Advice on implementing your EDRMS/ECM

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Hi all,
What are the key lessons learned from implementing your EDRMS/ECM? What advice you can give that will save heartache, headaches and frustrations to those implementing and the users in adopting?——————————
Leanna Kerswell
Coordinator, Records Management
The District Municipality of Muskoka
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Leanna,

That is definitely a boiling the ocean question!��.

For a small portion answer to this (everyone in this community can likely contribute many, many points of their own), you can go to my site and download an excerpt video of my part of AIIM’s Feb webinar where I addressed my personal use case from a company I worked with that focuses on a way I achieved extremely high adoption/satisfaction rates.  I feel strongly that having a massive focus on change management/adoption/transformation is key to actual success in ECM/RM.  You can spend gobs of money and effort on the best technology; create an award-worthy IA; and do an Academy Awards level launch event, but if you don’t get the stakeholders excited and wanting to use the solution, it will still ultimately fail (in my opinion).

There is also the slide deck from that presentation on that same page.

Hope that helps a bit!

Aria

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Lorne

I think so right on with our response.  I written in my research that ECM can be the one of the most disruptive technologies.  A successful ECM implementation requires the user to work differently.  Focusing on change management is the most critical aspect of an ECM system.

Alan Weintraub, CIP


Thanks Alan!

Now, if we could just a get even a decent minority of the c-suite out there to accept that…..��

 

Aria

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Thanks Lorne.
I’m still unable to access your site, but am extremely interested if you are able to reset access when you have a moment!
​Leanna

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Leanna Kerswell, CIP
Coordinator, Records Management
The District Municipality of Muskoka

Phone: (705) 645-2100 Ext: 4428
Fax: (705) 645-5319
www.muskoka.on.ca
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Hi Leanna,

I Just sent you a direct message.  Sorry it’s not working for you!

Aria

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I would recommend governance by design, i.e. thinking of and setting up policies and automating as much of it as possible from the very beginning. It will be much more difficult to govern a repository that has been allowed to become messy. Think about the filing structure, the classifications, how you will implement retention, what policies govern access and set up everything accordingly. If you try to implement controls later users will complain and will not accept restrictions they did not have from the beginning. We are working on automating a lot ​e.g. declaring emails as records as soon as they are saved, purging versions when records are declared, as we as some access management issues and some records management actions. other than that I agree with Lorne about the importance of change management to help boost adoption and satisfaction rates.

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Zsuzsanna Tozser Milam
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Thanks Zsuzsanna,
I’ve been working on updating our classifications and retention schedule as well as our Active Directory Groups. We will be going with a SharePoint platform but have not selected the RM software as of yet, but we have selected a vendor to work with us.  Automation seems to be really critical and setting up ​policies in advance.  The importance of change management continues to be recommended and I will do some more research into this.

Thanks again for your response.

Leanna

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Leanna Kerswell, CIP
Coordinator, Records Management
The District Municipality of Muskoka

Phone: (705) 645-2100 Ext: 4428
Fax: (705) 645-5319
www.muskoka.on.ca
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​I most certainly agree with Lorne that change management is key!  Just a few additional tips as you work towards transitioning your users to the new way of working (some may be obvious):

  1. If you are migrating documents, plan well in advance.  This is probably the most difficult, time-consuming task.  Then, try to get at least the most current documents migrated after UAT and during training so that the documents are available to users when they go live.
  2. Create an outline or script to assist users during UAT and have a method for collecting feedback that allows UAT participants to be flexible in their feedback.
  3. Ensure that your ECM system provides a safety net for users to find what they are looking for.  Minimizing frustration for new users is key!  If they can’t find what they are looking for, they are less likely to use the system.  Although using full-text search is one option, this limits the range of documents that can be searched.  Importing the original file path and file name into a searchable field provides the users with something familiar without compromising the transition.  Creating saved searches based on that field (especially if sorted appropriately) can take that safety net one step further by allowing the users to browse or see a larger view of possible documents.
  4. Having an internal support structure is also key.  Users should have a departmental resource they can go to and ask questions.  This should be a person they can go to without having a fear that their questions may be “dumb” questions.  (As we know, there is no such thing).  There should be a hierarchy of resources from the departmental resource, to an internal project resource, to internal IT, to the vendor.
  5. When considering on-prem vs hosted, remember that hosted does not necessarily mean it is a web client (it could be vpn access).  There is often a huge difference in functionality between a desktop client and a web client, in addition to IT considerations.
  6. When reviewing user license costs, get clarity on what constitutes a concurrent license (as compared to named license).  Often, when a concurrent license is opened by a user, even if it is not being used, it counts as being used and will wind up being used as if it were a named license. This could result in the solution costing more than anticipated.

