31 Jan International Blue Chip Company Benefits from an Open Access Collaboration Hub
Inefficiencies of Information Silos
SharePoint used in isolation across headquarter departments was causing this global energy company inefficiencies and lost opportunities. Access Sciences was asked to build an information and collaboration hub where headquarter personnel could collaborate on developing best practices and supporting project, engineering, operations, and maintenance work performed by global business units.
Some of the specific challenges were:
- All headquarter departments and functional networks worked in separate SharePoint and network drive environments
- SharePoint sites were set up for departments a few years ago without design input from users
- SharePoint sites existed in isolation with no means to navigate from site to site
- Minimal control over site use and design resulted in a proliferation of sites in different states of completion and overlapping purposes
- Stringent and unrealistic access permissions prevented users from seeing content relevant to their work, and led to duplication of effort
- Support and collaboration with business units in different countries occurred in different manners, making it difficult to take advantage of prior work and lessons learned
- Employees frequently depended on relationships to find the latest and greatest information
The strong desire to leverage employee expertise across corporate headquarters and business units drove the need for this work. Having a single place to find best practices, processes, lessons learned, templates, and examples would enhance their ability to collaborate and take advantage of work already completed by others. Making existing information accessible and findable would maximize their use and reduce redundant effort.
‘No Harm to Know’ Solution Design
To come up with a feasible solution, Access Sciences worked collaboratively with client personnel in information and knowledge management, technology, operations, and engineering to design, develop, and deploy a Pertempo™-based solution in SharePoint.
It was imperative to work with the SharePoint users across the business to make sure the solution design reflected the ways they thought about and used information. This collaboration helped in the configuration of multiple views of content and site navigation. Since not all users look for content using the same search terms or parameters, we built in ways to get to the same information from different points of view. We implemented an automatic application of common and function-specific metadata, facilitating both cross-functional, intuitive search capabilities and meaningful content organization within departments.
The client’s existing business terminology was all over the place. We had to synthesize and standardize it into a taxonomy so that the users could identify, manage, and retrieve information with the confidence that they were getting what they were looking for.
So that users weren’t stymied by draconian security access levels, we took a “no harm to know” approach and created an open access model to maximize access to information where possible. To make sure the SharePoint users followed policies and procedures when accessing content, we implemented an automated application of records management policies.
Because of our 30+ years of experience managing projects, we accomplished the deployment of the solution, including user-testing, content migration, and post-implementation support. We created a support site and training material for long-term solution growth and sustainment. We delivered training to end users and administrators around the globe to provide a standard by which the new SharePoint solution would be used. And to keep the site sustained, we created transition of governance processes and tools and rolled out to client administrators.
An Open Access Collaboration Hub
Employees now have a one-stop shop for best practices, processes, networks, and collaborative support. They have access to information relevant to their work even if it was created by another department. The open access collaboration hub model is now being adopted within other business units to facilitate access to information and collaboration within a single business unit.
- Cross-Site Navigation – Common, intuitive navigation architecture, allowing employees to get to any site from any other site.
- Internal Site Navigation – Standard site layout components, making it easy for new site visitors to locate content quickly.
- Portal Areas – Pages that allow employees to see all headquarters sites at a glance and to reach any business unit site from a single location.
- Findability – The ability to find information regardless of where it is stored by entering a search term and refining results using relevant business terminology.
- Efficiencies – Discontinuation of the use of network drives for many departments, reduction in duplication of effort, and increased knowledge sharing.