Reaching Findability #4 – Build for the long term!

Findability is surprisingly complex due to the large number of measures needed to be understood and undertaken. I believe that one of the principal challenges lies within the pedagogical domain. This is my fourth post in a series of simple tips for reaching Findability.

Build for the long term!

A platform for Findability takes time to build. It is partly about technology development but equally about organisational maturity.

Mechanisms for managing both information and search technology need to be established and adopted. The biggest effect though, is realized when people start thinking about information differently. When they start wanting to share and find information more easily, and desire the possibility to do so.

As with any change project, it helps to not make too many changes at the same time. It is often easier to establish a long-term goal and take small steps along the way. To reach the goal of Findability, the first step is to define a Findability strategy. While information is refined and the technical platform is developed step-by-step, the organization is allowed time to mature.

Choose your technical search platform carefully, and think long-term based on the specific requirements of your business. Give priority to supporting the processes and target groups due to receive the most tangible benefits from finding information easier and more quickly. One valuable method for defining goals, target group needs and means by which to fulfill them is Effect Mapping, developed by InUse AB, which can be used early on in the transformation to gain and communicate important insights

The technical architecture, as with the information structure, must be well thought out when laying the foundation of the platform. Start out with a first application, perhaps an intranet or public web search. The extent and influence of the search platform can then be gradually built out by adding new information sources and components in accordance with the long-term plan. With the right priorities, business value is created every step of the way. New ideas can be tested and problems mitigated before the consequences become difficult to handle.

A good example of an organization with target group focused development is Municipality of Norrköping. You can watch an entertaining presentation of how they do it here!

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