Clearing up the Confusion:
The Problem with Shared Files
File shares can be incredibly messy and confusing, and it’s not hard to see why. You search for a file and are greeted with multiple results that are labeled “final” or “draft” without any context to help you figure out which is the most recent version..
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File shares can be incredibly messy and confusing, and it’s not hard to see why.
Imagine searching for a file and being greeted with multiple results that are labeled “final” or “draft” without any context to help you figure out which is the most recent version.
The folder structure can also get out of control, and old versions of documents end up mixed in with the ones you actually need.
All of this makes file shares a poor choice for providing clear guidance and direction, and it can lead to a lot of wasted time and frustration.
To avoid this kind of chaos, it’s important to have a separate location for all final copies of documents to be stored.
This place should be authoritative, organized, and easy to navigate so that employees can quickly find what they need and know they have the most recent version. In the following sections, we’ll explore what such a place looks like and how it can help you avoid the confusion that file shares can cause.
A Centralized Location for Your Reference Documents
Using file shares to collaborate on working copies of documents is fine, but once a document has gone through the revision stage and is ready to have “FINAL” tacked onto its name, it should move away from the clutter of the file share and be uploaded to a library where all your other final documents live.
File shares are far too noisy to be where your authoritative files live.
Anyone can upload documents and create new folders or change old ones, leading to a lot of mess and confusion.
The beauty of a library system is that the categorization can’t be changed, and only specific users can upload files and change the overall structure.
Limiting who can upload documents to subject matter experts makes the library a much quieter environment, which means employees always know where to look for the most recent version of a document.
It becomes the single place for your reference documents to live, and it provides a sense of order that file shares simply can’t match.
An Organized Structure Where Documents are Located
When employees search for a specific document, context matters a lot. If your documents are not in a centralized place, your employees will find it difficult to locate important o specific documents. They may also be left wondering...
"What category is it in?"
"Who wrote it?"
"Is this the final version or just a draft?"
"When was it written?"
These are the clues they need to find what they’re looking for, and an organized structure can provide them.
Proper organization makes it much easier to find information by browsing through a section, which may be essential if an employee isn’t sure whether something exists or what it may be called.
For example, you might have one section for all policies and procedures, another for marketing guidelines, and another for design standards. Each section should be clearly labeled and organized so that employees can quickly find what they’re looking for.
This kind of system makes it easy to keep track of important documents and ensures that employees can find the information they need when they need it.
Appoint Employees to Maintain Each Resource Section
One of the biggest problems with file shares is that documents often float around without clear ownership.
This can make it hard to create an organized place for your files, but assigning ownership can help solve this problem.
Ownership provides important context about the file, and the file owner feels responsible for the document, knowing that it’s their job to ensure that it’s up-to-date and properly organized.
Having subject matter experts in charge of maintaining sections of the library helps keep all the information relevant and ensures that employees know who to contact if they have any questions.
This kind of structure also helps prevent documents from getting lost or buried in the noise of a file share.
Only Show Employees What is Relevant
In today's fast-paced business environment, employees are often overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information and documents that they need to manage.
With so many files, documents, and resources to sift through, it's easy to get lost in the noise and lose track of what's important.
This is where a well-organized library with access to all files in one centralized location can be invaluable.
By providing employees with a single, searchable repository for all their files and documents, organizations can help employees quickly and easily find the information they need to do their jobs effectively.
Having a centralized location also allows organizations to tailor access to specific files and resources based on an employee's role or department.
Sales teams, for example, can be given access to sales collateral and customer data, while developers can be given access to development libraries and code repositories. This ensures that employees are only shown what's relevant to their work and can focus on the tasks that matter most.
How an Intranet Can Help You Organize Your Resources
Using an intranet to organize documents is an excellent idea for several reasons.
First and foremost, it provides a centralized location for resources that employees can access easily and quickly. Instead of having to navigate through multiple folders and drives to find what they need, employees can simply go to the intranet and search for the document or resource they require.
Moreover, an intranet can be customized to reflect the needs and preferences of the organization.
For example, the intranet can be organized by department or project, making it easy for employees to find the resources that are most relevant to their work.
In addition, an intranet can be designed to reflect the brand and culture of the organization, providing a consistent and cohesive user experience for employees.
Another key benefit of using an intranet to organize documents is that it provides enhanced security and access control.
With an intranet, administrators can set permissions and access levels for different users or groups, ensuring that sensitive or confidential documents are only accessible to authorized personnel. This is particularly important for organizations that deal with sensitive data or information, as it helps to mitigate the risk of data breaches or leaks.
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Furthermore, an intranet can also facilitate collaboration and communication among employees.
Employees can use the intranet to share files, collaborate on projects, and provide feedback on documents or resources. This can help to improve productivity, efficiency, and job satisfaction, as employees feel more engaged and involved in their work.
Article by Maria Gabrielle