Document management concerns the whole board. Implementing document management - recommended practices and lessons learned

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1 Document management concerns the whole board Implementing document management - recommended practices and lessons learned

2 Contents Introduction 03 Introducing a document management solution 04 where one does not exist Extending existing document management solutions 09 Revisiting an existing system with new solutions 10 and new partners Managing and maintaining a document 12 management environment Conclusion 14 Acknowledgements Intellect would like to thank the following organisations for their contributions to this paper: AMTEC Consulting Hedra IBM UK Ltd QinetiQ Sefas Innovation Serco Consulting 02 Implementing document management recommended practices and lessons learned

3 Introduction Effective document management will deliver real benefits to almost any organisation, regardless of sector, market or size. How document management solutions should be implemented in order to be effective, however, is central to achieving the benefits that document management can deliver. In connection with its publication Document management concerns the whole board a guide for all directors Intellect has produced a guide to implementing document management. This supplements the business strategy implications of the original guide with advice for the practitioners within organisations who will be responsible for delivering the document management solution. The audience for this paper is anyone involved in the design and implementation of a document management solution, from the executive sponsor to the project lead and the project team. At whichever level you are at, included in this paper is useful advice that will improve your ability to successfully implement a document management solution. This paper has been written to assist the development, implementation, maintenance, extension or replacement of a document management solution. All project management and change management best practices apply to document management projects; these are not captured here as they can be found in a range of other sources. Instead, listed here are additional issues that are specific to document management projects and will need to be addressed if the project is to be successful. As with its parent paper Document management concerns the whole board, this guidance has not been targeted at a particular sector of organisations, a particular market, or a particular size of organisation. It is Intellect s view that effective document management will deliver benefits to any organisation, and as such this paper has been written in a manner that ensures it applies to all. The advice set out in this paper is arranged into four scenarios that are common situations for those implementing document management solutions: introducing a new solution where one does not exist extending existing document management solutions revisiting an existing system with new solutions and new partners managing and maintaining a document management environment. Whichever scenario you are faced with, there is useful advice in this paper. The first scenario provides advice and guidance on introducing a document management solution from scratch. It will take you through various stages, from justification to implementation, and constitutes the majority of the paper. The advice in this scenario applies either in whole or in part to all of the other scenarios; the other scenarios provide additional advice based on their context. It is recommended, therefore, that whichever scenario you find yourself faced with, you start with the first scenario to inform the development of your project. Finally, it is important to remember that this is a guide. It provides excellent advice, drawing on many years of experience from a cross-section of leading industry professionals. Always remember, however, that your circumstances will be unique, your requirements are yours alone, and you should consider this advice in the context of your own situation. Always make sure that you consult with your partners and your internal stakeholders, and seek as much advice as practical and possible before making your decisions. Implementing document management recommended practices and lessons learned 03

4 Introducing a document management solution where one does not exist In this scenario, we provide guidelines for projects that seek to introduce a new document management solution into an environment where no current solution exists, or where existing practices are all based on adhoc methods or manual paper-based processes. Advice provided here is relevant for all who are implementing document management, even if the situation you are faced with is one of the three scenarios that follows this. It is therefore recommended that you start with this scenario before moving on to understand how your situation may differ to the following scenarios. Justifying the investment Have you justified the investment in the solution to the appropriate level for your organisation? Projects often get cancelled because funding is either not available, the justification does not merit the release of funding, or the projects overspend their original budget. Often, benefits are not quantified or monitored, and fail to meet the original justification expectations. You should consider the following when identifying the benefits to justify the solution. Information compliance requirements and drivers justification should not purely be based on cost, but should cover reducing the risk to the business through non-compliance and litigation, and also improved performance. There will be business drivers enabled by document management; consider these and the revenue benefits to be derived. The solution will be the basis for future growth or development. Document management will provide a core infrastructure for the development of your organisation. Identify the current costs that will be saved by the implementation. Make sure that you consider the business processes that document management affects, and not just the technical areas. Identify the period for the cost justification and ensure that it is affordable. Do you know how you will justify the project to the end users? Projects that focus exclusively on the top-end benefits often overlook the impact that the solution will have on the end users and the benefits it will bring to them. Good document management within an organisation will be of direct benefit to the end user, as it will make it easier for them to do their job. If the end users do not understand the justification for the project, they will not support its implementation. Present the project rationale in a way that engages the end users, in terms of business benefits that personally affect them and their work. Is your document management project positioned as a business initiative rather than an IT project? As with all business projects, the aim of a document management project is to provide benefits to the business. Document management projects are often viewed as IT projects and positioned as such. This prevents the value of the project being achieved by the organisation. A document management project will be based on business requirements, and should be positioned as a business initiative the technology is only enabling the business change. Consider that your document management implementation should be based on business requirements, not just IT requirements. 04 Implementing document management recommended practices and lessons learned

