How do I plan the document hierarchy?

Q: How do I plan the document hierarchy?

Taking the time to design the document management system to suit your organizational needs is something that should be embraced if the project is to truly succeed. Designing the perfect solution never happens the first time but there are tips that can make it a whole lot closer.

Talk to the people that currently use and manage the documents. How do they organize the files that they use? When they need to find a file how do they go about it? Are there things that they love about the current way it is organized? Things that they would change? Remember that these are the people that will ultimately use (or not) the document management system that you chose. Definitely get their input and use it! However, be ready to do some work of your own. One of the main benefits of using an organizational document management system is being able to easily access and share information with those that have a legitimate need to access it at the security level that ensures the integrity of the information. This is something that takes consideration.

For example, how can Finance and HR both access and share the files that they both need without having to wait for someone else to retrieve it? Can a group of Finance users be made into a group that has access to the payroll area of HR at a level that allows them to read certain files and edit others? With FileHold the answer is absolutely! – as long as the Library Administrator(s) take the time to design the system in a thoughtful and organizationally sensitive way.

Create multiple solutions to your organizational needs (spreadsheets work well for this). In essence how the system works to manage documents securely is through creating a formal file structure, forming FileHold user groups with correct permissions and associating the proper groups with document schemas that have the appropriate metadata fields attached. One of the easiest ways to go about this task is by utilizing the good old spreadsheet.