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Best Practices for Posting to Information Management Systems


Northwest Justice Project just launched IKE (Information, Knowledge, etc) an Information Management system build on SharePoint.  Part of the project was to create some Best Practices for sharing content. These ideas apply to any information managment system not just a sharepoint system.

  • BE GENEROUS!  Share useful information and knowledge with your colleagues. This includes briefs, pleadings, articles, videos, PowerPoint presentations, email strings and more. IKE’s success depends on each of us sharing with others!
  • A GOOD NAME IS EASY FOR OTHERS TO FIND.  Give each resource a clear, descriptive title. Bad: Jones Motion Good: Motion for TRO Mobile Home Park Closure
  • BE DESCRIPTIVE!  Name your document in a descriptive way so users have a good sense of what it is about. Use helpful keywords so others will be able to find it easily and know its content in a list of search results. Bad:  Motion for TRO.  Good:  Motion for TRO against landlord forcing tenants out to close mobile home park
  • ADD TAGS, TAGS AND MORE TAGS!  A tag is a keyword that helps describe the document.  Some fields have pre-determined tags found in the drop down menus and some fields are “free form”. Select as many tags or keywords as apply to your document under “Substantive Area”, “Issues” and “Advocacy Resources.” Tags are essential for searching and filtering—without tags, no one else will find the document!
  • ADD ADDITIONAL TERMS.  Add additional information describing your document if not provided by the pre- existing tags. If many people add the same term, it may become a tag!  The more terms you add, the easier it is for others to search for and find the resource.
  • SHARE ALL KINDS OF ADVOCACY RESOURCES. Upload and tag non-case related tools such as articles, training materials, PowerPoint presentations, publications and videos under Advocacy Resources.
  • CHANGE YOUR VIEWPOINT.  IKE has several different “views” to display the information. The default is the NJP view. The “Legal Server view” shows additional information imported from LegalServer, like case number, legal problem code, special legal problem code and county.
  • SHARE DIRECTLY FROM LEGALSERVER.  When adding a document to a case file in LegalServer, make sure the “Sync with IKE” box is checked to share it on IKE.  You can uncheck the box for standard forms like retainers, and citizenship certifications.  However, share as many helpful briefs, letters, memos and articles as possible!
  • CHECK YOUR DASHBOARDS OFTEN!  Dashboards offer groups working in a specific area of the law or on a special project a place to communicate and centralize their information. (LSNTAP will ahve another post talking about Dashboards specificaly)
  • DON’T CHANGE OTHER PEOPLE’S DOCUMENTS…  Do not edit or change the substance of a document directly on IKE. Download the resource to your own computer and then make it your own.  Re-share your new version (with a new helpful title!) Of course, if the document is part of a Dashboard and group collaboration, this rule does not apply.
  • …BUT DO ADD TAGS TO OTHER PEOPLE’S DOCUMENTS!  Anyone can add tags, and the more tags, the better. After you read a document, add more applicable issue tags by clicking on “edit properties.”
  •  USE YOUR SEARCHING POWERS!  Enter terms in the search box for best results.  You can use natural language similar to a Google search. Refine the search by clicking on selected fields in the left navigation area and narrow the results down by author or document type.