May 10, 2010 at 3:39 pm #100229
We’re re-organizing the mess that is our share drive. Personally, I don’t like share drives, but they are what people are comfortable with, so we’ll continue using it at least in the interim.
What lessons can you pass on in successfully and failing to organize a folder-based share drive?
May 10, 2010 at 4:05 pm #100241
I hate to tell you this, Sterling…but I think this is the song that never ends! 🙂
I have been part of several teams where we launched this gargantuan project…only to have people leave and new people come on board (yes, it took that long!), bringing with them new naming conventions and practices…we tried to standardize, but nothing really ever seemed to stick.
My recommendation – it’s not worth the time and effort. Let search do the work!
May 10, 2010 at 7:31 pm #100239
Have you tried replacing your share drive with a wiki? MediaWiki is much better than a share in that you can attach documents, have built in search, and an automatic history of what was changed and who changed it. When I first came on board at OPM, I tried to convince folks that a wiki would be much better than the 10-year old share drive that was constantly running out of space and suffered several major network events.
May 10, 2010 at 8:38 pm #100237
Awesome advice, Bill — a great recommendation, Sterling, if your organizational culture allows it to be considered as an option. Funny that I didn’t connect the two initiatives, but I’m currently working the conversion of a combo shared-drive-space/MS Groove project planning area that my teammates and I have used for awhile, into a centralized WIKI planning space living on MS SharePoint. Moves us away from the “document dump” mentality, and into a more thoughtful archiving process that provides direction and guidance while allowing attachments where necessary. (We like to look at it as “eating our own dog food!”)
May 11, 2010 at 11:48 am #100235
If there is no way around the shared drive, a couple tricks.
-Make the naming convention short and easy
-Make it a requirement or build into culture that has to go on shared drive
May 11, 2010 at 1:46 pm #100233
This type of reorganization is what information architects do all the time for Web sites and portals. One tip that might help you figure out where to start your process is to run a card sort exercise with several stakeholders and users of the shared drive to find out how they expect to find information on the shared drive. Once you understand at a high level where people expect to start looking for things, you can work your way down the folder tree.
May 13, 2010 at 12:31 pm #100231
We are using some of the lessons from physical files building folders around series by year. This not only helps us find files but remove them on a scheduled basis. The other important element is metadata; we keep a text file that describes the structure and contents.
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