When I was taking AIIM’s ECM Master Class, I almost snickered when Bob Larrivieestarted talking about the Post-Implementation Review. As Bob had walked us through the ECM planning process, I observed that in many ways, it mirrored a Systems Development Life Cycle diagram. Systems development management techniques almost always suggest PIRs, but in my experience, they are rarely conducted. One of the reasons PIRs are often skipped is because the project team has moved on. Ideally, the PIR would be conducted by a different team, but those resources are often hard to assemble. Having just completed a PIR of an important ECM project, I am reminded as to why you need to wait to have this review.
Remove the Chaff – ECM implementations involve change, and lots of people are prone to resist change. Waiting 3 to 4 months helps people to move beyond their initial reactions, allowing time for a more thoughtful response. Also, at the point of implementation, users have seen examples of how the system will work, they have been trained, but they haven’t really used the system. They haven’t experienced the benefits and they haven’t actually measured the effort required. In our system, it took four months to exercise the “process” 46 times.
Get Everyone on Same Page – One of the benefits of an ECM system is that it brings consistency to the content management practice. We understand that, but we forget that people are coming into contact with this process from different places. Some of our users were using local drives and email, some were using shared folders. Some of our users collaborated on reports, others were flying solo. Four months later, our group was still getting close to all working the same way (there was still some resistance). Prior to implementation, the suggestions we were getting were based on various individual ideas. Post implementation, there was a common thread among the comments we received, and a greater likelihood of reaching a consensus quickly.
Standing on the Shoulders of Success – Ok, that’s a bit of hyperbole, but like all good boasting, the statement is built on an aspect of truth. In large part, our users accepted most of the features of the system we implemented. That’s important, because it gives us a certain credibility. When we talked to them about how we might implement some of the changes they do want, we are able to point to the existing features that they like.
We are still gathering information and making plans to address the additional features, and the little tweaks that need to be made. We are lucky that our users are being supportive, and helpful. This process might just work.#PIR #ECM #SharePoint