business unit specific content, meeting minutes, etc.
This level is generally poorly-served within organisations, although collaboration tools are increasingly being used to address team information needs. It is also being recognised that it is this ‘local’ information that may be the most valuable, in terms of driving the day-to-day activity of the organisation.
Three levels of information
At the lowest level is the personal information needs of staff throughout the...
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