When you’re approaching an ECM implementation or developing a rollout strategy, it’s a common question: What does success look like?
Success = completely managing the process of the genesis, collaboration, publication, and retirement/retention of all documents
From this definition, one might surmise that content is the key to success, but it’s not. The most important part of a success rollout of OpenText Content Server is the end users who generate, collaborate, publish, retain or retire the documents. It’s people.
Lots of vendors and industry associations will tell you that proper training and buy-in from end users is essential to success. We say that is setting yourself up for failure. Nobody wants to “buy-in” to learning about their corporate records management and governance. People just want to do their job.
And who gets blamed when Content Server is underutilized? The end-users. People. Why? Because the corporate goals don’t match the user’s reality:
Goals vs Reality
Goal: People will create a new document workflow that generates a document template; download the template; make their edits; then upload it to the ECM solution for collaboration.
Reality: People take the previous similar document and make their edits. Then they e-mail it to their collaborators.
Goal: People will use a Web-based sharing tool to exchange the document.
Reality: People e-mail the document to each other, make their edits, and then re-email.
Goal: People will mark a Web-based document as “final” or a “major version”.
Reality: You can’t mark as final or promote a final version when the document is in someone’s e-mail outbox and My Documents folder.
Goal: The final version will have a records management classification for proper archival and disposition.
Reality: The document is lost when a person upgrades their laptop. The only way to recover it is finding the document in their e-mail history.
Don’t fight against your greatest asset - your people
The key to a successful Content Server deployment, is to avoid fighting the natural tendencies of people. Every successful Chief Information Officer or Content Manager instinctively knows the following:
‘What people are willing to do is more important than what I want people to do.’
Does that mean you should lower your expectations? Probably. But what are you trying to achieve? If you are a records manager, is it having the perfect taxonomy and classification scheme? OR, is it building an information ecosystem in which “the genesis, collaboration, publication, and retirement/retention of all documents are managed”
I get lots of people telling me “Hey, we use OneDrive or DropBox or Whatever for this now and it works great.” Not bad for genesis and collaboration, but those solutions don’t hit the success criteria. Where’s the publication, retirement and retention? Do those solutions give you access to all your corporate data, or just the little silo you share with close co-workers? Have you truly not sent a document to someone via e-mail lately working outside these systems?
The right interfaces have been here all along
People like their shared drives, My Documents, and e-mail. The real trick to Content Server success is to MAKE YOUR CONTENT SERVER SUPPORT DOCUMENT GENESYS, COLLABORATION, PUBLICATION, AND RETENTION via Shared Drives, My Documents, and E-Mail. Alternate systems (Web-based document management, file sync and share, drag and drop tools, and desktop application plugins) are just work-arounds that don’t have a hope of truly meeting success without that training and “buy-in”.
Our product Shinydrive transforms ECM into modern Content Services – it keeps the power of OpenText Content Server, but gives your users their preferred interface.