Need advice re helping a small company organize their training documents #SharePoint #content-management #learning


Dylan Williams
 

Hi all - I'm working with a small recruiting company that's trying to centralize and organize its training materials in a way that makes the materials easy to present and manage. Currently, they have one big Recruiting Training manual (Word doc) that sits in a SP folder.  They have best practices documents (associated with various sections of the Training manual) across their Team sites; they also have a lot of related training documents sitting in emails and on hard drives. They've hired a trainer to do the training, and they've asked me to come up with a way of housing the materials that makes them easily referenced by their recruiters and easily managed by the trainer. They're not ready to spend (yet!) on an LMS, so I'm working with Sharepoint/Teams. My initial thinking on the structure is to use the Training manual chapter headings to create individual folders (e.g., Interviewing Your Candidate; Prepping Your Candidate For Sending Out; Following Up with the Client, etc.)  and supporting the chapter with associated Best Practices and other commentary. So - a series of folders, each one focused on a recruiting topic, presented sequentially (e.g., the "Interviewing the Candidate" folder would obviously come before the "Sending them to the Client"). But this whole area is not what I normally do, so I'd be interested in any advice or approaches you think I should consider. Thanks.


Robert M. Taylor
 

Dylan I’d always say organise by subjects and types… and use tagging (columns) in SharePoint, never folders. So all docs in one lib, columns for subject and type values. And others as you need them eg ref to chapter, content owner (ongoing ownership matters). R

Robert Taylor
Sent from mobile

On 6 Jul 2021, at 03:42, Dylan Williams <dylanwms@...> wrote:

Hi all - I'm working with a small recruiting company that's trying to centralize and organize its training materials in a way that makes the materials easy to present and manage. Currently, they have one big Recruiting Training manual (Word doc) that sits in a SP folder.  They have best practices documents (associated with various sections of the Training manual) across their Team sites; they also have a lot of related training documents sitting in emails and on hard drives. They've hired a trainer to do the training, and they've asked me to come up with a way of housing the materials that makes them easily referenced by their recruiters and easily managed by the trainer. They're not ready to spend (yet!) on an LMS, so I'm working with Sharepoint/Teams. My initial thinking on the structure is to use the Training manual chapter headings to create individual folders (e.g., Interviewing Your Candidate; Prepping Your Candidate For Sending Out; Following Up with the Client, etc.)  and supporting the chapter with associated Best Practices and other commentary. So - a series of folders, each one focused on a recruiting topic, presented sequentially (e.g., the "Interviewing the Candidate" folder would obviously come before the "Sending them to the Client"). But this whole area is not what I normally do, so I'd be interested in any advice or approaches you think I should consider. Thanks.


Madeleine Du Toit
 

Hi,

 

I am actually working with a similar request at the moment….. In the absence of an LMS I’m putting the carious training onto SharePoint. In the backend I have a file structure that makes sense to the administrator (folders etc) but I’m building a front end onto a SharePoint Communication site that visually displays the documents in a way that makes sense to the users. Together with videos, extra content, etc. So I’m almost building a manual using the SP communication site structure and functionality.

 

I then plan on hosting it on our Intranet and including tabs in the different teams on sections that are important to just some teams. If you load videos onto Stream you can see the number of views (unfortunately not who views it so not as good as an LMS, but it can tie you over until the LMS is procured.)

 

Would love to see other opnions.

 

 


Nirmala Palaniappan
 

One method that I am personally fond of is to create a visual interface.
You could create a visual process diagram with clear blocks and then link your content to the respective blocks! Use hashtags for collating similar content. In addition, you could create communities that guide novices around each block of your process (in case your organisation is large enough)

Regards
Nirmala 

On Tue, 6 Jul 2021 at 8:12 AM, Dylan Williams <dylanwms@...> wrote:
Hi all - I'm working with a small recruiting company that's trying to centralize and organize its training materials in a way that makes the materials easy to present and manage. Currently, they have one big Recruiting Training manual (Word doc) that sits in a SP folder.  They have best practices documents (associated with various sections of the Training manual) across their Team sites; they also have a lot of related training documents sitting in emails and on hard drives. They've hired a trainer to do the training, and they've asked me to come up with a way of housing the materials that makes them easily referenced by their recruiters and easily managed by the trainer. They're not ready to spend (yet!) on an LMS, so I'm working with Sharepoint/Teams. My initial thinking on the structure is to use the Training manual chapter headings to create individual folders (e.g., Interviewing Your Candidate; Prepping Your Candidate For Sending Out; Following Up with the Client, etc.)  and supporting the chapter with associated Best Practices and other commentary. So - a series of folders, each one focused on a recruiting topic, presented sequentially (e.g., the "Interviewing the Candidate" folder would obviously come before the "Sending them to the Client"). But this whole area is not what I normally do, so I'd be interested in any advice or approaches you think I should consider. Thanks.

