For large enterprises with global teams, managing digital assets effectively is a daunting task. Content is often stored in disparate repositories, requiring employees to upload assets multiple times and jump between sites when trying to find something.
Implementing a single content repository allows organizations to create a single source of truth for corporate information, reducing inaccuracies among redundant content and eliminating the time employees spend jumping between different sites. However, with a single repository comes the challenge of efficiently managing thousands of documents.
One of the major pain points that companies solve with Liferay is consolidating information sources in a single place and implementing systems to relieve the burden of managing it. Here are the best practices we’ve learned over the years for using a single content repository within your company intranet.
Best Practices For an Intranet Content Repository
To ensure the best performance of your content repository, take the necessary measures to enforce the following best practices:
1) Establishing Governance: Establishing the right governance and access rights from day one goes a long way in improving the effectiveness of a large repository. By consolidating the right to add, edit or delete content to a few people, it becomes much easier to ensure they have the correct training and can share the workload of auditing and pruning assets.
Liferay DXP uses an incredibly granular permissioning system, allowing companies to define exactly what each user can see, access and edit across applications and content. By tying permissions to custom roles, organizations can scale access rights across thousands or millions of employees and limit the potential damage that an untrained employee can do (e.g., a new hire accidentally deleting critical files).
Regardless of the platform you use, being able to create custom roles that are disconnected from job title is key. Even within the same departments and titles, employees are given different responsibilities that require them to interact with company intranets in different ways. Defining access rights based on their roles allows them to have multiple and even overlapping roles that match their real-world needs.
In addition, choose a clear governance owner who is responsible for regularly reviewing and updating assigned roles and permissions. In most intranet cases, the owner would be someone within HR.
2) Formal Employee Training: Too often, employees have little knowledge or training on how to manage the content repository. Educate your users on how to use the repository and how to get value from it with established training sessions.
You can go one step further and document these trainings as videos or articles within a knowledge base for employees to reference as needed.
3) Teaching the Value of Processes: Anyone who has ever been in charge of training knows that there’s a big difference between showing people how to do something and actually getting them to do it. This is especially true with content repositories. You’ll likely need an extensive set of categories, tags and metadata attached to each asset to make it searchable, but employees who are in a hurry will often skip these important steps if they can.
Find ways for your employees to care about following the right process. They should understand that not following correct procedures can result in consequences like being unable to search for content later, duplicating content or making it unavailable to other users, whereas following them will take additional time now but make their jobs easier in the future
4) Implementing Workflows: Sometimes, HR will require approval and review processes for publishing or editing important information, such as official company policies. Using an intranet solution that includes a workflow engine makes it possible to automate this reviews and attach them to processes and document types.
Leveraging workflows can help regulate necessary tasks and edits where needed. Not everything will require a workflow; for example, uploading team photos or blog posts shouldn’t necessitate the approval of HR in most companies. As with roles and permissions, finding a flexible solution that can be customized to match real-word use cases makes a big difference in managing a complex and broad content repository.
5) Retiring Old Assets: Over time, old assets will start to accumulate in your repositories. If these assets are not categorized correctly or retired, new users may find them and not recognize that the content is outdated. In some cases, they may pass on old content to potential customers or partners.
Additionally, as old assets pile up, overall site performance can take a hit, creating frustration as employees wait for assets to load. One solution is to retire old or unused assets to a separate archive. Give employees view rights so that assets are referenceable, but restrict the ability to edit or even download assets in order to prevent old information from circulating. If having a comprehensive archive for these assets is not possible, implement versioning so that users can quickly identify which piece of content is the most up-to-date. Most systems, Liferay DXP included, will provide commenting along with versioning so that employees can quickly check what has changed in each version.
Why Enforce These Best Practices?
Getting your employees to adhere to these guidelines may take time and effort; however, enforcing general best practices solidifies the foundation for an effective enterprise content repository solution. Your employees will be able to find, manage and upload content easily and intranet site speed will be optimized as older content is archived and stored elsewhere. Ultimately, these best practices will deliver the best experience for your employees so that they can perform their tasks well.