Authoring options

By: James Robertson Posted: July 18, 2002
Following on from my work with the government department yesterday, I've just sent through my summary of the day, and my recommendations. Looking at the options for authoring, these were my high-level recommendations: Develop a range of authoring tools, matched to the specific needs of the content, audience and authors. No single authoring tool will meet all needs, without considerably compromising the quality and maintainability of the intraweb. A long list of potential document types have already been identified. Examine each of these in turn, against the following criteria: nature of the content (length; degree of structure; formatting and layout

Walking before running

By: James Robertson Posted: July 17, 2002
I've just spent the day in Canberra, doing some consultancy work for one of the government departments. With the plane flight there and back, it makes for a long day, but well worth the effort. The organisation currently has an intranet, of sorts. It has grown organically, and is developed using Frontpage. Each group has been trained to use Frontpage, and has gone away and created themselves a little subsite. Every section of the intranet looks completely different, and all changes are made directly to the live version. A scary system all round. Needless to say, they are looking at

Assessment, usability testing & KM

By: James Robertson Posted: June 26, 2002
Workplace assessment uses a variety of techniques to determine the competence of a staffperson, looking at areas such as: skills, knowledge, interraction with the environment and other systems. Usability testing uses a variety of techniques to determine how the staffperson interracts with their environment and other systems, to identify deficiences in these systems. Knowledge management uses a variety of techniques to identify areas where more knowledge is required, or processes are lacking. (Amongst other goals, of course.) Interestingly, they all use very similar techniques. It's just the goal of the activity which is different. For example, the course I recently

A rose by any other name…

By: James Robertson Posted: June 26, 2002
I received a comment today from Donna Maurer, who said: "Everything you do under the heading of 'knowledge management' is similar to a lot of things I do as an 'information architect/interaction designer/user-centred designer'" She then went on to say that she tries to avoid having a title, as it only causes confusion for her clients. Instead, she just explains we she does, and how it's useful. I couldn't agree more. This highlights one of our key challenges as a field: our identity. This is a two-edged sword: Many people now avoid using terms like "knowledge management" or "information architecture",

So where is the content in CRM systems?

By: James Robertson Posted: June 8, 2002
I've been to a few trade shows recently, and have browsed through the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) stands. From an outsider's point of view, these systems seem to be progressing in leaps and bounds, with many reaching quite a mature level. One question I've been asking the vendors: what information does your system provide frontline staff about the company's product line? Let me explain this question further. CRM systems are designed to capture a lot of information, and provide it to frontline staff in an easy-to-digest form, including: customer details transaction history sales opportunities cross-selling suggestions previous customer feedback The