MWCO develops corporate strategies for enterprises that seek to make the transition to the “Age of Interactions” and leave the old age of information to the history books. In over 15 years, MWCO infostructure architects and engineers guided organizations in establishing information marketplaces while maximizing the productivity of their core assets. Working with senior executives and enterprise architects, MWCO harnesses the full potential of network-centric architectures in highly distributed information processing environments.
Productivity infostructures can be applied to a wide range of specific fields. For example, the productivity infostructures developed and deployed by MWCO’s architects and engineers have been applied to:
- governance and strategy development
- IT security
- freedom of information
- risk management
- quality management
Infostructure refers to the framework of processes, functions and systems that are required for the collection, use, exchange of information in an organization and throughout an extended enterprise.
The term is distinct from “infrastructure”, which refers to an underlying foundation, such as the sum of hardware, software and networks in an information technology infrastructure.
Productivity infostructures are made of three essential blocks: a core library, a network-centric collaboration platform, and a calibrated risk estimation team.
The core library is the cornerstone of an infostructure. It is the central knowledge repository of operational-worthy information. Any authorized user can contribute to the library. As the library evolves and grows over time, its centralized nature makes it an authoritative source of data and information for the development and ongoing maintenance of all formal documents. Wikipedia® is a well-known example of a core library in the knowledge management domain.
The MWCO’s core library contains infostructure blueprints, a deliverable catalogue, a knowledge base and a reference cabinet.
As it would be unthinkable to raise a 10-story building without blueprints, the design of enterprise-wide information exchange frameworks also must involve the creation of comprehensive diagrams that depict all framework components and their mutual relationships.
At MWCO, our architects construct blueprints following the ‘10P Method’.
The 10P is a method of choice to produce complete and efficient infostructure frameworks. The 10P is especially well adapted to identify requirements throughout a project lifecycle.
The 10P consists of a 10-layered top-down structure. Each layer contains a number of deliverables. The architects who apply this method examine one layer at a time. The findings reached at a layer feed as ‘drivers’ for the layer below. The 10 layers are:
A Quick Reference Sheet of the 10 layers and the families of deliverables each contains is available here.
Figure 1 – Framework Blueprints Example
Your productivity infostructure can eventually contain hundreds, even thousands, of deliverables. Most of them are fairly small, like a simple form. Some will be more encompassing, like a security incident protocol. Whether large or small, however, each and every deliverable must be accounted for. A handy tool to that effect is a deliverable catalogue. Simply put, the catalogue is a complete list of all deliverables in your productivity infostructure with the deliverable CIN, name, short description, owner, and contributors.
One key element of the catalogue is the Component Identification Number, or CIN. A new and unique CIN is assigned to a deliverable when it is added to the catalogue. The numbering schema needs to account for the entire context of a deliverable, including its 10P family, purpose, audience, and mutation.
The knowledge base contains everything your infostructure contributors know about productivity. It is a repository of dynamic documents in which contributors can enter content, ask questions, provide answers or discuss productivity issues. Each document in the knowledge base corresponds to a deliverable listed in your catalogue.
Note that the knowledge base does not contain your official documents. Official documents are subject to enterprise change control process and are stored outside of the knowledge base. The documents in the knowledge base are dynamic and are the cumulative sum of all contributors’ comments, notes, questions, answers and observations shared by your contributors.
The knowledge base is hosted on a collaboration platform that offers access control, ease-of-use, complete edit history, and wide accessibility. MWCO supports several collaborative environment technologies, including cloud services.
No infostructure is complete without exhaustive references. References are original material from third party sources such as newspaper articles, scientific papers, blogs, books, web pages, videos, corporate brochures, annual reports, statutes, correspondence, ancient texts, you name it.
The reference cabinet is where references to sourced material are collected and maintained. When allowed under copyright rules, you can also keep a copy of the item in the cabinet. The importance—and the tremendous value—of well-preserved references cannot be overstated.
MWCO supports several software packages that can be used for your reference cabinet.
The Collaboration Platform
The collaboration platforms used with our productivity infostructures are constructed with a network-centric architecture, effective collaboration protocols, robust networks and information exchange technologies.
The concept of network-centric organization appeared in the mid-1990s and was fully formulated as an enterprise strategy by the early-00s. One of the main thrusts of network-centricity is its unparalleled potential for value creation with which the utility of a network grows faster as more nodes join the network.
“Nodes” are the productivity infostructure’s information agents. As more agents can post and access information, as well as interact with each other, their productivity increases even as the costs-per-node to service the network continue to decrease. In a network-centric environment, your front-line knowledge workers will be able to take full advantage of all information available and bring needed resources to bear promptly when dealing with difficult situations.
MWCO’s network-centric solutions are designed so you can take full advantage of massive interconnectivity between your information agents.
Effective Collaboration Protocols
In a network-centric environment, your productivity infostructure has to rigorously apply and enforce collaboration protocols as a condition to achieve self-synchronization. Protocols are rule sets, standards, models or plans. Protocols reside at the “P5 layers” in the 10P, that is, at the boundary between strategy and operations. They describe what should be done or avoided in different situations without encroaching on the “how”. With well-defined rule sets, your knowledge workers have more leeway to collaborate in implementing innovative and flexible productivity measures.
The spectrum of collaboration rules must cover, at the minimum, protocols for:
MWCO has available a comprehensive library of collaboration protocols available.
The effectiveness of information exchange with your collaboration platform is closely associated with the robustness of your networks, that is, data networks with no structural holes and with high resilience to link failures. Two important characteristics are versatility and reliability. To this aim, MWCO will examine, evaluate and make recommendations for the adoption and deployment of network solutions with a high amount of redundancy, performance, security, and adaptability.
Information Exchange Technologies
Your infostructure frameworks must be designed to exploit leading-edge technologies such as online meeting services, internet-based telephony, smart phones, social networking, software-as-a-service applications, open-source software, freeware, email encryption, and work from home solutions to name a few. Technology solutions must stimulate the ability of information agents to exchange information among them to optimize their work environment, establish the conditions for collaboration across your entire organization, and deploy dynamic and concurrent processes.
The selection of the right technologies to empower knowledge workers is a vital decision-making exercise for your IT group. Technologies that are lacking in collaboration enhancing capabilities do not only impair productivity but also impede your progress toward self-synchronization. Eventually, deficient technologies will prevent you from reaching your productivity goals.
The minimum set of capabilities for information exchange technologies in a network-centric architecture1 are:
- Quality of Interactions
- Richness of Media
- Reach of the Technology
- Asynchronous in Space
- Asynchronous in Time
MWCO supports a wide number of information exchange technologies adapted to highly collaborative environment.