Successful Information Management Projects in IT
Intelligent Information: the Right Approach is Key
IT documentation is up-to-date and reliable, they are of good quality and any information needed is available at the click of a button. Intelligent information is essential in the decision-making process for strategic issues, for example for decisions regarding cloud transformations or for the integration/separation of IT organisations.
You think this is unrealistic? But what about if intelligent information in IT did work?
Let’s say your company acquires another and you are in charge of integrating the IT. How do you set up projects/programs to make intelligent information available quickly across the as yet unknown IT environment? How do you create a good basis for management decisions and a sustainably resilient integration within a short space of time?
One thing is certain: the traditional approach via document management or ECM projects will not work. These would be too lengthy and unwieldy, the cost would be much too high and the results would in no way justify the meagre results.
You need a new approach. Information Management must be modular and built piece by piece from smaller projects. These projects must be agile and you will need innovative methods and modern technology approaches like audio and video integration, intelligent search functions, chatbots and text analytics.
Information Management in IT must quickly offer returns and a business case must be in place latest within a few weeks. A strategic added value must be apparent right away. Intelligent information must be maintainable to keep up these benefits long-term, meaning it should cost very little to keep things current.
Key Terminology in IT Information Management
Accountable: The person in charge of the correct and thorough completion of a service or task, who delegates work to Responsibles. There must only be one Accountable for each service or task.
Capture: According to aiim (Association of Image and Information Management), “Capture” is the method for collecting information at its source and forwarding it to a formal information management process.
Create: In the “Create” method we assume that no reliable information exists and that all information must therefore be created.
Information Governance: Ensures the long-term efficiency and quality of information.
Information Unit: Information Units (IUs) are the smallest meaningful units of information, which cannot be broken down any further. They may consist of a combination of file formats (e.g. html, mp3, mp4) and are enriched with metadata.
Methods: Methods of IT information management, e.g. “Capture” or “Create”.
Responsible: The person doing the work to fulfil a task. There will always be at least one Responsible. Even where tasks are delegated to others, an individual can remain the only Responsible.
Stakeholder: A Stakeholder is a person involved in an activity or who has an interest in an organisation or activity. These include members of the actual Corporate IT, but also members of IT Governance and IT Audit
Innovative Approaches in IT Information Management
Completely new and innovative approaches in terms of information management methods and the technologies used are needed. IT information management must be simplified – not just in terms of its usage, but also and very importantly: in terms of its generation (“Create”) and the processing of information and the information governance.
Learning Methods From Others: aiim, Tekom
IT information management methods can combine the best of two worlds: the worlds of business information management and technical documentation. Key elements here are taxonomies and the use of IUs instead of traditional documents.
New Technology Approaches Create New Perspectives
Technology components support the provision of information via a portal with web/mobile access, the use of text analytics and intelligent search functions, gamification and interaction, text-to-speech and speech-to-text, chatbots, video and audio.
A very important aspect is the separation of the actual content management (text, audio, video, structured data…) and the content processing and visualisation, i.e. content delivery.
Find out more about analytics here: https://intelligent-information.blog/en/analytics-offers-these-3-optimisation-scenarios/
Information Management Program / Project
Think Big, Start Small!
Unwieldy and costly large-scale projects with unforeseeable benefits have long since been discredited in IT documentation. A similar approach applies for Information Management: the objective is to produce quick wins. And that requires agile methods. Quick, visible benefits increase acceptance and engender far-reaching support and cooperation. And that is an important factor for success: the success of Information Management depends on cooperation and management buy-in.
Project Approach and Organisation
A small project or a program for Enterprise IT – the basic approach is always the same. There is always at least one stakeholder and defined objectives as well as at least one information manager (could be part-time for smaller projects), who controls the project/program. A quick win, i.e. usable results within a short time, requires agile methods.
From time to time, Information Management projects must involve large numbers of IT employees. And in order to improve engagement, the project reporting is not exclusively aimed at management. Dashboards, which offer transparency and visibility regarding project success and progress, ensure broad support. Gamification and success stories are other building blocks to create support across as much of the IT organisation as possible.
Information Management is rarely something dear to the heart of IT management. That is why the buy-in needs to be maintained at all times. A good tool to keep the objective in view could be a maturity index. There should also be a procedural model for stakeholder management, which can be used to keep general interest at a continuously high level.
Project/Program Phases: the avato Standard
Information management is not like any traditional project with project start, project phases and a defined project end. IT information management, on the other hand, is a traditional program and similar to CSI (Continual Service Improvement).
Where mandatory, traditional documentation can continue during the planning phase. New areas, however, should not be started. The planning phase for smaller projects can be completed after two weeks and should not take longer than 2–3 months for comprehensive programs. Key stakeholders are identified in this phase and their objectives (goals) are coordinated and prioritised. Reporting and the ongoing stakeholder management process are defined.
The project organisation is specified, methods are defined and information managers take over the control of processes as well as the coordination of accountables and responsibles (methods). The scope is defined and initial areas are identified in which traditional documentation will be replaced by IT information management.
A technology concept is developed concurrently. Once again, the following maxim applies: think big, start small. The concept should always account for an extensive expansion of the IT information management, but also offer options to become productive immediately and deliver results.
Team and stakeholder management is an ongoing process and should be set up in this phase. A changing set of stakeholders must be included and goals are continuously re-coordinated. An IT information management team encompasses all areas of IT and usually a whole lot of employees in each one of those. Keeping everyone informed, gamification and information managers actively seeking feedback are essential for success.
Procedure models and methods are defined, the information structure is in place and IT information management is now fully integrated in the organisation and its workflows. The entire process of evaluating the existing information, generating new information as well as governance and publication is controlled by information managers.
The next step is to define a detailed structure for areas and required content. That also includes the definition of information sources and the selection of responsibles for all content.
Initial parts of the technology solution can now be implemented, while metadata and templates for the content are defined.
ITIM Governance: Ongoing IM
The final phase is less a project phase and more ongoing IT Information Management. New content is created and published, existing content is updated and maintained (create, maintain & publish).
Technology innovation is continuously added to the implementation and existing technologies are continuously adapted to changing requirements (technology maintenance).
Just like in CSI, Information Management is also subject to an ongoing review and improvement process (review & improve). New ideas and approaches are being integrated, the project/program organisation is being adapted to changing requirements.
What are the important factors for effective and efficient information governance?
Essential cornerstones are project reporting and dashboards as well as intensive communication between information users and information providers. Triggers are put in place to support efficient information updates. These can be new stakeholders, changes in stakeholder goals, adjustments in supplier contracts, organisational changes or the implementation of IT changes.
Other important tools are click rates or reviews on websites or blogs and user comments.
And how is that integration project going that we described above? IT integration was a long-term success. You were quick and made excellent decisions based on intelligent information. You also used the project to replace traditional IT document management with IT Information Management. Your IT teams are now more agile, the new and innovative approaches create enthusiasm in the teams and more and more IT areas are now being actively optimised on the basis of intelligent information.
Successful Information Management Projects in IT (PDF)
Intelligent Information: the Right Approach is Key