The big organization started worrying on organizing their documents. Audit reports passing by highlighting documents that are not in place. 5 years back instruction memo could not being found. Location to deposits document were debatable. Everything seems so wrong when the word “DOCUMENT” raised in the management meeting. Yes, something need to be done to solve all of this issues.
As usual, IT departments were summoned to be responsible for all of this miserable cause. Taking the offends without much to excuse, solutions by solutions being analyzed. Looking to the best practices, getting inputs from Gartner, started navigating AIIM website, ECM suddenly popped out as the solutions. Leaders of the ECM technology provider presented to the management for procurement process. Once identified, the selected product procured and started to implement in the organization.
Basically above scenario is the common situation happened in organizations.
The questions that should be roast is, will it solve all said issues? Do the IT department thought of:
- Do you implementing ECM or DMS (document management system)?
- Do the solutions fit your nature of business?
- Can user adapt to this change?
- Can the document be found by having this system?
- and many other why, can, how, who, etc questions
In order to implement ECM technology, lot of things need to put as consideration and preparation. Internal situational assessment need to be in place in order to understand what is the main pain point, business gaps that contribute to the pain points, business chain that can be benefits from the implementation, existing applications that create and consume documents, technical application that handling proprietary document format, records guideline/policy and any other that applicable.
Once the situational assessment completed, the foundation of ECM need to be develop. Underlining Information Architecture as the base, taxonomy and metadata need to be develop. There are a lot of approach on implementing taxonomy as long it is multifacet. As the metadata, all vocabularies need to be identified and controlled. It won’t be a few days activities. It can take weeks, months or perhaps years depend on the organization size and prioritizing strategy. When any workshops conducted for this activities, please bear in mind that the participants might came from support staffs and engineers/technical. Thus the approach need to apply is based on the cultural and local society. As examples Asian/South East will not be approachable if western style being used. Record’s management and policy need to be define and include in the Information Architecture.
Once the Information Architecture is there (70-100% completion) other identified issues during situational assessment will be incorporated on top of the Information Architecture. It will presented as example accessibility, integration with existing application, business process workflow, technical documents, integration with document related creator and consumer and so on.
Once everything is in place as the ECM Architecture Blueprint, then it will be the best time to evaluate available ECM technology which can fit in with the prepared requirement. Sometime the ECM technology leaders might not suite but it is okay not to proceed with the leaders as the business needs must be on top of the technology offerings. In other hand, the ECM technology might not offers solution to cater the business requirement, it’s 3rd party solution might help to fulfil what the technology lacks off. As example SharePoint, Documentum, OpenText, FileNet will be the foundation as document repository and other 3rd party solutions will be it’s flavour to make it as a perfect cake.
Once the technology implemented, adoption activities need to be conduct. Defined taxonomy should be tag with business process. Most of user reluctant to use the system as to them it is too hassle on uploading multiple documents and applying sets of metadata. By having automated workflow will definitely assist users by automatically place the document in the right taxonomy and applying metadata set. The business process can be as simple as prepare, verify and approve or multi-conditional and routing processes.
Implementing ECM will not have an end date. ECM itself is a journey. From time to time a lot of things need to be improvise. From governance office it need to be properly manage with policies and guidelines.