Transform Your Intranet with Easy Document Management

Traditionally, intranets have focused on allowing people to communicate and consume information. In contrast, modern intranets empower individuals to create and publish their own content, allowing everyone in the organization to contribute to the shared repository of knowledge.

Now that users expect to be able to share the content they create, every modern digital workplace needs to facilitate document creation and retrieval. Here are some features that your document management system must offer:

1. Easy Content Publishing

Today, employees expect to be able to log into their digital workplace and easily create and publish documents such as Office documents and PDFs and publish web-based content as stories. They may also want to drag and drop content they have already created into their workplace to publish it to the intranet.

This process must be as easy as possible. The system should help the user decide where to publish the content as document or story based on its content so that it is easy for other users to find.

2. Easy Content Categorization

When you have a lot of content in your organization, it can be difficult to find the content you need. This problem arises when content management systems only capture the titles of uploaded documents. As well as this basic information, documents should also be tagged with useful metadata, such as the creation or upload date and the author. In addition, users should be able to quickly and easily tag each document with relevant keywords. Create a central list of keywords that employees can quickly choose from to tag their documents.

Before you get carried away with the concept of content categorization, remember that the key word here is “easy.” If you require users to fill in too many metadata fields or have a list of keywords that is excessively long, your employees may get frustrated. Limit the information you collect on each document to just what is necessary.

It’s also helpful if your system can auto fill some of the information based on the content that is being uploaded. For example, if an employee uploads a batch of content, it should be possible to copy the metadata from one document to all of them, rather than having to fill out every field for every document individually.

3. Discoverable Content

Most importantly, content stored on your intranet should be easy to find using the search function. Tagging your documents with keywords can help with this, as users can enter the keywords into the search field to bring up relevant documents. Your intranet should also be able to suggest documents based on context. For example, the intranet may be able to suggest documents related to ones that the user has already worked on.

Final Thought

The key thing you can do to transform your intranet is to broaden the way you think about document management. It’s important to have a clear structure of folders and subfolders to organize the content on your intranet and an intuitive way to categorize your content using keywords.

More importantly, you need to ensure that employees know which documents to put in their personal folder so they can be kept private or shared with only a few people, as well as which documents to put into a public folder so anyone can find them. Training is key to helping your employees adopt good document management practices on your company intranet.

Topics: Intranet, Knowledge Management & Governance
Daniel Cohen-Dumani

Daniel Cohen-Dumani a Partner and Market Leader of Microsoft Solutions and Services at Withum. He has more than 20 years of experience in the field of computer science and software development. He is a frequent speaker at SharePoint conferences and user groups, and a recognized SharePoint and Office 365 subject matter expert.