Taming the information beast for small companies?
March 3, 2011 6:30 AM Subscribe
How can as a small company with multiple change events occurring daily implement an information sharing protocol that lets us share development, implementation and company changes to all who need to know?
posted by diode to technology (5 answers total)
I work at a small manufacturing concern, perhaps 30 or so people, building products sold direct to consumers. Our company suffers from an inability to communicate information effectively internally.
Because we are in a competitive consumer space, we are innovating constantly, tweaking our designs, and solving problems that come up, so change is a constant. I compare this to many business models where large parts of the business remain relatively static.
We have large component groups that must be purchased for our designs, manufacturing processes, smaller products that are built and sold with our major products with multiple interactions between older and newer designs, ongoing responses to problems or competitive pressures, database changes, requests for changes, and so on and so forth.
The amount of interconnecting bits of information is overwhelming our ability as individuals to respond effectively. Given that this is an entrepreneurial concern, there's a bit of idiosyncratic not-invented-here behavior going on as well.
There's a limit to the amount of information and change any one person can learn and implement in the midst of this, so things don't change easily or effectively. More likely we're putting out fires as they erupt not infrequently.
Another way to put it is that change events occur that have overlapping, cascading effects and the parties involved often don't find out until the change hits their domain.
I understand that this question is perhaps too broadly stated and may not get information I can put to use but still any pointers are helpful, the question being how can a small company implement some form of information sharing protocol that touches on the areas of development, implementation and ongoing changes in the company's behavior so that individuals can stay abreast of what's going on?
We have an internal Drupal install for our internal company website which largely goes unused. I understand Drupal's usefulness as a CMS/framework but am unable to implement it for the purposes outlined above due to time and expertise constraints. It could potentially act as a central knowledge repository if I understood a clear path to building the framework in which Drupal would be the central engine, or perhaps there is another solution which would work more effectively.
Any ideas would be helpful.