I attended a webinar by Chris McGrath of ThoughtFarmer Wednesday on setting up an intranet 2.0 (with their software). The webinar sounded fairly familiar for people who have been following the Enterprise 2.0 discussions.
The most interesting thing to me was a find that Chris had from Bob Buckman, father of some of the earliest examples of understanding the value behind knowledge management. Chris found a list of seven points that describe the ultimate idea-sharing system. 7 steps to the ultimate idea-sharing system.
[Bob Buckman's] seven points, as I read in If Only We Knew What We Know, describe the perfect intranet:
- One transfer step in the transmission of ideas between individuals, to avoid distortion.
- All employees have access
- All employees can contribute content
- Available anywhere, 24/7
- Search function that indexes every word
- Users contribute in their native language. Translation provided where appropriate.
- Content updates automatically.
[highlights added by Chris.]
The book came out in 1998. It's highly unlikely the idea of having an intranet was terribly evolved at that point. Buckman Labs built their first internal-communications services via CompuServe (remember them?). My favorite shift that Buckman created was to get their experts out and talking to customers (electronically). I recall a metric of "% employees in contact with customers" that shifted from ~25% to over 90%. And of course, this is often tied to the success of Buckman Labs at the time.