The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

The Records Management initiative impacted every department within IDB.  It was a highly distributed project with multiple lead organizations and a tight deadline.  EK consultants used their experience to quickly become leaders on the project.  They also demonstrated their listening skills through their use of focus groups and EKs standard consultative approach.  As a result, the EK consultants were able to align the project stakeholders by showing them that their needs were being heard and addressed.  
EK consultants leveraged their experience in both records management and taxonomy design to create a taxonomy that allows users to tag their content without having to understand the IDB records schedule.  The taxonomy terms automatically classify IDB records according to their disposition schedules.  Because of this approach, users were able to tag their content in an intuitive fashion without having to worry about the disposition schedule of each piece of content.

The Challenge

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is the main source of multilateral financing for economic, social, and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean.  IDB is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and has Country Offices in all 26 of its member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as in Madrid and Tokyo.


IDB needed to standardize their content and records management activities onto a single SharePoint platform to:

  • Improve collaboration between countries,
  • Implement records management, and
  • Improve content findability.


IDB selected Enterprise Knowledge (EK) to help with the records management implementation. EK was asked to provide the following services:

  • Taxonomy design,
  • Content type definitions,
  • Content governance design,
  • Content migration mapping, and
  • SharePoint custom development.


The Solution

EK consultants worked with IDB personnel to design a taxonomy that supported three distinct organizations within IDB:

  • Country offices,
  • Sectors, and
  • Headquarters.


Our consultants held focus groups with IDB personnel from every department and country to better understand the terms and organizational structure that are commonly understood throughout the organization.  This information was used to define the taxonomy, design the site and folder structure and develop content type definitions for the terabytes of content that need to be stored on the SharePoint instance.  EK consultants also provided a governance document specifying how the taxonomy and SharePoint instance can be managed over time.
Based on the success of the initial project, IDB asked EK to provide custom development services to help with their SharePoint implementation.  EK developed a custom workflow that allowed end users to create content with one set of privileges and then promote the content to a public site for enterprise-wide accessibility.  This workflow, along with other customizations was developed to work in on-premises SharePoint instance and their Office 365 instance.

The Results

IDB now has a best in class SharePoint/Office 365 implementation that supports content findability as well as records management.   The SharePoint sites are designed to support IDB’s matrixed structure and can grow as the organization evolves. The first staged launch of the system included nearly 1 million documents migrated so far and distributed across 85 SharePoint target libraries.   Ultimately, the new system will contain over one terabyte of documentation that includes content from as much as 10 years ago.