After years of struggling to manage your content with a paper-based approach, you’ve received the green light to proceed with your digital enterprise content management (ECM) system implementation. The solution has been designed and approved, the framework is in place, and now it’s time to start the “enrollment” process through which you’ll bring the different departments in your organization onboard.
That’s when a project that had such great momentum can encounter some obstacles. It’s one thing to say you want to bring in business process technologies to improve efficiency, accuracy, and ultimately profitability. It’s another thing entirely to make it happen. As you would expect, it requires more than just software — the people in your organization have to be committed to the new ECM processes.
Powering Past the Three Rs
In our experience, it’s virtually inevitable that you will run into some roadblocks. The key to success is how you navigate through and around them. While there are many types of issues that can slow your momentum — and I could go into great depth about each of them — I’ll summarize three of the most common below.
While the people in your organization were surely aware that an ECM solution was in the works, many will still be reluctant to give up their paper documents when the time comes. It’s not uncommon to find people in a state of denial; because they’ve seen similar initiatives fail in the past, they figured this one wouldn’t get off the ground either.
The best tool for overcoming reluctance is education. The more people know about the positive benefits of a document management system, the easier it will be for them to release their iron grip on their paper forms.
It’s very common to to have people dig in their heels about an ECM implementation because they believe it won’t address their department’s very specific requirements. They are convinced that they can’t possibly continue to get their work done unless each and every field from their existing documents is represented in the new digital data structure.
The best way to calm these fears is to sit down with your teams and show them that the vast majority of the fields they use now will be present in the new document management system. And those that aren’t will be left out for good reason. You can also do a little push back of your own by explaining that if all the attributes they are requesting in the system are actually incorporated, they’ll have to enter them for every document.
While an ECM system will greatly increase efficiency once it’s implemented, freeing staff members to handle other tasks, the enrollment process does consume some resources for a time. Some departments will resist making those resources available.
The solution here is to emphasize that a little short term “pain” will lead to tremendous long-term gain. Having executive management chime in with the same message can be very powerful!
Your enterprise content management implementation will run into some opposition — this you can count on. But if you are ready to counter it gently but firmly, with your explanations and executive backing lined up, you’ll find you can maintain your momentum toward a much better way of doing business.
About the Author
Charles Weidman is the Founder and President of Buddha Logic. Charlie has over two decades of experience in the design, development and implementation of enterprise content management, business process management and enterprise resource planning solutions. He founded Buddha Logic with the idea that well-architected digital document capture and management processes are both beautifully simple and powerfully logical. Find and connect with Charles on LinkedIn.