More on Pickers

By DANIEL ANTION posted 01-21-2014 13:59


Last month Bryant Duhon mentioned a little bit about my presentation on April 2 at 2 in Orlando at AIIM 2014 titled “From Hoarders to Pickers and Pawn Stars.” Recently, while watching American Pickers (for research purposes) I discovered another area where success in ECM utilizes a technique that those guys use – the Bundle.

When the pickers are rummaging through a pile of what you and I might consider the junk that some hoarder has kept for too long, they often can’t find enough value in any one item. They sometimes work around that obstacle by combining two or more items together and offering a price for the group. We recently did this with an underwriting project, and we are currently exploring the “pile” of stuff in engineering to see if we can put together another bundle.

Once again, in engineering, we had a request that, on its face didn’t justify the effort involved in building even a small solution in SharePoint. The identifiable benefit from the initial request was that we would be saving a group of people between 30 and 45 minutes during an annual review meeting. Spending several hours to save a few minutes just doesn’t make sense. However, before leaving the barn, as it were, I took a look around to see if there was anything else of marginal value lying around.  What I found was the fact that if we added a little more information to the material needed for the review, we would have something that was attractive to two other groups.

The first group that gained benefit was actually the engineers. That didn’t surprise me. People who are involved in a project tend to see the world through the lens of that project. The job of the information professional is to look at the landscape through different lenses. It turns out that if we add a couple of pieces of metadata to the libraries necessary to support the review and an existing library, we can help the engineering department with a critical research task. Having this ability also supports training both newly hired engineers and engineers whose assignments are changed to include facilities they haven’t inspected before. If we add one more piece of metadata, we can also make this combination of libraries very interesting to our underwriters.

In retrospect, the job of the information professional is actually easier than the job of the picker. Pickers have to create a big enough bundle to justify a large enough dollar amount to entice the hoarder to give up their junk. Information professionals only have to find enough value to justify the investment of time.

I am getting excited about this presentation, and I am getting really excited about the AIIM Conference. If you haven’t been to one of the recent conferences (San Francisco and New Orleans) you literally don’t know what you’re missing. This conference is great and there’s enough high quality content to make your head hurt (in a good way). If you have been there before, then you know that the previous two years have sold out and when the slots are gone, they are gone. I hope that  you can join me in Orlando.

#informationprofessional #metadata #informationmanagementt #AIIMConference #ECM #addingvalue
1 comment



01-23-2014 10:38

As a fan of both American Pickers and of yours, I just love the analogy! I also love your conclusion that "information professionals ... have to find enough value to justify the investment of time." It is true that bundling (especially of "smalls") is a great way to do this, and it does indeed often take an independent eye to see the possibilities. Thanks for making the point so clear, and in such a fun way!