--
"The faithful see the invisible, believe the incredible and then receive the impossible" - Anonymous


Ginetta Gueli
 

Good morning Dylan,
my name is Ginetta and I am an information and knowledge manager and I can share with you a specific experience I had with a small association as Knowledge Coordinator.

This was the situation at day 1:
- huge repository with lots of documents (even for trainings) that needed to be classified and organized in a way that everyone could find what they needed quickly and efficiently;
- employees preferred to create a document from scratch, instead of performing a search in the db,
- folders were unstructured (no logic, no taxonomy, etc.),
- no budget for buying a platform.

What did I do? Very briefly:
  1.  1-2-1 talk with all employees to understand their needs, frustrations, expectations and mindset logic,
  2.  creating with each head of dept. and his/her team specific dept. knowledge maps,
  3.  thanks to the knowledge maps, we were able to restructure each dept. folder in subfolders with a shared logic and way of thinking,
  4.  once the steps 2 and 3 were completed, I set up a meeting with the rest of the team and asked them questions like this: "If you had to look for document X (or data Y, or information Z), where would you look? Each employee had to point the finger to the related dept. and folder(s) where s/he thought to re find that info. We had several surprises...
  5. based on step 4, each dept. map (and related folders and subfolders) had to be reviewed and aligned by following a common & shared logic between a specific dept. and the others,
  6. all the work was literally attached on the office walls so that employees were forced to see them every day. They maps were removed from the walls, when I realized that the structure was 100% in their minds,
  7. I created digital documents replicating what we drew, of course, and in parallel, I was also looking for an IT provider of a KM platform for a potential second phase. The purpose was moving the folder logic we agreed on, to the new platform ;-).

Thanks to these activities, the teams (among the others):
  • discovered that the 88% of their files were redundant and/or obsolete and/or inconsistent and/or irrelevant -> they were cancelled,
  • were able to re find documents easily -> no frustration anymore,
  • did not do the work of others -> efficiency increased.
My suggestion is: try to involve your colleagues as much as possible. It is together that the new structure will be really useful to them and your effort appreciated. The structure must be the personification of people mindset and work, only in this way (I think) they will be more open to invest on a more sophisticated tool.

I am available to have a call with you, if you want. In the meantime, you can watch the seminar I did with John Hovell about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0lCB2VPAso

Last but not least, on a personal note, even if this is not what you normally do, I am positive that the task will give you an incredible exposure and you will know much more than anybody else, and this is an asset in KM. I speak by experience ;-)
 
Good luck and all the best,
Ginetta

--
Ginetta Gueli
Information & Knowledge Manager | Project Manager


Robert M. Taylor
 

I love that Ginetta. Your description of great km is great km itself. 

Robert Taylor
Sent from mobile

On 6 Jul 2021, at 08:49, Ginetta Gueli via groups.io <ginetta.gueli@...> wrote:


Good morning Dylan,
my name is Ginetta and I am an information and knowledge manager and I can share with you a specific experience I had with a small association as Knowledge Coordinator.

This was the situation at day 1:
- huge repository with lots of documents (even for trainings) that needed to be classified and organized in a way that everyone could find what they needed quickly and efficiently;
- employees preferred to create a document from scratch, instead of performing a search in the db,
- folders were unstructured (no logic, no taxonomy, etc.),
- no budget for buying a platform.

What did I do? Very briefly:
  1.  1-2-1 talk with all employees to understand their needs, frustrations, expectations and mindset logic,
  2.  creating with each head of dept. and his/her team specific dept. knowledge maps,
  3.  thanks to the knowledge maps, we were able to restructure each dept. folder in subfolders with a shared logic and way of thinking,
  4.  once the steps 2 and 3 were completed, I set up a meeting with the rest of the team and asked them questions like this: "If you had to look for document X (or data Y, or information Z), where would you look? Each employee had to point the finger to the related dept. and folder(s) where s/he thought to re find that info. We had several surprises...
  5. based on step 4, each dept. map (and related folders and subfolders) had to be reviewed and aligned by following a common & shared logic between a specific dept. and the others,
  6. all the work was literally attached on the office walls so that employees were forced to see them every day. They maps were removed from the walls, when I realized that the structure was 100% in their minds,
  7. I created digital documents replicating what we drew, of course, and in parallel, I was also looking for an IT provider of a KM platform for a potential second phase. The purpose was moving the folder logic we agreed on, to the new platform ;-).

