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Saturday, October 22, 2005

Creating need-to-have portals

So many portals are created with great fanfare, only to fall short of expectations when employees realize they don't need them to do their jobs. How can you make a portal work for your staff?

Here are three top tips from Alan Thompson of KBR Production Services - a business unit of the Energy and Chemicals Division of KBR, part of the Halliburton Company - on creating a need-to-have portal in an organization:

1. Create a fast and efficient portal: In recent times, the expectations of users have increased. Users now demand a speedy response, rather like an online shopping experience. That means the organizational processes and supporting systems need to integrate more readily, and must also be very intuitive and responsive.

2. Identify what users need: At KBR, great importance has been given to helping users make efficient use of collaboration portal technology, particularly in terms of what users would determine as information they need to have to carry out their daily business in an age of information overload. To identify these items of really useful information, allow the KM team to work with users to understand their work processes and in particular the interaction with each other.

3. Engage the global population: At KBR, it was fruitful to use KM program fact-finding activities to engage the global population. In seeking out what they thought would be useful to their community, the feeling of inclusion increased. This change in expectations on the part of users has also driven KBR from being a document-centric organization towards being a data-centric one.

Source: Adapted from “Creating need-to-have portals at Halliburton” by Alan Thompson in the current issue of KM Review.

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