Why the Planning IS the Work

By Steve Weissman posted 01-03-2013 10:44


In the several years that I have been teaching AIIM’s Master classes in ECM and BPM – and now am providing CIP prep training as well – I have noticed a certain pattern in the way the classroom experience unfolds:

• A conceptual groundwork is laid,

•An exercise is run,

• Coffee is consumed, and

• Someone says, "this planning stuff is all well and good, but when do we start doing the work?"

Perhaps not coincidentally, the same dynamic often appears during my consulting engagements as well, be they focused on information strategy, process improvement, or RFP development. And it always drives me crazy because, as anyone with any experience in this arena will tell you, the planning IS the work. Not facing it head-on will likely leave your immediate world convinced that the technology simply didn't work.

The truth of the matter is that today's enterprise information management technology actually is pretty good! The problem is that it’s so good that many people think reaping its rewards requires little more than installing the software and mandating its use. But we know better, don't we.

Don’t we?

To the un- or under-initiated, all my talk of taxonomy, metadata, governance, metrics, change management, and other EIM essentials is just so much, well, talk. But we know just how much time, money, energy, and political capital can be wasted by improperly (or never) reconciling and unifying an organization’s vocabulary … developing and documenting policies for information access, usage, retention, disposal, and the like … setting operational goals and measure performance to determine whether or not they have been met … and dealing with the fact that successful outcomes are more tightly tied to psychology than technology.

Don’t we?

If you don't, or if you want to learn more, then I invite you to join me at AIIM 2013 in New Orleans, where I will be leading a roundtable session on why planning is so important. As the session description says, conducting your up-front due diligence is THE most important work you can do to ensure a positive result, and we will be discussing how to identify and prioritize optimum starting points, outline the primary tasks to be performed, approach the “people part” of the puzzle – and/or anything else you want to talk about!

The goal, of course, is to help you ensure you don't shoot yourself in the foot by forgetting to address some readily-identified issue or another, and the key to it all is to start with a simple question: “what business problem am I trying to solve?” If you can answer that, and answer it with great specificity, then you are well on your way. But if you can't, or need a touchstone to keep you from wandering too far off course, well, that's what the classes, consulting, and this roundtable are for.

Hope to see you there! Register for AIIM 2013 today.

#implementationplanning #AIIM2013 #AIIM13