How to Implement a Successful ECM Project

As you know, I spend all of my waking hours (save my triweekly spelunking sessions, of course) scouring the Interweb so I can find cool stuff about what document management can do to improve businesses. The glitz and glamour of MFPs and mobile printing is exciting and all, but sometimes it’s important to get back to the basics.

As you know, I spend all of my waking hours (save my triweekly spelunking sessions, of course) scouring the Interweb so I can find cool stuff about what document management can do to improve businesses. The glitz and glamour of MFPs and mobile printing is exciting and all, but sometimes it’s important to get back to the basics. Cory Smith’s insightful article identifies four main factors that make for a successful ECM project:

Successful Technology Projects

Successful Technology Projects

Infrastructure A huge part of the planning for a DMS/ECM System is examining your organization’s network infrastructure and ensuring it is ready. Implementing a system with inadequate resources can provide wrong end user perceptions. Focus should be placed on the below items:

  • PC Clients – the client PC’s should have appropriate horsepower to handle their specific tasks. Obviously, basic search clients will not require extensive resources such as memory or hard drive space, but a scanning or OCR station may.
  • Network – It is time to get rid of those hubs your brother in-law gave you, and upgrade to 100MB, or in some cases (at the server), Gigabit technology.
  • Server – adequate memory, processor and storage is a necessity.
  • Backup- often an overlooked area, planning for system backup, now and in the years beyond is very important.

Simplicity There are so many technologies out there that are incredible, powerful, and just way too complex for any normal human. If it is too difficult to use, end users will not accept the technology, and inefficiency will result. The goal is to make the user interface as simple as possible, but have the necessary complexity behind the scenes to achieve your goals. Acceptance So many times I hear prospects say, “My people will never use this”. The move to ECM is not only a move in technology, but a change in process and attitude. The benefits and power of the system need to be explained and accepted by management and the end users. There needs to be a commitment to the technology and the change, as well as a setting of expectations. I see so many projects fail because they are not given the chance to succeed, and are doomed right out of the gate due to a lack of support from management. Never accept “We will try it and see how it goes”. Pilot Program Always, always start small and grow. Phased implementations work the best, by starting with a certain department or document, and then expanding. This gives the end users the ability to move slowly in the right direction, and it gives IT the ability to identify any problems or areas that were missed in planning. It also allows slow cultural change, which is so important to overall success of the projects. Users can take their time, and slowly adapt to the technology in a certain facet of their daily duties, rather than being “thrown into the fire” with a full move into a paperless environment. Heed these words and you will float effortlessly into DMSLand. The diamond-encrusted multifunction printer can come later. Source: Office Product News