Our organization finally pulled the trigger and invested in enterprise content management (ECM). Congratulations! Now it’s time to make sure the transition goes off without a hitch and that you don’t hear these statements during or after your ECM implementation.
1. “We tried to do too much too fast.”
It’s easy to get overly enthusiastic when you first get ECM. It’s understandable. Who can resist the temptation of going gung-ho and hooking up this shiny new toy in every single department?
But take it from the organization that did it right: Franklin County, PA. It rolled out its ECM system one department at a time. This gave each department time to adjust to its new processes and allowed other departments to see all the benefits of ECM. Eventually, people started seeing that they could streamline their own work with ECM and requested to be next on the implementation list.
A key strategy the IT department employed to get everyone excited about ECM was to select a “champion” in each department. “This person was very enthusiastic about the project and fully embraced it,” said Ed Yonker, Application Software Specialist. “The [ECM] champion was instrumental in obtaining buy-in from everyone else in his or her department.”
It worked out. ECM has now spread to 35 departments—with more on the way!
2. “We didn’t think this person had to be involved.”
Leaving someone out of the group is uncomfortable and awkward for everyone involved (and in this case, uninvolved). It’s no different when you implement ECM.
When it was time to implement ECM in the accounts payable (A/P) department, the IT department at the Florida League of Cities collaborated with A/P representatives every step of the way to truly understand what their department needed.
In fact, the IT department did this with each department in the organization to build a truly enterprise system. “Once IT learned the business, we were able to see the complex overlapping data relationships between the various departments,” said Chris Noyes, Business Process Analyst.
3. “We got a bit ahead of ourselves.”
Many people who have gone through the ECM implementation process strongly encourage doing as much planning as possible.
John Barrangan, COO of Girard Securities, said his team took three to four days to whiteboard each of the company’s processes before the firm’s IT department even touched the new ECM software. Extensively “whiteboarding” every process was helpful for many reasons:
- It allowed Girard to audit and streamline its processes before optimizing the ECM implementation.
- With the entire team in the room, everyone was able to see how every role contributed to each process.
- Everyone involved had a chance to provide input on how to make the process better and to officially agree on how things would work.
- When it came time to implement, Girard’s IT department knew exactly how to build the approved workflows for each of the processes.
Implementing ECM definitely requires some legwork. However, a carefully planned implementation plan will help your organization achieve returns faster and with fewer headaches