5 Introducing a document management solution where one does not exist Have you recorded all of your project justifications? Document management projects are often very lengthy, and if the original objectives and justifications are not referred to and used to guide the implementation the project risks losing focus. This will result in a loss of leadership and end user buy-in, and possible project failure. You should ensure that all of the justifications for the changes have been recorded and are referred to regularly, to ensure that the desired outcomes are being worked towards and achieved. Validating your document management requirements Have you based your document management solution on specific business requirements? Document management projects enable organisations to address business issues that are affecting the operation and development of the organisation. If the project is not addressing specific business requirements, however, it will suffer from a number of problems, including scope creep, incorrect selection of partner, poor results, delays to implementation and ultimately providing little benefit to the business. You should consider that document management is not a commodity, but is about solving business issues and your requirements need to reflect this. Remember also that solution functionality should follow from the requirements of your business, and not the other way around. Defining an information management strategy Have you got an information management strategy, or at least planned to produce one as part of your document management project? The value of the document management project will in part come from the way it supports internal strategies and policies, and in particular the organisation s information management strategy. An information management strategy explains how you share information within the organisation, and will help an organisation shape its requirements that the document management project will address. A failure to address this will lead to the solution not meeting the needs of the organisation. It is best to produce an information management strategy in the planning stage, as this will inform the requirements of the document management solution. If your organisation already has an information management strategy, now is an excellent opportunity to update it to meet your needs, so that it can inform your requirements. Is your information management strategy owned at a high enough level within the organisation to ensure effective implementation? Like all strategies and policies, the information management strategy requires ownership within the organisation to ensure its implementation. It also requires ownership so that it is maintained and kept relevant to the organisation s needs, and is integrated into the broader corporate strategy. You should ensure that ownership of the information management strategy is with a board-level member, and that this ownership is clearly set out before a document management project is begun. Implementing document management recommended practices and lessons learned 05

6 Introducing a document management solution where one does not exist Understanding your resource requirements Does your project team contain the right skills? Document management projects produce a number of unique issues. It is important that your project team has the necessary skills resource; consider using external support if the team does not have the necessary experience. Failure to have the correct skills in your team can lead to the partner leading the project, which leads to an inability to drive through all of the business benefits identified in the justification. Remember that document management is about introducing new processes and changing old processes, it is not primarily about technology. If your team does not have the skills to drive through the business process changes then you will need to consider external support. If you make use of external support you will need to develop a plan to integrate the external support with your internal resource the earlier the better. Have you identified and prepared champions? The benefits of document management are reliant upon user adoption without this document management will not be effective. A key method for obtaining user adoption is selecting champions from the business units affected, who will promote the use of the new solution to their colleagues. Ensure that your champions are from the business areas and come from amongst staff that will be using the solution the most. They should not just be from the technical team, and usually not directly part of the project team. Identifying champions should be based upon an individual s enthusiasm and early use of the solution the role cannot be forced on a member of staff, as this is unlikely to work. Preparing the business for cultural and change management Is the project owner from a business, rather than IT, function? A document management project, while usually having a technical aspect, is based on business requirements and is primarily about changing behaviours and culture within a business concerning how information is managed. If the project owner is from the technical side of the business, there is a risk that not enough resource and support is given to the cultural change required, and so the benefits of the document management project will not be delivered. Ensure that the project and solution owner are from the business side of the organisation, rather than IT. This will also help to ensure that the document management project is aligned with strategic needs, thereby addressing key organisational issues while ensuring it ties in with value statements at the corporate level. Have you properly assessed the business change implications of the new document management solution? This is of crucial importance. The benefits will only be derived as far as user adoption and changed behaviour are achieved, as the solution itself is only an enabler for these changes. If the business change implications have not been properly assessed, then this will create a wide range of problems for the project that will ultimately lead it to be viewed as a failure. Remember that a document management solution is primarily about changing business processes and behaviour, not upgrading IT systems. It is important that this aspect of the project is properly scoped and resourced. 06 Implementing document management recommended practices and lessons learned

