Every business needs a robust corporate directory with as much information
as possible about each worker. We had only a very basic directory
provided by our paging vendor, which could not be extended or integrated
with other data sources and did not offer a fully customizable display.
This was where all the work with "foundations" (see Foundations
articles) paid off. We had solid data about every person in the
organization, including their jobs and their computer system accounts.
Over time, we added every other available bit of data about workers.
the extent possible, each bit of data is
linked to either an action or to additional data.
are several different views of People
Profiles, depending on the permissions of the user. The two most
commonly used views are for regular users who are looking up:
or someone below them (at any level) in the supervisory tree
Profiles actually contains very little original data; with the
exception of aliases, virtually all data
are pulled from other systems.
Shown below is the view when looking up someone
may use any combination of four criteria
assume that criteria text may be a fragment, so Last Name = "dever"
will return Dever, Devereaux, Deverell, Deverix, etc.
include any alias, so the results for "Dever" may include
a Murphy if, for example, that Murphy has an alias of Devereaux.
number linked to standard paging
name linked to supervisor's People Profile
number/name linked to supervisory
assignments for that department
manager name linked to manager's profile
address linked to Outlook for new message
distribution lists linked to automated profile page for that distribution
name in People Profiles is fully customizable. If display name
varies at all from payroll name, the payroll name is displayed
as an alias. Additional aliases can be added in People Profiles,
making it easier to find workers who change their names or who
are known by nicknames.
of the last three links shown above is only
displayed when data exist for that link. When clicked, each
link exposes the detail for that section (shown below) if that person
manager for any cost center(s).
owner of any documents posted on the intranet.
owner of any policies.
For someone viewing their own profile
or the profile of someone below them in the supervisory tree
(at any level) quite a lot of additional information is displayed
(shown below as "Restricted information"). Note that the
labels for Phone, Location and Fax are now hyperlinked to a form
to submit updates.
(shown below) includes information useful for IT support staff
who need to verify a caller's identity, such as data of birth
or last four digits of SSN (only displayed for help desk staff).
includes payroll data and personal contact information (to see
samples, click these links):
is a complete list of all intranet applications for which this
user has any special permission, including the permission level
(shown below) includes a list of all computer system accounts
or security badges ever issued for this person, the status of
the account, and (where available) the last time the account was
used (to see samples, click these links):
detail for IT
For certain IT staff, additional data about any user's computer
accounts is displayed (shown below).
Users frequently ask how to correct their information. To simplify
this process, a list of all the key data elements is provided, identifying
the data source and a method for corrections. Where possible, a
hyperlink is provided to an e-mail message, pre-addressed to the
correct administrative mailbox.
Profiles is regarded as a critical tool by staff throughout the
organization, based on feedback during intranet usability testing.
feedback from former workers emphasize that they find nothing
to compare with People Profiles at other organizations, regardless
of size or relative resources.
leverage existing processes for keeping data updated; adding manual
updates just for the corporate directory is not sustainable and
will eventually fail.
more systematic reinforcement the better (i.e., linking the availability
of detailed information in People Profiles to supervisory
assignments helps reinforce the importance of keeping supervisory
Posted 6 May 2008