Background: What is an Information Process?
An Information Process is the way in which the organization manages its ingoing and outgoing information. A set of Information Processes are also called foundational because without knowledge and information flowing through and organization, nothing can done. Information Processes are the least well understood and managed inside any organization. In fact, when anyone asks what is wrong with any organization, there is a better than a 95% chance that one of the answers is “communications”. Usually, an organization has fewer Information Processes: this is an indicator of the difficulty inherent in managing them. Information Processes may be identified as follows for your organization:
- Knowledge Management, i.e. what constitutes the body of knowledge that is a key asset of the organization and how do we manage it.
Key Question: What is our organization’s body of knowledge and how do we manage it?
- Information Management (or IM), i.e. how the organization structures data so that it becomes useful for making decisions.
Key Question: What information do we need in order to make decisions?
- Information Technology (or IT), i.e. by what electronic means the organization moves information among Board and staff members.
Key Question: What technology do we need to manage our information?
- Communications Management, i.e. how are key messages about the organization communicated to internal and external stakeholders.
Key Question : How do we communicate internally and externally?
Any organization that is unable to manage its information processes is likely to fail and especially fail to reach its constituents, stakeholders or clients with needed information. This is why information and knowledge form the foundation of the organization.
- Describe the organization’s body of Knowledge
Working in a combined Board and staff work session, name and describe the body of knowledge that is unique to the organization and that constitutes its intellectual asset.
- See Tool 27: Describing the Organization’s Knowledge.
- Identify the organization’s Information Management structure
Based on what constitutes the knowledge of the organization and on its strategy moving forward, identify the most appropriate way to structure the information of the organization.
- See Tool 28: Identifying the Organization’s Information Management Structure.
- Determine the need for the organization’s Information Technology
Perform a needs analysis to determine what information technology will be required to support the organization’s Information Management.
- See Tool 29: Determining the technical needs for Information Technology.
- Establish the organization’s Communications Strategy
Working with staff, establish the strategy for messaging to stakeholders both inside and outside the organization.
- See Tool 30: Establishing the Organization’s Communications Strategy