Use a Shared Directory to Share Project Information

Information and data sharing in a project management environment is certainly a challenge today. Project managers and team members can get creative in how they go about this. It may be the choice over one type of project management software over the other, or it may be the choice of a specific document-sharing site.

“Here's the TenStep guest blog post "Use a Shared Directory to Share Project Information":

Knowledge Management is a term used to describe a systematic approach to collecting, storing, retrieving and sharing information throughout your organization. There are many aspects of Knowledge Management, and it can be a very difficult program to fully implement. Knowledge sharing on a project includes being able to access project management processes and templates as the project begins, and then sharing specific project-related information as the project progresses.

The real value of Knowledge Management is in the sharing and leveraging of the information. However, you can’t share information unless you can first store it somewhere where people can get access to it.

Information is all around us - in emails, groupware, databases and other content delivery systems. However, information is useless unless it is made accessible to the right people at the right time. Imagine an important email message, for instance, that you send to the wrong email address. It contains information, but it is useless if it is not delivered to the right person. Similarly, a paper document that is misfiled may become useless since no one will be able to find it in the future.

You have information all over your organization. One of the key concepts of Knowledge Management is that much of the information can be further leveraged by not just the original recipient, but also by others in the organization. People can also take information from you and others in the organization to create new insight and new meaning that is greater than the sum of the individual knowledge components.

Sample Directory Structure
Projects need to share information as well - especially if the project generates lots of documents. We have a recommended project document repository comprised of three main areas - Project Deliverables, Project Management Deliverables and Reference. A fourth area can also be defined for the Work Area.

  • Project Deliverables: Directory for storing all project-related deliverables. This is further broken down into subfolders to provide more guidance on where specific documents should be stored. This could include subdirectories of Final, Draft and InProgress.
  • Project Management Deliverables: Directory for storing all project management-related deliverables. This is further broken down into subfolders to provide more guidance on where specific documents such as Charter, Schedule, Status Reports, etc.
  • Reference: Directory for any documents that add value and are used as input to the project, such as architecture definition, client organization charts, training material, graphics, etc. This directory is for documents that are used as input or as reference for your project.
  • Work Area (optional): Create a sub-directory for each team member to use to create work products.

This sample directory structure can be used for all of your projects to be sure people know where to store and retrieve project information.

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