7 Introducing a document management solution where one does not exist Have you worked to ensure that stakeholder continuity is retained wherever possible throughout the change process? The majority of large document management solutions harbour a significant amount of complexity with regard to the business logic that has been designed into the solution, usually specific to the organisation. Key personnel changes within the project team and within the champion users of the solution can be extremely disruptive for the end user as well as the capacity to support the solution. This is especially relevant to implementation projects that span several months. If key personnel amongst the stakeholders need to change, make sure that there is suitable replacement with sufficient handover periods to allow for training and transfer of ownership. Have you planned change management activities and engaged the business in good time? If the change management programme does not begin soon enough there will be a delay before the benefits of the project will be realised by the business; further, the solution is undermined in the view of the user and of senior management. Plan to start the change management activities early. It is possible to improve document management practices in an organisation without a new technical solution, and these changes should be introduced while the solution is developed. Indeed, doing so will help prepare staff for the migration to the new solution and give the technical solution a much greater chance of being adopted by the user. Have you gathered and shared best practices and experiences? Document management projects have been undertaken in almost every industry, and there is a wide breadth of experience of implementing document management projects. There may even be experience of document management projects within your organisation, from a previous implementation. Not considering the experiences of others will mean avoidable mistakes are made, and that the maximum value from the project is not created. There is now a wealth of case study experience to draw upon regarding document management projects. Your partner(s) should also have significant experience, and will understand the key issues that you will face; ensure that this is harnessed effectively for your project. You may also have staff internally who have gone through an implementation before, either with a previous employer or as a business unit, as some implementations occur on a unit by unit approach rather than across the whole organisation. Make sure that all of these sources of experience are drawn upon throughout the project. Is your initiative positioned as a project, rather than an operational change? The project lead must understand that it is exactly that, a project. This is not simply a commodity that is being implemented, but is a business change project. Failure to understand this will cause poor sequencing of project tasks and a loss of control on cost. Ensure that the project lead has experience of behavioural change programmes, and understands the way that the benefits of document management will be achieved by the organisation. Do you know what current document management practices exist within your organisation? In reality, every business has document management practices and systems already, however rudimentary. These practices should be looked at and considered when new document management practices are being developed. Failing to consider these can lead to wasted resources as classifications and practices that already exist are re-invented. Not building these practices in to the new solution can also lead to a lack of coherence in the organisation s approach to managing information. You should undertake a full audit of current practices. These will often be different across your various business units. Additionally, you may find that solutions already exist in some areas, or are in the process of being developed. With each of these scenarios, you should consider how these could interact with the document management project; consider whether they can be built in to the solution if appropriate, and how they should be replaced if not. Implementing document management recommended practices and lessons learned 07

