Strategizing for Implementation
As highlighted in part 1 of our “Strategizing To Control Unstructured Information” blog series, ECM provides a variety of aspects that help your organization meet compliance, minimize redundant data, automate processes, and reduce storage costs. While these opportunities for enhancing your business can pave a path towards a successful future, a great deal of planning is needed. An important point to remember is that this is Enterprise Content Management, meaning this will have an enterprise-wide impact. Ensuring you are keeping these five key elements in mind will guide implementation successfully.
Leadership buy-in is a must. Make sure that your project proposal for an ECM system matches the goals of the executive team. The number one way to do this is to create a story; setting a stage, discussing conflict/opportunity for improvement, and reaching resolution. Stories show that you have not just thought of some bullet point list consisting of generalized goals like decreasing cost or increasing revenue by a certain percent. They show tangible goals that can be obtained through strategic and well-planned project management with a definitive start and end.
The worst mistake that can be made during implementation of any system that deals with data is making assumptions, and ECM is no exception. Interview subject matter experts to understand how that branch of the enterprise operates, how information and processes flow, how their business unit interacts with other business units, and much more. Having this knowledge will help you establish connections between business units during integration and define the best path to take in implementation,reducing the challenges of change management that arise.
According to a study by Bloor Research, 30% of data migration projects fail. This failure stems from a multitude of obstacles that arise. Implementation of ECM systems provide a perfect opportunity to look at the information that your company stores and cleanse the data. Cleansing data is the process of detecting and correcting, or removing, data that has been identified as incomplete, incorrect, or irrelevant. Leveraging machine learning to identify information classifications in your repositories and applying document management and records management policies to these discoveries lowers the amount of redundant, obsolete, and trivial information. Cleansing data not only reduces the amount of data that is needed for migration and lowers the cost of overall storage, but also provides the opportunity of compounding benefits. Using the classification feature of machine learning allows future information that flows within an organization to be properly classified, limiting the human-prone error of manually applying metadata.
Though many people are tech-savvy nowadays, it is essential to not make assumptions that employees will learn how to use new technology on their own. It is important to recognize that in order to get the most out of your ECM solution, proper training should be introduced into your business. The expected benefits and efficiency increase of the newly adopted technology will be lackluster and not result in organizational wins if end users are not trained on how to properly use it. Training also increases acceptance, as employees are explained the benefits that ECM will bring through increasing their productivity and reducing the frustration of not locating information in a timely manner. The number one way to train your employees and have them retain the knowledge being transferred is through workshops. Studies have shown that information retention is at its highest when people interact with a tool and manipulate it to see the outcomes of their efforts. Introducing workshops for your ECM technology can transform employees into power users.
Metrics are crucial in measuring the impact a solution has had on your business. Tracking them lets you improve the overall results of the project, aligning your people with organizational objectives. Metrics will aid in telling the status of a project, the impact it has made, and whether there is something wrong.
Enterprise Content Management has the ability to increase efficiency, ensure regulations are followed, and reduce operational costs. While there are many key factors in ensuring that you are getting the most out of your chosen tool, it all boils down to getting it right at implementation. Axyon Consulting provides services that help you control the endlessly growing content within your enterprise.