Kaizen Infosource LLC

Information Management’s 95% Rule for ECM

This white paper was co-authored by Scott Murchison, Partner, Information Governance Services, Kaizen InfoSource.

When faced with implementing an ECM solution, it’s important to remember The 95% Rule. It goes like this—information management is five percent organization and ninety-five percent change management.

You can devise the best, most efficient content management solution money can buy, but if end users don’t buy into the process, it is destined to failure. If you didn’t involve the very folks you are designing your solution for in the process, you will never get them to do what you want—namely, manage the company’s records in a searchable repository with security, access and retention rules being applied.

  1. Communication: actually talk to the end user community rather than to IT peers when gathering the business and functional requirements. Don’t assume that because you wish it had some bell or whistle that everyone in the organization will. Remember, your job is technology; their jobs are accounts payable and human resource management and contracts management. They want the whistles that will help them do their jobs more efficiently.
  2. Involvement: include the end users in the selection and implementation process team. If they were involved in helping select the solution, they’ll be more likely to recruit other user departments in testing and pilot projects.
  3. Feedback: when users offer suggestions as to what they’d rather see, don’t discount their recommendations as “…they just don’t understand technology.” The problem is…they DO understand technology enough to know what they will—and will not—do using technology. If you dismiss comments from someone you perceive doesn’t know how to turn on a computer, you’re missing a golden opportunity to gain an ally. Instead, you turn them into a saboteur.
  4. Training: training, training, training. Once you think you’ve trained everyone in filling out the profile form and dragging the document into the repository, start the one-on-one training. Spending time working hands-on with a user who is struggling to grasp the need for taking 30 seconds to fill in the document profile form will add years to your life and give you a new marketer of the value of the solution to their peers.

We get so wrapped up wanting our organizations to be compliant and ensuring that all “record” emails are captured that we lose sight of the entry point—people. Technology can bake bread, but people have to eat it. If you involve them in the process, the bread will taste that much sweeter.