Buddy system.

At Caloundra City Council, the Customer Service Officers (who staff the front desk and call centre) have come up with a great way of keeping their intranet up-to-date. It's called the buddy system, and it works something like this: Volunteers within customer service are partnered up with key staff within the different business units. They then discuss how the arrangement will work, including who will do what, when contact is made, and who updates the intranet. The customer service staff then take the initiative, and keep in touch with their assigned buddies, to find out whether there are changes or

Questions for senior managers?.

I've just finished my first day at Caloundra City Council, up here in sunny Queensland. As ever, it's tremendously interesting to learn about a new organisation, and the unique challenges facing it. Already, the project plan has shifted somewhat. Instead of spending the coming two days working through an expert review of the intranet, I'll be devoted soley to stakeholder interviews. This makes a total of five full days consisting soley of interviews, in response to a desire by the project sponsors to involve all the key people (which is not a bad goal, by any means). This time around,

Staff directories.

A lot of useful information came out during the Intranet Peers in Government forum last week. One of the topics discussed was staff directories. There are some impressive systems out there, capturing a lot of useful information about staff. Based on the details identified during the forum, here is my expanded list of what you might consider including in your staff directory: full name nickname ('also known as') phone number fax number mobile number pager job title section and department e-mail address postal address photo 'reports to' projects hobbies e-mail group branch homepage job function official roles on leave languages

Metrics for KM and CM.

Metrics are an effective way of setting project targets, assessing success, and tracking ongoing health. This article summarises a range of practical KM and CM-related…

Picking the right intranet project.

I was at an organisation this morning, talking with them about how they plan to tackle their intranet redesign project. All very interesting. During this conversation, a couple of ideas occured to me. One of which is the following: Intranet redesign projects should aim to: Address intranet issues and limitations This often involves fixing up the homepage, search, and overall site structure. In otherwords, usability and information architecture. Make the intranet better meet goals This includes both strategic and tactical goals, which must reflect the overall organisational direction. User needs must also be met. Typical projects may include establishing disucussion

Final intranet recommendations.

All I've left to do on the Area Health Service project is to write the executive summary. The major recommendations have now been written, and reviewed. In bullet-form, this is what we identified: Strategic recommendations Integrate the intranet into daily work practices Improve intranet resourcing Develop a staff directory Develop a knowledge-sharing culture Broaden the reach of e-mail Improve the management of e-mail Provide universal web access Align with the Balanced Scorecard Use storytelling to support organisational change Use the intranet to support geographically isolated staff Formalise the role of content authors Improve transparency of decision making Enhance the dissemination

Second day of stakeholder interviews.

Near the end now of another long day of interviews at the Area Health Service. I've now talked with everyone from the senior executive, through admin and lower management, to clinical staff (doctors, nurses, and allied health). What is interesting is that, despite the hugely different roles, responisibilities and working environments, some key themes are turning up again and again. These include: Everyone wants to know what is generally happening within the organisation, such as building works, restructures, and the like. Even if they are located in rural areas. No-one seems to want to receive news about social events, preferring

First day of stakeholder interviews.

Well, I'm very tired now, having completed 5 hours of stakeholder interviews, with 30 minute gaps in between. Overall, the questions held up pretty well. I haven't been successful in determining social networks, but the information gathering behaviours have been clearly identified. As hoped, we have also identified a lot of other issues that are prventing wider usage of the intranet (primarily around availability of PCs, culture and available time). One idea that occured to me after the first interview was to start documenting soundbites. These are brief verbatim comments from users about specific issues. I now have over a

Stakeholder interviews.

I'm back working with the Area Health Service tomorrow. The next three days will consist entirely of stakeholder interviews, finished up with a day of information architecture activities (card sorting). We've taken a different tack with the interviews than previous approaches. In the past, focus groups were convened to discuss how the intranet is used, and what changes could be made. This time, instead of focusing on the intranet, we'll be investigating what information is needed by staff. To this end, we'll be asking a range of questions: nature of the staff person's job key activities information needs current information