This applies to:
Available with the following QorusDocs Editions:
This step is critical to ensuring that you make good organization decisions. The instructions and tips laid out in here are the building blocks of a long-lasting solution that's scalable, manageable and intuitive to all those who engage with the content.
SharePoint Online (SPO) Libraries
QorusDocs leverages Microsoft SharePoint Online Libraries. These are locations within a SharePoint Site for managing files - creating, updating, and collaborating. They are highly customizable and give you the ability to control how documents are managed, track file history, add workflow automations, and manage access permissions. Not only are they highly customizable in how you manage them, there are also custom views and filters for optimizing your work spaces.
✅ Your first task is to list the libraries you’d want, who will own them and who will be allowed to access them.
Here are some tips to help you decide what libraries you might need:
- Libraries should hold the same type of content and generally grouped by purpose, with a single “owner” of that library who is accountable for ensuring that the content within it adheres to the framework. (You can have several Subject Matter Experts that are responsible for the documents in a single library, but you should have one owner who’s accountable.)
Here is an example of a SharePoint Library with a common theme. In our Marketing Content Source, we have case studies, awards & news, brochures and images. Each of these topics are stored in their separate library and connected via QorusDocs.
- Access is best applied at a library-level. While you can apply permissions at a document-level, we don’t recommend this as it creates administrative overheads. If you run into a scenario where a handful of documents should be ring-fenced, it’s a good indication that they should live in their own library.
- Build your libraries with content administration in mind, not content consumption. I.e., build libraries with your content managers in mind. Your teams accessing the content will not do so from SharePoint; libraries are united in QorusDocs in more logical ways that suit a searcher of content.
- Folders within libraries are generally a no-no. Folder structures are difficult to manage, can cause documents URLs to change, and complicate sort and filter capabilities. They should generally be avoided in SharePoint libraries. To group content together, you will use taxonomy instead. There are a ton of resources online supporting this shift in mindset, for a multitude of reasons:
- The number of items (documents) in a library should not exceed 5,000. This ensures operating efficiency and avoids lengthy waiting times. This is a Microsoft soft limit, meaning you can exceed it, but you’ll experience issues that QorusDocs will not be able to resolve for you.
Did you know the word “taxonomy” comes from the Greek word “taxis”, meaning “to arrange”? SharePoint Taxonomy is a formal classification system that groups information with labels and terms into a hierarchy of pre-defined metadata that can be applied to documents and lists. Metadata is information about, well, information! Just like a Book has an author, title, and publish date, so does your proposal and RFP content.
Taxonomy's main purpose is to help members find the content they need using familiar organizational structures. Successful taxonomy takes into account who is searching the content and why, so that members will be able to discover content and consume information in an efficient manner.
When creating a taxonomy, we recommend creating your requirements after an internal discovery phase to learn more about how your team searches for their content.
Some questions to ask are:
- What kinds of content do you look for the most?
- How does our team organize and access their content?
- What content do you find yourself creating or re-creating most often?
- What content do your prospects ask for, or is required for your role?
- What do you like/dislike about your current content repository?
Consider conducting internal surveys to collect this feedback from multiple stakeholders and team players involved in the QorusDocs program. Google Forms and Microsoft Forms are both excellent and free form builders. Once you've collected that feedback, develop user-stories with common search scenarios.
As a [role], I want to use [type of content] so that I can [benefit].
Example: As a bid manager, I want to find Q&A pairs on various topics so that I can accurately complete a Request for Proposal.
Example: As a sales rep, I want to find case studies that I can incorporate into proposals.
✅ Document your search scenarios in this way shifts and you'll shift the focus from writing about the search requirements to talking about them. They are a powerful tool to encourage proper thought and discussion around content categorization!
These user search scenarios will form your business requirements and highlight areas of need. These scenarios can be used and refined over time as you test your solutions and your needs change.
The most important thing to keep in mind with Taxonomy is starting simple. Implementing a taxonomy is not a once-off task. As your content repository grows, plan to periodically update your taxonomy. If you make your taxonomy too complex, not only do the maintenance needs increase, but it also might not be that useful to your representatives The taxonomy example above is a single-level taxonomy, which mean it has a single layer of tags.
Multi-level taxonomy is available and considered an advanced feature. For example, "Black" shirts could be broken down into ebony, charcoal, and black olive tags. This may increase the accuracy, but is it relevant and does it enhance the user experience? If it is an important, clear, or critical distinction, include it. Otherwise, consider letting your team browse between subjects that are close in topic, but nuanced - especially if there isn't that many of them!
✅ Start documenting your taxonomy. Try not go more than 2 levels deep. I.e. in the sample above, stop at "Black".
The great thing with SharePoint taxonomy is that it can be added to and changed over time. Finding a balance between having the right information at the right time, without overwhelming your reps, is key to ongoing success. Be deliberate about your taxonomy, focus on findability, expect iterations, and start simple!