Overcoming the knowledge roadblocks at Mind Australia

The humble fileshare has been one of the biggest barriers to knowledge management, according to Peter Laws, General Manager of Business Information Systems at Mind Australia. The organisation is tackling the issue with the implementation of Knowledgeone RecFind 6 an Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS) to manage a range of corporate files including contracts, personnel files and email correspondence, and improve the organisation’s access to stored information.

The not-for-profit organisation is reliant on government funding for its critical operations delivering community mental health support services from over 50 locations in Victoria, South Australia and now in Queensland.  More than 800 staff at Mind Australia provide services to people living with mental health issues to help them to live independent, productive, and purposeful lives.

Mind supports people through a range of community and residential services including the families and carers of people with mental ill-health.

Mind also provides training for peer workers and other mental health professionals across the sector to increase their knowledge and skills in recovery oriented practices.

According to Peter Laws, Mind Australia’s General Manager, Information Systems, “Our work is delivered through a myriad of contracts and agreements with multiple funding and service delivery partners. Keeping track of the details of each agreement, and sharing those with relevant staff is an ongoing challenge (as it is for many not for-profit organisations).

“The work is challenging, diverse and draws on decades of practice knowledge. There has been a lot of innovation in the field of recent times, with increasing empowerment and involvement of consumers in the development, implementation and evaluation of mental health support services. Ensuring the whole Mind community can access the knowledge learned along the way is important for quality and service excellence.

“Before we began implementation of RecFind 6 in late 2014 we relied on traditional fileshares, and encouraged staff to keep their documents in shared drives, however a lot of documentation ended up in personal drives. While the drives are archived when staff leave the organisation, all that knowledge is simply locked away.

“We needed to be able to customise the selected information management system to ensure it could provide the outcomes we required. Using the latest Electronic Document and Records Management technology, Knowledgeone Corp and Mind Australia are working together to make the quest to easily capture and find corporate knowledge a reality,” said Laws.

“Having used RecFind 6 in a previous organisation, I was aware that through the RecFind 6 training programs, customisation of the software is something the organisation can do easily, without the need to outsource or engage the vendor to make a change” he said.

Since the start of the RecFind 6 implementation in October 2014, Mind has introduced the following functionality into the organisation;

Automated capture and classification of emails for employee, property and all project related emails. Through a simple code and file number any correspondence between the HR team and employees is automatically captured in the system. The same applies for all property and project related emails.

Digitisation of all property records, including; titles, lease information, emergency services and audit records. Through the use of RecFind, Mind Australia is capturing all documents and correspondence related to projects in the ICT and Property areas. This enables quick and efficient sharing and discovery of required information.

Digitisation of HR and personnel records. Employee files are created automatically from the HR system and any documents such as employee contracts are captured automatically from the organization’s directory structure.

Consolidation of documentation for, and management of contracts. Utilising the PDF OCR capabilities, all copies of contracts including variations are being scanned into the system to allow easy searching based on the entire contents of the document.

Another feature recently added is the automated capture and classification of documents on the directory structure using RecCapture. This has allowed certain directories on the file system to be automatically captured to RecFind.

Since implementing the RecFind 6 solution, Mind Australia has found some obvious benefits – particularly around capture of information and the ease of searching and retrieving the organisation’s knowledge.

The first and major benefit is the ability to easily find documents associated with complex Government contracts and reporting requirements. The Security permissions in RecFind make it easy to manage quite complex access rights across the organisation.

“We have made it very simple to introduce automated capture of emails and attachments to RecFind, it just requires staff to include the file number in the subject line of the email,” said Laws.

“The response has been amazing and we have now captured over 60GB of data since we commenced in October 2014.

Enterprise applications include TechnologyOne financials, Chris 21 Human Resource and Payroll software, QlikView BI Dashboard and an industry-specific client management system. The desktop environment is Microsoft.

The HR team’s workload has been significantly eased by the introduction of automated classification and filing. Simple tasks such as filing a simple sick leave form that used to demand printing and scanning the form can now be accomplished by simply emailing it to the RecFind address.

By the end of the year, Mind Australia plans to have rolled out RecFind 6 for all Board, Executive and Government correspondence.