Written by Lynn Oser, Legal Service Delivery Extraordinaire
One of the biggest complaints from professionals and executives within organizations is that they cannot easily get to the right internal administrative expert when they have an issue or question. Most online company directories enable search by name, title, and department but not by area of responsibility or specialty. Within an organization this lack of functionality often results in people calling the CFO for a client billing issue or the COO to request the hanging of a new piece of artwork. Not only does that take executives away from more important things, it slows the process of completing the request. So, what is the answer? Enable administrative expertise capture and search.
The first step is to create a list of services your group provides and to assign staff to each. Consider, not only job responsibilities from job descriptions, but questions your group has been asked and those services that involve collaboration with other groups. When creating the list be sure to think across offices and geographies. Also, include synonyms and alternative terms for services where relevant.
Next, create processes for maintaining the data. Appoint a staff member as your expertise specialist, who is responsible for maintaining the data over time, adding new services and experts as relevant, and aging off services as priorities change. Determine how onboarding and offboarding of personnel will be handled. Set up procedures for regular review of departmental requests to identify new service opportunities and confirm expertise.
Lastly, integrate the information with systems that will allow for easy search, update, and association with accumulated experience over time. There are many ways to approach the underlying data store for administrative expertise. They include:
- building stand alone 411 directories
- embedding information in a HR system
- adding information to your internal company directory
- integrating the information within a service management system
Integration of information across systems provides the best of all worlds and creates the most direct path for success. Pulling information from an HR system into a service management tool sets the stage. Storing the experience in the service management system allows for both better-enabled workflows and accumulation of real world experience to the expert’s profile. Taking the data from the service management system and integrating it into an online directory closes the circle by allowing for enterprise-wide access and enabled subject matter searching of internal experts in the same place you would search by name.