Information machine

The fundamental requirement for implementing a collaborative working solution is a specification of who collaborates with whom, over what. Similarly, for an information management system, specifying the information to be managed and what is meant by management is utterly essential. Many implementations don't deliver - in business terms - because they miss out on this specification, and the reason for this is a lack of a technique to do so. What Team Practice calls the 'Information machine' is just such a technique: a way of seeing the organization as a machine for communicating information.

Team Practice

Everyone in an organization has a view of the way it works. Each view is partial, and usually bears no resemblance to organization charts or process maps. It is, though, the first plank in both enterprise and information architecture: a view of what the organization does in terms of functions and sub-functions or activities.

Mapping functions to the information they produce or consume specifies the information to be shared and by whom. Team Practice represents this flow of information visually, eradicating ambiguity and ensuring a comprehensive, non-partial overview.

A Team Practice information machine view

This view of the organization as an information machine can be elaborated progressively, starting at a high level of abstraction. This allows detailed analysis to be safely broken into pieces to enable separate but consistent analysis of different parts of the organization or team activities. Because it's visual, this view is easily understood by management and users, so assists buy-in and business change. It demonstrates the need for different content types - templates for sites, documents, lists, even wikis - according to their use, and it leads customer representatives to expect a high-value result.

The result for the implementation manager is a robust set of structured definitions for content types that meet the requirement with the minimum of complexity, and a schema for navigation, site/library design or file plan that works well across the whole organization.

Team Practice has formulated a number of basic information machine views for particular sectors, e.g. local authorities (illustrated), central government, research and development, transport and utilities. These templates underpin the 'Efficiency Envelope', a platform on which we can help you create a thoroughly effective implementation in less time and at less cost than you might think.

Want to know more?

To talk to us about the Team Practice Information Machine, just call 0844 740 5025, fill in our Contact us form or e-mail us at