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Carolyn Kiper
National Solution Analyst
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Hi Leanna,

I concur with all the points listed above. While an EDRMS / ECM project will have technical challenges, the “hard stuff is the soft stuff!” This is a cliché, but it is very true in my experience. Certainly, technical competence is necessary, but this goes beyond the right skills and the right resources. The critical success factors (CSF) and real risks to the project’s success are not focusing and addressing issues related to leadership and sponsorship, trust in management and alignment with organizational priorities, team culture and cross-functional teamwork, IG / IM awareness, etc. – all of which leads to managing organizational change. The IGBoK, 1st edition from ARMA has a chapter titled “Change Management Essential for IG,” which is a good reference. Additionally, there are many other resources on the web and books on organizational change management (OCM) that you can access. Finally, with respect to lessons learned, I presented a session at ARMA Canada a few years ago about managing the risks of an EDRMS implementation and spoke about culture, technology, and readiness to change.  Please reach out to me if you are interested in the presentation – amitabh@….

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Amitabh Srivastav, CIP, IGP, PMP
VP, Operations & Governance
HELUX
amitabh@heluxsystems.com
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Thanks to your response to my question.

You mentioned that you had made a presentation at ARMA Canada about managing the risks of an EDRMS implementation and spoke about culture, technology, and readiness to change. I would be extremely appreciative if you were able to share a copy of that presentation with me.

Thanks again for your comments and I will look up the resources on change management that you referenced.

Best Regards,

​Leanna

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Leanna Kerswell, CIP
Coordinator, Records Management
The District Municipality of Muskoka

Phone: (705) 645-2100 Ext: 4428
Fax: (705) 645-5319
www.muskoka.on.ca
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Hi,

I would be interested in receiving a copy of that presentation too.

Thanks,

Josie

Josie Parsons |IM Support Analyst |Information Management Services

Business Services Branch | BC Pension Corporation

778-698-6454 |E josie.parsons@…

Visit us online at bcpensioncorp.ca 

This email and any attachments may contain confidential material and are solely for the use of the intended recipient(s). If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete this email. If you are not the intended recipient(s), you must not use, retain or disclose any information contained in this email. Any views or opinions are solely those of the sender and do not necessarily represent those of BC Pension Corporation.

 


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Hi Leanna,

Please email me directly so that I can reply back with the presentation.

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Amitabh Srivastav, CIP, IGP, PMP
VP, Operations & Governance
HELUX
amitabh@…
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Having seen the deck, I recommend reaching out to Amitabh for it for sure.

 

Aria

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Thanks Lorne for your vote of confidence!  🙂

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Amitabh Srivastav, CIP, IGP, PMP
VP, Operations & Governance
HELUX
amitabh@…
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Thanks Carolyn, some great advice. Appreciate it!​

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Leanna Kerswell, CIP
Coordinator, Records Management
The District Municipality of Muskoka

Phone: (705) 645-2100 Ext: 4428
Fax: (705) 645-5319
www.muskoka.on.ca
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Hi Leanna:

How you handle your implementation will depend on the size of your organization.  Do a search on this site with key words like implement or change management and you may find a lot more specific help.  I just did that to find comments that I posted awhile back regarding implementing an ECM project (see below, with a few tweaks!):

