This is another response to a post about the “shared drive problem.” Shiv Singh of Avenue A- Razorfish commented that “Every document in an organization is not necessarily important enough to tag. Some organizations address this problem by first determining what knowledge/information/data is worth capturing for retrieval and then putting KM mechanisms in place to capture, codify and distribute it.”
My thought is that there is a continuum of value of documents. On one end of the spectrum, news feeds, unmoderated discussion, etc. Chaotic but useful in terms of creativity and problem solving – ongoing discussions like this one. At the other end of the spectrum might be best practices, templates, methodologies – structured, scrubbed, edited and tagged. Higher value knowledge is more costly to vet, tag, file and maintain. A vast majority of documents fall somewhere in between. Many (perhaps most) are intermediary products. Since the value is context dependant (as others have mentioned) and may have value as a need arises, it’s very difficult to organize them without some judgment about current and future value. I’ve seen environments where documents were nominated to be example deliverables – someone thought the document would be useful to others. There was a process in place to measure submissions and people were somewhat incentivized to do so.