It is hard to get the word out at large companies. Even companies who try to disseminate information have a hard time getting the right information into the right employees hands. Some firms have company-wide meetings to disseminate important information that has broad appeal, and then use newsletter, intranets, and mass emails to spread other information. The problem is that people become overwhelmed with information and end up not seeing the small things that they may actually be concerned about in the flood of irrelevant information.
Newsletters are great, but the information is not targeted, and many people quit reading them because they don’t feel there is value in doing so. The same thing happens with intranets, they work great in the beginning, but as the variety of topics increase people find it harder to focus on the content they are interested in. And, mass emails are many time sent directly to the trash bin.
So how can a large company target the dissemination of information? How can a company effectively share the knowledge of its employees?
Read my possible solutions after the jump.
A while ago I converted the select boxes for one of our web applications to use an AJAX driven, autocomplete input that grabs suggestions from the database. I used jQuery and the FlexBox plugin as described in my post comparing the functionality of jQuery and MooTools. Since then I have had requests to change most of the other applications to use this technology; the users absolutely love it.
For our internal web apps, one of the most common fields is the employee select field. We are using single sign-on, so we know who is entering the data, but we need to also present a list of other users as well. Many of these applications are used at multiple facilities, and normally a user will only want to see information relevant to that facility. Which is good since it allows for the presentation of a select list filtered by location. Without this we would have to generate select drop-downs containing all users from all facilities, which is thousands of users. But, since the Great Recesion, more people are working in cross-facility roles and the need for a complete list has grown. The solution to this problem has been the AJAX driven autocomplete inputs.
We currently have a project underway to implement SAP at one of our facilities in Mexico, and for this project I am responsible for getting all of the shipping labels created using SAP SmartForms. I must create a huge number of labels, so I have many labels moving through various stages of development. In order to keep track of each label and ensure that nothing gets missed I have created a simple checklist.
We use a formal service request (help desk) system in which I must create proper requests. The system only supports plain text, so that is what my checklist is. I simply copy this checklist template into one of the service request fields and then change the “O”s to “X”s when an item is completed. I also fill in certain values after they are defined so that I have a reference. Otherwise the team and I could confuse which message types go to which customer.
If you are interested, you can see the checklist after the jump.
I recently had to write a small exit for HR that would set certain default values, and then make sure that each group could only be selected from once. Below is the ABAP code that I used to accomplish this small task (inside tcode CMODE, by drilling down).