Ok, you’re probably thinking, what’s he talking about, the front of what? Well I’ll tell you it is what we do upfront – in advance – as part of the ECM, ERM, SharePoint or any project that makes all the difference between success and expectations not being met. Companies look at ECM and all of the associated technologies as the solution but in reality if we do not take time to assess, plan and then implement, we will not get our desired results.
I have heard from some in my classes that organizations do not see this as the focal point but rather implementing technology as the first order of business. When I hear this I often ask if they have their governance in place. What about taxonomic structure, metadata strategies and security schemes? Are these in place and appropriate to meet the needs of the organization? This is typically where most organizations lack and projects fail. Using SharePoint as an example, I recently had several students in my class discuss how they implemented SharePoint and migrated away from shared network drives. The idea being that all information would now be managed in SharePoint where it could be found. The reality is that they created a container filled with information that could be searched but found no more easily than when it was on the shared drives. Team sites were popping up all over and no one had control. This scenario aligns with recent AIIM research that many SharePoint implementations lack governance, taxonomy, metadata and security strategies.
In my view, organizations have come to rely on technology to the degree that fundamental tasks have been lost. We do not need to develop a taxonomy our software will do that for us. Metadata is applied by the software automatically by our solution. This is all well and good but someone has to determine what metadata and what structure will be of greatest benefit in meeting the organizational requirements. Installing the software is only part of the process, planning and preparing is or should be the bulk of any project. Know what you need, know what you have, know where you are and know where you want to be. These are essential to success. If you are not sure how to go about moving in that direction, seek professional assistance and/or training to get you started.
What say you? Do you have a story to tell? What are your thoughts on this topic? What is on your mind? Do you have a topic of interest you would like discussed in this forum? Let me know.
Bob Larrivee, Director and Industry Advisor – AIIM
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