Many times IT is focused in enabling new capabilities and adding more tool kits to the ever burgeoning list. We also find that many of these tools have similar capabilities differing in some features only. So combining multiple tools in a way that leverage the best capabilities of each one, we can get an efficient business workflow, without the need to buy or deploy new tools. With the advent of Web 2.0 and using mashups, widgets and Webservices, it is easy to create a portal with a mashups of different capabiltieis/ content. Understanding the information needs and building the information architecture is the key.
In my earlier post, we had seen how we can utilize Enterprise 2.0 (Social Computing) tools for better project management and collaboration. This is one instance of information architecture, where we study the workflow of a project manager, and create a project management model by combining the default PM tools with the enterprise social computing tools.
Similar exercise can be done for different usage scenarios. For example, in an organization, there are several operational processes. Most of these will involve sharing of information with the employees, 2-way engagements, and multi-point discussions. The management team depends on the dashboards and other status updates to track the progress of, issues faced by the organization and organization health check. The employees have a need to roll up their project status, operational health status and progress towards milestones to higher up to keep them updated. By understanding these information sharing needs, we can combine the traditional reporting tools and E2.0 tools to create a one-stop shop to the organizational team.
We are right now experimenting with a similar model for one of our IT organizations. We are in the process of information architecture. The idea is to start small with status updates, roadmap sharing and prioritization information. As the teams adopt the process, we will add more data there.
I would like to hear from you on how you are managing organizational information needs. Do you rely on traditional methods, manager pass-downs or face-to-face meetings?