8 Introducing a document management solution where one does not exist Completing the implementation and rollout Have you included user testing as part of the preparation for rollout? User testing is an essential part of preparing for the rollout of your document management solution. Without proper involvement of the end users, you risk adoption of the solution being hit and miss, leading to a failed implementation. User testing will provide valuable feedback that will improve the processes and the solution. Ensure that testing covers both policies and the solution itself and that it takes place at an appropriate time, covering an appropriate spectrum of users. Is the information management strategy known and understood by users? The information management strategy and associated policies are a key part of identifying the business needs that the document management solution will address. It is therefore very important that the strategy and policies are known and understood by the end users. If this does not happen it is likely that the project will fail, as there will be little user adoption and buy-in. The information management strategy and associated policies should be tested with end users to ensure that they are both acceptable and have identified all of the key issues the users face. Are your solutions still able to work with old formats during the transition? For obvious business continuity reasons it is essential that old file formats are still recognised by solutions that have been altered as part of the project. Failure to do this could result in business critical information being lost, seriously affecting business performance. Have you planned for a phased rollout? As with every project, there will be lessons that are learned along the way. While you should make use of the experiences of others, your project will be unique. Not having a phased rollout will prevent you from learning these lessons and ultimately impact on the effectiveness and usefulness of the solution. Further, your resources will be stretched if an organisation-wide rollout is undertaken at once. It is easier and puts less strain on resources to address units and departments individually; further, early adopters will provide valuable lessons for future implementations. Make sure you choose the most appropriate area to target first; this will either be an area that has a lot of labour-intensive paper-driven processes, or an area that is receptive and able to realise the benefits quickly. Have you continued to harness your partner s knowledge and experience? Your partner s knowledge and experience will be an important part of the project. As with all projects, document management projects can suffer from a lack of focus and clarity of the original objectives. Your partner will be able to assist you with ensuring that the solution, once in place, is addressing the business issues it was designed to address. This will be very useful right through the project. You should ensure that you continue to gain as much knowledge and information from your partner as possible. They are also best placed to advise on how the solution may be developed or altered to tackle other issues that arise during implementation. Make sure that your partner has provided a back up during migration and implementation, and that your business continuity and disaster recovery policies are up-to-date. 08 Implementing document management recommended practices and lessons learned

9 Extending existing document management solutions In this scenario we provide advice on issues relating to projects that seek to extend the reach of current solutions into other parts of the organisation, or changing the solution functionality: this means significant changes to the functionality, for example adding workflow. Incremental changes to the solution resulting from ongoing support and maintenance are dealt with in the later scenario Managing and maintaining a document management environment. Usually there will be no requirement for procuring a new platform, but there will probably need to be a services vendor or solution procurement cycle. All guidelines in the first scenario apply, and issues such as the information management strategy and justification should still be considered, but you should also consider the following. Have you assessed the impact of the extended solution on your existing business practices? This is a key first step. The extended solution must be compatible with your existing business practices, otherwise the benefits of having effective document management will not be realised. A further consideration is the effect on the end user, and the differences in the usability of the extended solution. End user buy-in is critical and it is important that this is considered and factored in to the planning. An extended solution will impact different areas in different ways; this should be properly addressed before any extension is introduced. Are the new practices in line with, and supportive of, your information management strategy and associated policies? As with previous points, if your new practices are not aligned to your information management strategy the project will not support your business effectively and will not address the key issues it was designed to address. Further, the extended solution may not integrate effectively with existing systems, causing delays and loss of value. Have you reviewed and revised your original cost justification? Any major extension of the solution will need to be justified. If the original justification is used it is unlikely that it will be accurate or relevant, and will not reflect your real requirements. When revisiting your original justification, consider the way the organisation will have moved on, the way the environment will have changed, and how this has impacted your organisation s needs. Have you factored in additional support costs for an extension of the current solution? Support for the existing solution will still be required on top of the new functionality. Consideration needs to be given to the costs and benefits associated with this. You will need to consult with your original partner to identify the requirements for supporting your original solution, and how these may be affected by any new functionality. For solutions procured externally, look at the level of configuration allowed by your partner that will allow you to fully support your information management strategy and policies. Implementing document management recommended practices and lessons learned 09

10 Revisiting an existing system with new solutions and new partners In this scenario we provide advice on issues relating to projects that seek to deploy new solutions and introduce new partners to an organisation s document management. This will usually deal with a change in functionality of the solution, and will not usually be a like-for-like change for a current solution. There may need to be a new services vendor or solution procurement cycle. As with the previous scenario, all guidelines in the first scenario apply, and issues such as the information management strategy and justification should still be considered, but you should also consider the following. Have you assessed the impact of the new solution on your existing business practices? This is a key first step. The solution must be compatible with your existing business practices, otherwise the benefits of having effective document management will not be realised. A further consideration is the effect on the end user, and the differences in the usability of the new solution. End user buy-in is critical and it is important that this is considered and factored in to the planning. The proposed new solution will impact different areas in different ways; this should be properly addressed before it is introduced. Do you have sufficient technical knowledge internally? Migration from the existing solution to the new solution needs to be carefully planned. You will need to ensure that your internal team understand the architecture of both solutions, in order for migration to be planned and implemented successfully. If this knowledge is not available, it may cause increased costs and delays to the project. Understanding the architecture will allow your team to consider if the new solution is compliant with internal standards and systems, and how it will integrate with existing systems. How have you justified the change to the current end users? You must provide a compelling justification to end users for the change to assist with user adoption. This process should also be part of developing champions for the new solution within the business. When replacing an existing solution this will be a key concern, as user fatigue sets in due to the change. You will need to make sure that you provide a strong rationale for change to the end users, especially as they will have gone through the process before. Be aware of user fatigue with regards to constant change in the organisation. Have you properly assessed the deployment model options? There are a number of different deployment models, for example: migrate and replace; time-boxed parallel run and phase out; run dual systems and federate the content; retain existing system as read only. There are advantages and disadvantages to each model, and the key is to make sure you have properly assessed the options to choose the model that is correct for you organisation. Factors to consider include: technology risk user adoption resource requirements support costs business and system disruption 10 Implementing document management recommended practices and lessons learned

