Do you have any recommendations for software to properly manage a Process Area Library? We currently have Sharepoint but there has to be something out there that is much better for hosting a PAL. Any suggestions?
Sure, MS Sharepoint works pretty good . . . . woops, sorry! I just read your email.
This is a hot topic that every organization struggles with. It's a decision that needs to be made early so that you can capture the early deliverables for your process development project.
There are many tools to choose from. Actually, Sharepoint CAN be a decent tool for this, if it's configured properly, is available to all, and has the full-text seach add-on installed. And best of all, it's free!
Some clients I work with use their code management tools (tracker, SubVersion, CVS, et al) for this, although I find this problematic and difficult to use. Others use any number of document management tools like Documentum or LiveLink.
One of my favorites is CollabNet, a tool that essentially combines your PAL with your project repository - it's web based and (I think) is very affordable.
Finally, many companies just use simple directories with a web front end. This makes it possible to create a slick interface that is intuitive and easy to use.
The key rule of thumb for me is that all of your process assets be accessible, easy to locate and copy, that the system have the ability to record usage statistics, revisions, document attributes, and provide appropriate reports.