  • Change Management training first!  And especially for the senior staff.
  • Top of your organization must verbally promote it, and must meet with all supervisors to explain that they must verbally support it, as well.  No negative comments from them in front of those under them!!  They must understand that if they make negative comments to their staff, it will sabotage the organization’s efforts!
  • These types of projects rarely happen overnight.  It often takes years and, during that time, verbalization of the organization’s commitment to the project and comments that explain “why are we doing this” must be verbalized whenever possible.
  • You must be certain the software you are implementing will be beneficial!  Make sure you are in close contact with the people that will be using it the most to make sure you can support a position of “this is going to be much better”.
  • Don’t try to do this by assigning duties to a current individual that already has a job to do!  Either hire an individual to see you through this, or free up a significant amount of someone’s time so that they can work on this for every day until the new ECM is fully live and functioning well.  This may take years, certainly NOT months!
  • If you can, reorganize your folder structure prior to launching the new ECM.  Test the folder structure on a shared drive and make sure it works and follows a user friendly format.  Then get all your records into that new structure, cleaning house as you go, before migrating into the new ECM.
  • Set aside specific work days for:
    • all staff to participate in preparation (cleaning up the old records?  bringing in new records?) so that everyone is focused on just that all day long and have spotters going around to help during the day.  Maybe even one day a week, or one day a month, for all staff to be focused on something related to the new software coming, depending on the project.  Provide a great lunch for everyone for the day?
    • in the midst of these days, you could bring everyone together for numerous short group things, such as:  a quick demonstration; or, a skit that people act out how frustrated they might have been doing the work the old way and then doing the same thing using the new technology and emphasizing how much better it is with the new technology; or, a question and answer period; or, a contest where you ask questions about the new software and the person who answer the most questions gets … something beneficial, like a prize or better yet a paid day off?
    • training could be all day events as well, again depending on the project.
  • Training before, during and after implementation.
  • Celebration events leading up to, during conversion days, and/or after everyone is fully moved over to the new system.  Whatever you can come up with that will promote a sense of celebration or positive emotions relating to the new software.
  • Depending on your organization:  Contests?  Something relating to the new software?  With significant prizes.
  • Have someone committed to quality control after implementation and making sure everything is working for everyone.  That person must check in with other staff on a regular basis to look for ways to quickly solve any problems that come up.

Good luck and best wishes for a smooth transition!

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Connie Prendergast
Records Management Clerk
Flagstaff County
Sedgewick, AB CANADA
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Hi Leanna,

I agree with everything said in this thread (especially around the importance of change management and adoption)

Here is my five cents worth:

  1. Know your information stocks and know them well (what do you have, where is it, who is managing it, who owns it, what are the volumes…..and more….)
  2. Know where you are and what you have in managing information
  3. Ensure sound information architecture and governance
  4. Get end-users acquainted with the system very, very early in a project – a Model Office (as advocated by AIIM) works!
  5. Focus on the end user, usability, anchoring and adoption
  6. Never, ever, let the end user be the point of integration
  7. Visible and active leadership commitment (not support but commitment)
  8. Findability, findability, findability and usability, usability, usability
  9. Instill good information behaviors and values in your people
  10. Ensure organizational design and departmental structures to support Information Management
  11. Don’t be too restrictive and don’t let perfect be the enemy of good
  12. Manage relationship between ICT, IM and Business well
  13. Be very aware of and keep organizational politics at bay
  14. The focus is neither information nor technology, it is people and practices
  15. Try to manage information exactly the way you manage money and people
  16. Enforce uptake and use through guidelines and procedures
  17. It is a marathon not a sprint
  18. Strategy and Planning are important elements but do not over-cook it

Also have a look at this post (older but still very relevant) by John Mancini

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Bennie Kotze
Independent Consultant
Independent Consultant
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Hi Leanna;

Many responses for sure.   There are several standards that you should consider – ISO 22957 Implementation guidelines (replaced AIIM ARP 1) provides significant detail about best practices and considerations.  There are several other standards and best practices around planning and implemetnating these technologies that you also might want to consider, including those on trustworthy storage, assessments of existing methods, etc.    The standards program helped develop some documents around this topic for the IIMC (i’m sure your agency is a member, you might want to check with your city clerk) and i can share if you can’t locate.  We just developed another article that is being published by the IIMC next month and their records committee is working with the standards program to develop a few best practices for cities trying to implement these technologies.   Feel free to contact me at blatt at eid-inc.com or the director of standards Betsy fanning at Betsy fanning at 3dpdfconsortium.org.   Either of us can provide more information on these standards and best practices aimed at helping cities and municipalities implement these technologies recognizing that many agencies don’t have unlimited budgets but do need to store and protect their documents.

i hope this helps

bob

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Robert Blatt, MIT, LIT, CHPA-III
Principal Consultant, Electronic Image Designers (EID).
AIIIM Fellow #175
Chair, Trustworthy Storage
Chair, Trustworthy Document Management & Assessment
Chair, ECM Implementation Guidelines
ISO Convenor: 18829, 18759, 22957, 18759)
US Delegate to ISO TC/171
TC/171 Liaison Officer to TC46 SC11
TC/171 Liaison Officer to TC/272
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