Some thoughts on record management on intranets courtesy of roan young's blog and a meeting he had with Bill Proudfit from Hong Kong - I've just taken this key paragraph in this post and added my comments in italics
Bill gave Roan some valuable tips and ideas on managing contents/records in the intranet. Here are some takeaways that he got from our conversation
- Don’t try to educate people on the difference between documents and records. He said, “differentiating between records and documents is a crazy concept.” I agree with Bill. At some point, people wonder when they should promote documents to become records. And they wouldn’t bother doing it. (Agreed)
- All contents – including pages in your intranet – should be part of record management system. People often missed out this. Contents on pages can become obsolete too. That’s when you should archive the pages.
(Possibly on intranets there should be an auto archive feature if the records haven't been viewed fora period of time, then they should be archived but that the search can look at an archived section as most intranets do have that option.
- Get people to validate the freshness of contents in the intranet. This means you need to have a robust publishing workflow, that could notify people when they should validate the contents. A good timeframe would be twelve months from the publishing date.
(This is very true in view of a conversation I had today - it is not only important to capture the knowledge but to use it and also to lose it - which can be quite difficult as some people can be knowledge jackdaws - see my comments above and perhaps if it isn't validated within a period of time then it is archived.)
- Limit the use of fonts in your documents/records in the intranet. You wouldn’t want your intranet to contain various types of fonts in various sizes, would you? Your contents will look unorganised, unprofessional and unfocused.
Does this still occur?
- Almost all contents in the old intranet are junk contents. This is the main reason why content migration is so darn difficult. If most contents in the old intranet are junk, then who is going to clean and rewrite the contents? The content owners wouldn’t bother. Besides, they may not know, how to write online contents. My advise is: Hire professional content writers to do the grunt work. Don’t waste your money to train the content-owners on content writing. It is not a skill that anyone can easily pick up.
(Always one of the problems to my mind - I suppose that I do this on my knowledge reviews but then I always go back to the interviewees to get their feedback before posting - sometimes you need to go back and weed out and filter down to get those one or two nuggets, but you do have to have some content there in the first place.