What is the optimum number of forms, policies and procedures to have stored within an intranet?

This was an interesting question that a client recently asked me. Obviously, it will vary from company to company, depending on your needs.

With that in mind, here are some of my opinions on the best way to manage an intranet document repository.

1) Less is more – people often go crazy and think they should load every document into the intranet. Ultimately the more they put in the harder it will be for people to find the right document. Try to only load documents that really need to be there. Documented rules on what documents should be stored on the intranet will help your content contributors.

2) Take time to tag correctly – the better you can name and tag your documents the easier it will be for users to find what they’re looking for. You should also be consistent about naming and tagging and maintain this consistency over time. It’s a good idea to have some basic documented rules on how documents should be named and uploaded.

3) Logical folder structure – take time to design your folder hierarchy so it’s logical and clear. Also, ensure that the security permissions are such that people can’t go off and create their own sub directories for new files that they want to upload.

4) Review documents regularly – it’s well worth having regular housekeeping sessions (perhaps every 6 months) to validate that the documents you’re holding are the right ones.

5) Continually improve – capture feedback from staff and the site statistics on which documents staff use/need most and how easy they are to find. Then evolve your document repository to improve the experience for the users.