Tag Archive for situational assessment

Departmental vs Collaboration Repository

Developing a repository is synonym of creating a departmental document’s safekeeping. Putting aside proper taxonomy definition, organizational site structure is defined and respective department start throwing their documents inside it. It will help on promoting single source of truth by promoting multiple access by internal staffs, dealing with departmental documents.

Times goes on then suddenly there is another requirement of setting up another repository for non-departmental repository which of course not involving same department’s user. Hence a collaborative repository created and users start dumping relevant documents.

A question suddenly appears, is there any relation between departmental and collaboration’s repository?

When setting up a repository most of the architect will found issues on managing access level for user’s accessing the location. The repository created was mean for internal staffs but at the same time required to be accessible by external or cross departmental users. Granting access for specific documents is do able, but will it solve the issue or creating other issues? Let see some of the scenarios with pros and cons.

ECM Life Cycle

  1. Granting Access At File / Folder Level
    Pros: The easiest way to do without concerning for the user accessing other contents. Find the user in existing database or create a new user directly assign to the specific files/folders. The access might be temporary and required to be revoke once access no longer required.
    Cons: Once in a while still acceptable. But when dealing with multiple files and too many users it will cause issues on managing the repository. Cataloging on assignation will be massive and difficult to manage. Most of the cases repository administrator do not revoke granted access when the assignment completed. Housekeeping will occur once audit issues arose or blunders on.
  2. Copying Files at Another Repository
    Pros: Created repository designated for collaborating and assigned for certain members. Assigned user can have roles as low as reader and as extensive as the owner.
    Cons: Replication of documents caused inconsistency of creating single source of truth repository. Issues arose when trying to identify which repository holding updated version or meaningful information. Furthermore content owner were not properly defined. When it is resides in a collaborative repository it will be identified as a join venture ownership,  not any organization or department’s specific.
  3. Downloading and Distributing Required Documents
    Pros: No user access required to be created and be accessible to anybody.
    Cons: Again not referring to the designated repository will promote multiple source of truth. Furthermore releasing the document outside controlled repository definitely exposing for information leakage.
  4. Managing Content Life Cycle Through Multiple Repository
    Pros: Documents travels through out it’s content life cycle, jumping from one repository (ie: collaboration repository) to another, until ultimately it has been identified as record (ie: departmental repository). Even though it has been created as a record, it still capable to be re-initiate into another content life cycle.
    Cons: A comprehensive workflows required to be identified before it can be applies.
  5. Metadata Consumption
    Pros: Defined metadata mostly presenting to keys element that representing common usages. As example Project Name, Fraternity and many others. A collaborative repository as example Project XYZ can consume all XYZ related documents from various repository and assign access from within it’s own repository. The single source of truth still preserved with respective originated repository holding ownership of the document
    Cons: Not much content repository products in the market can handle this requirement. Heavy customization is required.

From above listed scenarios shows pretty much of relations between departmental and collaboration repository. Departmental repository were keeping record, governance, reference or consolidation related content while collaborative repository are dealing with content in-progress or enhancement. The relation can up to one departmental repository linked to multiple collaborative repository.

Content Life Cycle from Multiple Repository


Giving another example, a Project site  is a collaboration repository. Most of the implementation document will be deposit in Project site will the governing documents can be access through departmental site (ideally to be feed to the Project site). Once Project’s related have been finalized, consolidated contents going to be archived in the departmental site.

Project vs Department Repository

Conducting Situational Assessment

Towards improving business processes, issues that causing ineffectiveness need to be identify. Conducting situational assessment will help surfacing business pains and gaps. The activity’s approach can be either soft or hard assessment. Hard assessment is more specific using tools or mechanisme against the assessment subject. For this article we will only focus on soft assessment.

Soft assessment means that an assessment which involved interactions with subject or focus group. Activities taken might be workshops, interviews, discussions, questionaires and other related. It may look simples but in reality it is not. Sometimes involved subject came from totally different backgrounds which lead to confusion and disagreement when to achieve the result. It may due to knowledge gap and behavior inconsistency.

In order to overcome soft issues, several techniques can be apply. Below are some examples that may be follow.

1. Develop a Plot (Guideline)
Usually when assessing subject with problem queries, sometime they might turn out spelling their own problem rather than organization pain point. Constructing a flow of questions that balancing about 30% individual issues and 70% organisation issues will help a lot during analysis study.

2. Manage Interaction Between Baby Boomers, GenX and GenY
The generations gap really makes information findings so difficult. Different views raised as later generation will saying about the organization legacy and what was written to follows while the new generation urging for doing in things in new ways. Separating between this group will give you more accurate results when the felt their ideas and thought is acceptable.

3. Do Background Homeworks
Resistance always occurred when communicating with subject when delivering new changes. They could not relate the requirement to for the changes when examples given were referred to other implementation. Delivering your ideas during conversations along with cases relate to their working spaces will make subject felt being valued.

4. Put Your Self in Their Shoes
Filtering assessment questions by putting your self on their point of view. Item no 3 is the pre requisite for this techniques. By having this it will make your questions clear, straight to the point and easy to responds.

5. Target Influencer
Usually there will be somebody that will be the source of reference or blesser. Conducting any assessment without syndicating with this subject will make your proposals to be rejected. Understand properly gathered information and ensure it meet the influencer’s envision.

Each activities conducted will assist on understanding actual issues. From time to time, gained experiences is the key factor for getting good results.