11 Introducing new solutions and new partners Have you properly planned the data migration from old to new solution? This is of major importance, as a failed migration can cause a loss of key business data and could seriously impact your organisation s ability to function. Migration is an aspect of the project that is often underestimated and poorly planned. If undertaken in a document management project, however, it will impact on key data and information and needs to be properly planned. You should take advice from those within your organisation who have undertaken a migration previously, and also from your partner and any other sources you know of. It is also worth ensuring that business continuity and disaster recovery plans are in place, are well known, and have been tested in case of a failed migration. Key issues to consider are: Is the new solution correct in its scope? Change programmes can often suffer from scope creep, and document management projects are no different. As document management deals with key data and information, any change has an inherent risk. Therefore preventing scope creep will reduce the risk on the project, and will prevent the benefits being lost through unnecessary effort. Make sure that the new project is only addressing issues that need dealing with don t make additional changes for the sake of it. volume of information metadata mapping incorporating business logic in folder structures and metadata Implementing document management recommended practices and lessons learned 11

12 Managing and maintaining a document management environment This scenario relates to ongoing maintenance and support, and deals with incremental changes such as upgrades, not major changes of functionality. Document management creates dynamic environments that need to grow as the business grows. Document management is not a commodity; it is not simply software that can be installed and run. It requires maintenance and change management if it is to provide real value to the business. All good change management practices apply to document management. This scenario provides additional information on issues specific to document management change programmes only, and does not go through all existing change management best practice. Ongoing support Are you undertaking continuous requirements analyses and assessments? Document management solutions are never static. As the users understanding of the software grows and as the business environment changes, the solutions need to adapt to accommodate that change. If the solution does not continuously adapt to accommodate changes, its value will rapidly diminish and users will inevitably revert back to manual processes that circumvent the solution. You should ensure that within your organisation you have established continuous feedback loops that allow the users to request and recommend changes to the solution. Ensure that there are sufficient metrics in place to measure both the utilisation of the solution as well as the user satisfaction. Have you set up processes to maintain key champions for your solution from within the user community? Solution champions are critical for co-ordinating and prioritising requirements gathering, educating the end users on new features and generally promoting the benefits of the new solution. The business value of the solution diminishes without regular feedback and input from the user community, and promotion amongst end users. It is common for champions to leave, especially on document management deployments that are broad and lengthy projects. It is important that the maintenance of champions is proactive by the business, and that these are replaced with suitably identified individuals as soon as possible. Have you established a governance body to examine usage of the solution once it is running? Once the solution is running, it will need good governance. A leadership group, involving end user groups as well as IT, should assess performance and produce additional requirements and ideas for development. It should also monitor usage of the solution, to ensure that end users are not returning to old systems and practices and circumventing the new solution. Without leadership and governance it will be difficult to obtain the full benefits of the solution. The governance team must include the user community as well as IT. For it to be effective, it should also have real powers over the solution rather than simply being a discussion forum. It should be responsible for ensuring that the benefits of the solution are obtained by the organisation. Have you retained the necessary technical skills to maintain the solution? Along with requiring technical skills to implement the solution, you will also need to retain these skills in order to maintain the solution. Some solutions become obsolete and fail to provide organisational benefits as a consequence of organisations not being able to maintain their solution after the initial implementation. Ensure that you have planned for the required skills to be retained. This should be part of your initial planning, and will impact on your resourcing of the project. 12 Implementing document management recommended practices and lessons learned

