Seen but not Heard

By Bob Larrivee posted 12-03-2010 08:05


We have heard this before, probably as children. In days past, grandparents might be heard to say, “Children should be seen but not heard”, especially around adults who are trying to have an adult conversation. Basically the message was do not interrupt. Part of this statement – seen but not heard – can often be applied to ECM initiatives in relation to the user community. They are seen but not heard. The reason for this is that they are often overlooked due to the view that ECM is technology centric. Truth is ECM leverages technology as a tool and ECM as a whole requires a full team effort and understanding of business practices and operations to be successful. This means that the user is an essential part of the any ECM project and should be heard.

In my view, the end user is one of the most essential members of an ECM project team for it is from the end user we will learn how things really get done and how it could be made better. All too often they are overlooked when assessing the needs of an organization and all too often the resistance to accept the new ways of working create unrest in the workplace. One unhappy user could in fact derail an entire project, if this person has the attention and respect of the rest of his/her peers. To be successful, include the end user as a member of the project team and take time to listen to the needs requests. This does not mean you must cater to every need but you must understand the perspective of the end user in order to gain acceptance and develop an environment that supports the tactical requirements and aligns to the strategic goals of the organization as a whole.

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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