Thanks to these activities, the teams (among the others):
  • discovered that the 88% of their files were redundant and/or obsolete and/or inconsistent and/or irrelevant -> they were cancelled,
  • were able to re find documents easily -> no frustration anymore,
  • did not do the work of others -> efficiency increased.
My suggestion is: try to involve your colleagues as much as possible. It is together that the new structure will be really useful to them and your effort appreciated. The structure must be the personification of people mindset and work, only in this way (I think) they will be more open to invest on a more sophisticated tool.

I am available to have a call with you, if you want. In the meantime, you can watch the seminar I did with John Hovell about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0lCB2VPAso

Last but not least, on a personal note, even if this is not what you normally do, I am positive that the task will give you an incredible exposure and you will know much more than anybody else, and this is an asset in KM. I speak by experience ;-)
 
Good luck and all the best,
Ginetta

--
Ginetta Gueli
Information & Knowledge Manager | Project Manager


Robert L. Bogue
 

Dylan –

 

I tend to organize folders by area of expertise rather than phase of cycle so that the subject matter experts can easily see the materials referring to their area and so they can keep the various pieces in sync.  Obviously then a cross reference is built (through the application of metadata) as to what phase of the cycle the information applies to.  However, I find that the subject matter experts think in terms of their specialty rather than where in the process their knowledge is used.

 

Rob

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

Robert L. Bogue

O: (317) 844-5310  M: (317) 506-4977 Blog: http://www.thorprojects.com/blog

Want to be confident about your change management efforts?  https://ConfidentChangeManagement.com

Are you burned out?  https://ExtinguishBurnout.com can help you get out of it (for free)

 

From: main@SIKM.groups.io <main@SIKM.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dylan Williams via groups.io
Sent: Monday, July 5, 2021 10:43 PM
To: main@SIKM.groups.io
Subject: [SIKM] Need advice re helping a small company organize their training documents #SharePoint #learning #content-management

 

Hi all - I'm working with a small recruiting company that's trying to centralize and organize its training materials in a way that makes the materials easy to present and manage. Currently, they have one big Recruiting Training manual (Word doc) that sits in a SP folder.  They have best practices documents (associated with various sections of the Training manual) across their Team sites; they also have a lot of related training documents sitting in emails and on hard drives. They've hired a trainer to do the training, and they've asked me to come up with a way of housing the materials that makes them easily referenced by their recruiters and easily managed by the trainer. They're not ready to spend (yet!) on an LMS, so I'm working with Sharepoint/Teams. My initial thinking on the structure is to use the Training manual chapter headings to create individual folders (e.g., Interviewing Your Candidate; Prepping Your Candidate For Sending Out; Following Up with the Client, etc.)  and supporting the chapter with associated Best Practices and other commentary. So - a series of folders, each one focused on a recruiting topic, presented sequentially (e.g., the "Interviewing the Candidate" folder would obviously come before the "Sending them to the Client"). But this whole area is not what I normally do, so I'd be interested in any advice or approaches you think I should consider. Thanks.


Chris Collison
 

Yes, thanks for sharing this Ginetta - what a great, practical response to the question.
It also inspired me to watch the video. 
Great stuff!
Chris


Dylan Williams
 

Thank you Robert. I'll need to look into columns in Sharepoint - my knowledge is limited there. I like your organizational approach - subject and type.

Regards,

Dylan


Dylan Williams
 

Thank  you Madeleine - this sounds eerily familiar to what I'm doing - though I'll need to look into the SP Communications site on the front end.

Regards,

Dylan


Dylan Williams
 

Thank you Nirmala - and you do all this in Sharepoint?

Dylan


Dylan Williams
 

I watched the video - thank you Ginetta (and it was good to John on the video as well!). The 'Day One' situation you describe is the same one I'm facing, though they have been through the exercise of figuring out what their people need - so now I'm working with the lead trainer to begin storing content centrally, culling it down, and then organizing it to support the way she teaches.

Regards,

Dylan


Dylan Williams
 

Thank you Robert. Good insight, as always. Though most of the materials are owned and managed by the training department, there are a few areas (like HR policies and Marketing) that are owned by their respective departments. Those departments already have their own workspaces, so my thinking is that I won't rock the boat by moving content to the training area. I'll just link from the training area back the respective expertise areas as is appropriate.

Dylan