13 Managing and maintaining a document management environment Have you developed appropriate metrics for measuring performance? Losing sight of the key objectives can lead to inefficiencies and solution rejection, as well as ever-increasing costs; metrics allow you to assess the effectiveness of the changes throughout, and assist with keeping sight of the core objectives. The metrics should be defined early, with your partner, and should relate to addressing the key business requirements. Consider what the key performance indicators should be as part of the service level agreements you make with your partner. Managing your partner relationships Have you established a process for an ongoing relationship with your partner from the start of the project? Document management is not simply a software application. The dynamics of the industry and the varied usage of the solutions within the organisations require an ongoing relationship with your partner that goes beyond just licensing the software. The ongoing relationship with your partner is central to driving through the key benefits of the project. As part of the initiation of the project you should explore a variety of channels of communication with your partner, and identify which are the most appropriate. It is particularly useful to establish a relationship with your partner s customer support function. Are you maintaining a positive and ongoing relationship with your partner? Your partner will have a wealth of knowledge that will assist you and your team with a successful implementation. A poor relationship with your partner will lead to an inability to drive through key benefits and will prevent future development. There may be opportunities to participate in user groups and advisory boards for product development. These are an excellent opportunity to influence future product development, and you should seek to be involved. As a part of this, make sure you are notified of the product roadmap and upgrade timelines. You should also be aware of the escalation paths and understand how to leverage these for additional value to your organisation. Are you continually assessing the market and keeping abreast of possible changes in product capabilities and partners? Document management software is a very fluid market today, with a strong consolidation trend. It is important to stay abreast of this activity, as you will need to know if your chosen technology will be supported in the future. Having a strong communication relationship with the partner is the first step in overcoming these issues. Where there is a clear indication that some of the technology involved in your project may not be supported in the future or may be radically modified, ask the vendor for escrow agreements or clear migration paths. Further, partners are always aware of the anxiety that M&As bring to their clients, and are prepared go the extra mile to retain an existing customer. Use this to drive through additional benefits and assurances from your partner if this situation occurs. Implementing document management recommended practices and lessons learned 13

14 Conclusion Implementing document management solutions requires change and project management much like any other business projects. There are, however, many unique aspects to them as well. It is these aspects that will go a long way to determining the success of a document management solution. In this paper you have read the combined advice from a collection of leading industry experts. This advice and guidance reflects years of industry learning, and provides an excellent reference for anyone involved with implementing a document management project. The guidance provided will help to ensure that your project is as successful as possible. The key issue is that document management is about business and cultural change. It is only enabled by technology. It is crucial that throughout the lifecycle of the project, it remains positioned as a business initiative, and does not become a technical project. Effective document management will deliver real benefits to any organisation. These are solutions that will enhance your organisation, and it is important to remember this and always work towards the benefits that you are trying to deliver. You should make the most of guides like this, and others that exist, as well as other sources of experience and information, to ensure that your project delivers maximum value to your organisation. As stated in the introduction, however, this does not cover all aspects of good project management. These practices all apply, and will need to be followed as well if a project is to be successful. Further, it is important to remember that your unique circumstances will always need to be considered. You should also consult your partner, as they have the experience and understand your requirements. 14 Implementing document management recommended practices and lessons learned

15 Have you? Implementing document management recommended practices and lessons learned 15

16 Intellect is the trade association for the UK technology industry. Intellect provides a collective voice for its members and drives connections with government and business to create a commercial environment in which they can thrive. Intellect represents just fewer than 800 companies ranging from SMEs to multinationals. As the central hub for this networked community, Intellect is able to draw upon a wealth of experience and expertise to ensure that its members are best placed to tackle challenges now and in the future. The technology industry contributes over 10% of the UK GDP and employs approximately five million people in the UK. In the past 12 months 14,500 people have visited Intellect s offices to participate in over 550 meetings and 3,900 delegates have attended the external conferences and events we organise. For more information go to Intellect Russell Square House Russell Square London WC1B 5EE T: F: E: W:

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