This week Hunter and Jay enter the world of Information Management and Information Architecture. Information Management and Information Architecture are key components to the usability of an information system – IM helps you know the processes for managing tacit knowledge, documenting it as elicit knowledge, and finally recording it as authoritative, or records. IA is all about how your people FIND that information, how it’s organized.
To aid in the conversation, Jay and Hunter are very thankful to have solution architects Erin Glenn and Matt Barns to join us and tell their stories.
What is Information Management?
While there are a lot of definitions of Information Management (IM) out there, in our overly simplified definition, IM is the application of processes to identify tacit information (what I know in my head), make it explicit information (information we know and have access to), and finally document it as authoritative information, or records. Every organization has different processes around these types of information, and different definitions as to what information is which type. However, it is these definitions and processes which ensure users have access to the types of information they need at the time they need it.
What is Information Architecture?
Information Architecture (IA) is all about HOW those users access this information. How is it organized? How is it connected? What is the navigational structure? What TYPES of information are there, and where are they stored? What tools are we using to access that information?
All of these questions lead towards the definition of an organization’s Information Architecture and needs.
What did we learn?
Both Erin and Matt came to the same basic conclusion: plan. In Erin’s case, one thing that really stood out was her interaction with the end users in designing their Information Architecture through a card sorting exercise. In Matt’s case, it was the decision to define relevant information for the centralized shared knowledge library, ensuring that corporate knowledge was not only easily found but well curated.
Who is Erin Glenn?
Erin is a passionate SharePoint SME that focuses on business solutions in SharePoint. In the early 2000’s, she asked her software development manager how she could get into “web stuff” when she didn’t want to write code and is certainly not a graphic designer. Little did she know that SharePoint was that “web stuff” she wanted to do!
She has been working with SharePoint since 2005 (SPS2003) which includes two large Virginia law firms (Hunton & Williams and McGuireWoods), an IT consulting company, and the Virginia Housing Development Authority. Today, she’s the SharePoint Solutions Architect for Goodwill of Central & Coastal Virginia. She has also co-lead the Richmond SharePoint User Group since 2009. She is passionate about the end user, focusing on not over complicating solutions, such as providing a phased approach. She also focuses on just in time training – giving them just enough information to perform their actions. She performs her own requirements gathering/business analysis sessions and builds the solutions herself with out-of-the-box tools (browser-based) and some third party tools such as Nintex Forms and Workflows and SSRS reports. She also creates her own user documentation and facilitates training. Outside of SharePoint, she’s a Corvette enthusiast (owns a 2001 convertible and member of the Corvette Club of Richmond), enjoys boating in the summer with her parents, horseback riding, and being a mom to her two kitties.
Who is Matt Barns?
Matt Barns is the Infrastrucutre and Operations Manager for SOAR365, an organization dedicated to providing life-fulfilling opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
In his role at SOAR365, Matt is responsible for overseeing help desk operations, disaster recovery planning, infrastructure management, and IT Project Management.
He is also responsible for the design, deployment, and management of business continuity solutions and ensuring that the IT solutions provided to SOAR365 staff and volunteers align with their business needs.