Management System – Knowledge Management – Systematic Notification



  • Information means a combination of interrelated data, which can be interpreted in the operational, organisational or legal context. They are designed to satisfy the information need of the recipient to ease, simplify standardise or accelerate their work activities. Therefore, the information flows regarding processes, changes and procedures become auditable.
  • Content are those information and their combinations that build the subject matter of the respective contexts. They encapsulate a certain subject matter and embed it in the various structures.
  • Communication relates to the sender-recipient interaction. This function is vital pre-condition for an effective processing of information and sets the foundation for an effective and successful operational, organisational and legal compliance. The sender is obliged to design and deliver the content respecting the intellectual, local, economic and timely restriction of the recipients.
  • Notification obligation can be enforced on the sender or recipient’s side. (push or pull).
  • Reporting obligations reflect the requirement to document authorisation of changes to content, historical content and notifications and their distribution.

The co_documents vocabulary

  • Manuals encapsulates access rights and numbering systems for content of typically the same context
  • Document types characterise the steering die function – autorisation and quality assurance prcedures, distributution needs and validity periods.
  • Templates help to standardise and automate the design of the content, to simplify and accelerate the reception.
  • Attachments are those parts of the content which are stored apart from the core content due to format, size restrictions or relevancy. The user must decide if he requires them for his current information need. They are not steered and inherit their lifecycle from the main content.
  • Revisions of content follow the validity periods to provide current content at any time and to react to minor changes on the subject matter. The historical content is archived to fulfil reporting obligations and must be kept from the current to prevent from misuse. Notification, status, version numbering and redraw of previous versions avoid confusion.
  • Translations are foreign language copies of the very same content. They inherit the steering from the original language content.
  • Parental document refers to other more general content from which the content was deduced. Structuring the content applying this principle will result in a logical hierarchy.
  • Other applicable documents refers to other content that is necessary to understand the content.
  • Child documents is the inversion of super-ordinary documents. The relationship is maintained bottom up. The specific content is derived from the more general afterwards.
  • Norms and Regulations is an area to provide externally generated (authorised and published) content. The organisation can only compliant but cannot influence the content directly. It is, therefore, accessible to all organisational members.

Management system perspective


An audit trail provides assurance against unauthorised changes. All modifications to the system, content, meta data are traceable. A competent third person should be able track all changes within an appropriate period. Therefore:

  • Historical data is stored,
  • Notifications and changes are logged,
  • Access rights are granted centrally and
  • Unauthorised changes are blocked.


Before knowing and understanding legal requirements and norms of other standard setters requires their knowledge and interpretation in the own context. A pre-requisite is the notification to all relevant organisational members. This obligation is imposed on the organisation and thereby its responsible representatives / officers.

Many norms even include this informational obligation explicitly.

Corporate governance

Good corporate governance requires a stable, transparent and traceable communication from board to staff. Besides external rules of compliance, also business requirements and ethical standards of the organisation have to be communicated to establish a corresponding corporate culture.

A management system is the corner stone of such an information flow.

Knowledge management

To survive an organisation must retain its knowledge. Otherwise, fluctuating product and service quality will erode the market position on the long run. The retention of knowledge requires its determination, storage independent from changes in staff and submission to the respective members along the value chain.

A management system organises this processes using modern information technology.

co_documents: thresholds of awareness

Level 1
Read access
  • Persons, who can consume the content.
Level 2
  • Subset of the read access content
  • Users are obliged to retrieve the information provided by the organisation without notification
  • Furthermore, they must check the applicability and relevance for their information needs and role.
Level 3
(Info-) distribution list
  • Subset of read access content
  • User are notified-typically by E-Mail.
  • The organisation is mandated to inform the member
Level 4
Read confirmation
  • Subset of read access content
  • User are notified-typically by E-Mail.
  • The organisation is mandated to inform the member and provide evidence that it has.
Level 5
  • Subset of read access content
  • User are notified-typically by E-Mail.
  • The organisation is mandated to check the cognitive reception of the member and provide evidence that it has by a test

Conversely: the disjunctive subset, apart from the other levels, is not compulsory for the user.

Dynamic and anonymous distribution

  • To retain the knowledge of the organisation it is more feasible to address its longer lasting structure than to inform members personally. Criteria like country, location, business unit, department or position serve this purpose and address groups of users independent of fluctuations
  • Users with similar information needs are grouped,
  • The validity period is respected independent of any fluctuations of the organisational members.
  • The HR-interface automates the consistency.
  • No personal relationship between recipient and author is required. The correct distribution can be maintained regardless of organisational size or geographical distances
  • Each level of awareness allows all to steer the information using all criteria.


  • Fast and everywhere: Speedy access to all mobile devices.
  • Simple search: Tailored to individual information needs.
  • Topicality and relevancy: Information life cycle is controlled centrally.
  • Targeted: Only the relevant data is delivered to geographical and organisational units. “Spam” is avoided.


How can the editors achieve an optimal information flow?

  • Do not write the content for yourself, your supervisor or to achieve academic purity. A simple vital style broken up with tables or pictures and an attractive and consistent layout eases the reception.
  • Keep it short, but allow an easy approach to drill down deeper into the matter by hyperlinks and referencing. Reconcile the content as a whole by identifying gaps or redundancies with the other authors.
  • Relevancy is key. If the recipient receives notifications for irrelevant content repeatedly, he will start to ignore the system.
  • Revisions should start timely and not only when an audit is announced. Use representatives and co-authors. Respect and consider the user communities blog entries to improve usability.
  • Take the criticism of your examiner, approver and auditor serious. He follows the same principles as the author and adds a broader or different perspective. He might has discovered inconsistencies, redundancies or gaps from other content, you are not familiar with or which you cannot access.
  • Review your contributions for applicability even in stress situations in the format and using the hardware of the recipient. Did you optimise the content accordingly?
  • Respect the schedule of the editor and provide buffer time for rejections and correction cycles. Your content might be needed at a certain point in the organisation in time.

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