A custom global knowledge sharing platform to support consulting projects
L.E.K. Consulting is a leading global strategy consulting firm that provides a range of expert advice to organisations and institutions around the world. Headquartered in Boston, USA the company employs around 2,000 staff across three global regions – Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe.
A new global intranet based on SharePoint Online and enhanced with Lightspeed365 features
L.E.K Consulting engaged Content Formula to build a new global intranet to improve communication across regions and leverage the advanced capabilities of SharePoint intranet.
To meet L.E.K.’s specific requirements and extend the power of SharePoint Online, we implemented a number of Lightspeed365 features to enable a range of additional capabilities, including an engaging news feed on the intranet homepage, a collection of global and regional policies, and more.
A knowledge sharing platform to support client projects
Once the new global intranet had been launched, L.E.K. further engaged Content Formula to create a customised platform based on SharePoint so that busy consultants could find and share knowledge to help deliver the very best advice to clients.
Previously case files, knowledge items and intellectual property had been scattered across an on-premises SharePoint environment with poor search capabilities, meaning valuable content was hard to find.
The brief was to create a new environment known as the “Solution Center” that was accessible from the new intranet and where consultants could easily find the knowledge they need.
From detailed discovery to iterating the design
To assemble a detailed set of requirements for the Solution Center, we undertook a series of user and stakeholder interviews, as well as series of workshops, to understand the needs of consultants as well as knowledge teams across each of L.E.K.’s regions.
Based on this data, we established a proof of concept for the new Solution Center, creating a clickable prototype to illicit detailed feedback from users, as well as carrying out usability testing. This enabled us to iterate and improve the design, until we were ready to build a final version.
Easy access and customised search
The new Solution Center is easily accessible from the main intranet navigation as a top-level item, as well as through Microsoft Teams.
To encourage strong findability, there is a customised search experience at the top of the Solution Center homepage with type-ahead capabilities. To avoid confusion, the main intranet search is disabled when users enter the area.
By using the Solution Centre search employees can find a wide range of valuable resources including case material, intellectual property, primary research, research guidance and information on data and analytics, and more.
Granular filtering and increased relevance
An advanced search option allows consultants to filter their results by four main knowledge collections as well as highly granular filters covering areas such as content sub-type, sector, service line and geographical scope.
To enable more relevant searching, items are targeted to consultants based on their specialisms such as industry sector.
Finding case information and people
The new intranet also has significantly improved people search. To enable expertise location, people results are also included in the main Solution Center search. Consultants can also click on people profiles to find who has experience in particular sectors and services.
Consultants can also find relevant project or case information, with each case having a dedicated page that summarises key information including team details and also points to the relevant case files held within the Solution Center.
Navigation for improved findability
As well as searching, employees can navigate to find the resources they need. A series of attractive blocks on the Solution Center homepage leads consultants to a set of individual landing pages with information about different knowledge collections such as Market Insights. There are also links to related areas such as Communities of Practice and L.E.K.’s People directory.
Within each landing page there is a scoped search facility that allows employees to just search that knowledge collection. There are also links to related how-to resources and guidance, as well as news updates, curated resources and team contact details.
A personalized dashboard to key resources
To facilitate convenient access to knowledge, a personalised dashboard for consultants displays saved searches. It also includes links to “my Collections” where consultants can create a Pinterest-type board that links to a consultant’s favourite resources. To encourage knowledge-sharing, consultants can share their pinboard with others.
The dashboard also includes a personalised feed of recommended items that are likely to be of interest, based on a person’s profile and their recent searching behaviour. Users can toggle to see popular items if preferred.
Using AI to make tagging easier
When other SharePoint documents are submitted to the knowledge platform, AI (powered through Azure Cognitive Services) suggests tags for the items, based on L.E.K. Consulting’s enterprise taxonomy. Additionally, case files are automatically tagged with the case details.
The item is then reviewed by a member of the Knowledge Management team to approve or modify the tagging and redact anything within the document, to enable it to be more easily reused with other clients.
As part of the project, we also worked with the client on a significant migration of content, some involving the remapping of metadata based on L.E.K.’s new taxonomy.
Leveraging Lightspeed365 modules and customisation
The Solution Center is customised but also leverages Lightspeed365 features to deliver the very best experience. For example, the Lighstpeed365 handbook web part, is used to present information in a more pleasing way with additional configuration options compared to a standard SharePoint list.
Custom web parts include a special Solution Center search query web part that allows an administrator to build a scoped search box to search for specific resources defined by metadata, allowing for highly targeted and contextual searching.
A unique user-centric solution
Overall, the Solution Center provides L.E.K.’s busy consultants with a world-class knowledge platform with advanced searching capabilities and enhanced findability to support the delivery of excellent advice to clients. Meanwhile L.E.K.’s knowledge teams finally have a sophisticated solution to encourage knowledge sharing, with AI doing the heavy lifting on tagging.
The combination of customised features, unique structure and personalisation ensures that the Solution Center is truly employee-centric and wrapped around the way people at L.E.K. Consulting work.