One of the most popular presentations I give at various
SharePoint events around the world attempts to illustrate the correlation of
metadata; the increasingly prevalent social computing tools we use within the
enterprise; and our efforts to track, measure, and improve productivity. My
argument is simple: Metadata is at the core of every enterprise social tool,
and social computing and tracking are the key to improving productivity across
the enterprise. The three are inseparable.
I and others have written at length on the importance
of defining a proactive metadata strategy as part of your SharePoint (or any
ECM/ERM platform) strategy. And yet far too few organizations realize the
importance until pain is experienced. Of course, the cost of fixing your
platform later, rather than doing things at the beginning, is about 4x the
cost. While understanding these costs is critical, the real impact is to your
organization’s productivity. The math is fairly simple: metadata makes
your content searchable (i.e. findable). Social is another layer of the search
experience that expands metadata through social activity. When people can
find the relevant content they need in a timely manner, they will be more
productive on SharePoint.
Let me illustrate in another way: Around 1992, I purchased a
500cc street bike. It was my first motorcycle, which intimidated me a bit, but
I convinced myself that it was all the power I needed for my relatively short
commute. A co-worker who spent most of his adult life building and riding
motorcycles, advised me to find something bigger and more powerful. But I
didn’t listen and bought the bike that I thought was my speed, my size. Not
even a week went by before I realized that I needed something more in the
neighborhood of 1200cc’s. I did not listen to the expert. I did not think about
the rapid scaling of my skills and expectations, and I ended up spending all of
my money on the wrong choice.
The same mistake is often made with regards to SharePoint.
Organizations deploy a bare-bones system, or may focus their efforts on
building some critical business solutions (fair enough) but not invest time in
the fundamentals. There is no such thing as a homogenous deployment, but my advice
is to focus on 4 fundamentals:
in your taxonomy. Metadata is the key to any knowledge management
platform, so take the time to make this as robust as possible up front. Then massage your taxonomy over time as end users enter new tags into
a governance strategy. Because you cannot build out SharePoint and walk
away, you need to have a process in place that provides a shared
understanding of how SharePoint should work, how it should be managed, and
who owns all of that activity.
advantage of your internal community. Talk to your end users, know what
pains they have and what solutions they depend on. You'll learn more from
a monthly lunch with your most avid SharePoint users than from the
your change management process. Ask people what solutions they want
delivered, identify the business value of each, prioritize them, and then
give people visibility into what is happening with their requests. The
more you involve people in the change management process, the more likely
they are to support the end result.
By focusing initially on these fundamentals, you will
reinforce your ability to correctly define your business problems – and as a
result, build the right solutions for your organization.
Originally posted on http://www.aiim.org/community/blogs/expert/the-intersection-of-sharepoint-metadata-social-and-productivity#sthash.SmhQEBBo.dpuf