Plan your data organization

Before and intensive use of your application you should plan your data organization in the repository.

Take the information that follows only as a general idea about the basic steps you should consider before an intensive use of your application.

A good analysis of your organization and the understanding of the application can help you finding the best way to solve your problems. OpenKM is not a closed application, something more than a couple of features focused on document management.  OpenKM is a flexible application and  can be used on several ways. It's good idea to expend some time understanding your organization, your business logic and process involved and how the OpenKM features can work together in your day-by-day helping your organization making it more efficient and saving money.

Some questions you should do yourself about your organization:

  • Where is your information and documents ?
  • What kind of documents do you have ?
  • Are your documents on electronic format or not ?
  • What format of document do you have ? PDF, MS Office, OpenOffice, etc.
  • How are you actually finding the document ? How would you like to find it, which terms you consider relevant ?
  • Who can access the information and on which way ?
  • Do you need a work flow process ?

Which are the objective of the previous questions ?

  • Identify on a table all the distinct types of information you have ( invoices, budgets, legal papers, etc. ).
  • Identify the format of the documents ( PDF, DOC, etc. )
  • Identify non digitalized information that should be processed ( scanned ). The digitalization process can be a basic process.
  • Identify for each type of information ( document type ) what information is relevant ( metadata ). For example invoices usually have invoice number, range of date, customer among others. The metadata will help users to retrieve fast and efficiently the information.
  • Identify the security that must be applied for each document type. Who can read, write or delete information. Also your security needs will help you on setting the level of the application log you need. OpenKM provide you a full audit on any user action that can be configured in a more or less restrictive way.
  • Identify workflows and people involved in workflows.

The goal is to create a plan with calendar and milestones.

Which are the goals you are looking for the implantation of the application ? Usually could be:

  • Set some order in my organization. Application "force" the users to work in some way, that benefits your company because helps you "setting rules" that all users must follow.
  • Consolidate the intellectual capital. Consolidating all your company knowledge on a single point you have all the company knowledge available to be share among all your users and setting rules on it.
  • Help on accomplish with legal regulation.

Try to set and specification on a single document answering this questions and others. It will help you to plan how to organize the information into.

Good practice

  • Consider OpenKM as a project  that affects all your departments and usually your customers.
  • Choose the leaders.
  • Do gradual implantation of the project. Can start with some department or group of users or for some business logic process. Think the implantation as a virus in your company. A good leader should demonstrate the benefits of the new and show to the other users. Users usually receipt any news on the company as something negative if they perceive the application as something is helping on their work ( efficient search, saving time and solving real problems, etc. ) will be the first interested on using it. One of the major goals of OpenKM is the intuitive UI what helps on this process ( after two weeks the user feels comfortable using the application ).
  • Think easy, the best solution is usually finding the easiest way to solve problems.
  • Listen your users and try to get them involved in the project.
  • Periodically review your plan, try to refine and identify possible problems.