Content Clutter 3 Steps to Start #Digital Cleanup

Japanese organizing consultant Marie Kondo wrote a book about methods to deal with clutter and organize clutter in physical space.  I considered her practices in the context of enterprise content management and virtual space.

= A Great Deal of Nothing (1)The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

Lesson #1: Tackle Categories, Not Rooms <–Kondo / Create an Enterprise Approach, Not Project Based

Many companies start with a project or a pilot when it comes to working on content management.  The problem is that it creates inconsistent behavior between teams and groups.  It also creates inconsistent practices on enterprise systems.

Consider working with leadership and the corporate communication team to build communication campaigns around content cleanup.  Depending on how your company manages time, consider building in a small amount of time for learning content management practices and creating a pipeline for cleanup and organization.

Lesson #2: Respect Your Belongings <—Kondo /Respect Your Content (Explicit Knowledge)

When you search for something on your network do you find more than one version of it in more than one place?   Is the content tied to an authoritative data source?  Is the content valid?  Does it hold value to keep?  Is it a risk to keep?  Is it accessible by everyone? Should it be?  Content is everywhere while it should be some place appropriately accessible, find-able and understandable.   Identify high risk content immediately and take action to at least mark it for review.

Lesson #3: Nostalgia Is Not Your Friend <—Kondo / Records Management and Retention Matters

Before I started learning about “personal knowledge management” I would always enjoy keeping everything “handy” all the time just in case I needed it.   A few megs turned into gigs and a few gigs turned into terabytes.   Before long I was running applications to find duplicates across my own personal data stores.   There are many reasons to keep content handy and many more reasons to have an archival strategy.

In the enterprise we need to be concerned with the risks of improperly managing our records and content.    We also wind up losing a lot of important content because we create content that we feel emotionally tied to, and we seek keep it.   I know a person that said he had the last 13+ years on his laptop.   How is that good for the enterprise?  What happens when he turns his laptop in when he retires?   Managing content extends all across the enterprise including mobile devices.  Ever wonder exactly how much content is in your enterprise?

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Summary

Content management strategies often involve a lot of discussion around tools.  Any discussions about a content strategy should start with practice, process and methods.  These should be driven by a clear business approach to reduce operational risk, reduce cost for the business and optimize opportunity to find information and knowledge needed for all aspects of work including generating income!