The five starting points in enterprise search platform implementation

James Ainsworth
Creative Content Strategist, iManage
19 March 2021

Looking to make knowledge work and thinking of moving to an enterprise search platform?

Joshua Firemand iManage Video series

Meet Joshua Fireman. Joshua is a leading expert in knowledge management and implementing modern knowledge management systems. He is also the founder and president of Fireman & Company.

We took some time to capture his thoughts on the essential steps you should take in your enterprise search platform implementation.

5. Understand your enterprise search platform requirements.

"Without requirements, you're just throwing technology at them."

To define your scope and maximize the chances of widespread user adoption of your chosen solution, you need to understand user needs.

When establishing the business requirements for implementing a modern knowledge management system, do not start at the features and functions level. Think about your current ways of working and the pain points. Ask the question, "What is getting in the way of you practising law?"

 

4. Evaluate your data hygiene.

"In my experience, the single most frequent factor in the search project not launching on time has been weak attention to the hygiene."

The cleaner the data you put into an enterprise search platform, the better it performs, improving user adoption and saving countless hours over the product's lifetime use. If you are already thinking about implementing a modern knowledge management system and scoping out your requirements with a view to a go-live date, start the data cleanse, structuring and security revisions now. It's just good hygiene.

 

3. Start with a minimum viable product.

"A search implementation should not take longer than nine months."

In your initial implementation, you want to maximize your users' value within a 6-to-12-month period of launching the project. That means that having the cleanest data, the foundations of functionality in place from the get-go is the reward for your focus. The 'crawl before you run' concept will set you up for the best possible chance of initial user adoption and long-term success.

 

2. It is not a one-off project.

"It is not install and walk away. This is a platform that you want to grow with you and the firm."

In the same way that Apple will have a roadmap of future iPhones, it is a practical way of working to take in your approach to Enterprise Search. The install is not the end of the journey; it is a milestone to reach before moving on to the next moment. Consider a Knowledge Management Maturity Model for your organization and the waypoints you want to reach in the months and years to come. By organizing your business and technology use around that, you will only ever move forwards and not see the initial install as the ultimate destination.

 

1. Your internal workflows, systems and processes matter.

"Search doesn't exist in the vacuum. "

Be considerate of how you onboard new business and how you structure existing business. It is critical to how your ongoing use of the enterprise search solution evolves. As with data hygiene, the better due care and attention to how you use the technology with your other systems, human or otherwise, the greater the chance of delivering serendipitous, high-value knowledge discovery.

Let your enterprise search platform journey begin.

Please take a look at the complete video series with Joshua Fireman to go deeper into understanding what it takes to implement a modern knowledge management solution in your organization.

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