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Guide to Successful Content Management Implementation

By: Lisa Cromwell

Guide to Successful Content Management Implementation

What I know:

You know that phrase, “you don’t know what you don’t know.” It sounds maddening, doesn’t it?  How do you start to change that? First, acknowledge that you might be in this situation. Evaluating your options and making decisions is hampered when you do not have the full, big-picture view of what you actually need to evaluate to help you make better decisions. And in the context of implementing technology within your organization, the full, big-picture view is crucial.

If you accept that there may be things to learn from others, this post is for you. By the end, I hope it helps you either confirm that you are in a good spot with what you know or realize that you need to take a step back and re-evaluate your approach. Either way, if you would like to talk more about your specific situation, please reach out to me here.

When it Comes to Implementation, Having a Plan is Essential

Access Sciences specializes in creating value out of information chaos. This usually means a transformation of some kind, involving people, processes, content, and systems. Without the right team backing you up, it can feel overwhelming to get this done!

And things are starting to get very real here. Change is knocking on the door.  Anticipating that knock, and preparing for this point, means having a well-thought-out strategy — one that aligns with business objectives, delivers an effective approach for technology configuration, and engages the organization.

Spending time developing your plan is important. It is your roadmap for the journey. Be sure to base it on your organization’s needs first — not on what the technology can do. Identify the projects to be done on a realistic timeline so that you can sustain transformation. After all, your goals — the outcomes you want to see — are the drivers for the implementation in the first place.

Three Things to Know for Successful Implementation

1. Build a Strong Program Foundation. A content management system is only one component in your overall information management program. There are other key components necessary to effectively mesh and map people with their content, policies, processes, and technology. These foundational elements include your overall information management policy, your enterprise taxonomy or knowledge graph, metadata model, big bucket retention schedule, and security model. A weak foundation contributes to user frustration with content that is hard to find, a system in which it is difficult to collaborate and not intuitive to the way people think, and disposition processes that do not scale.

2. Guide Behaviors with Good Governance. People need to know how your organization defines appropriate behavior and what their responsibilities are in managing information. Standards and processes should be in place to guide the usage of the content management system functionality. Without good governance, information can become a liability rather than an asset. You risk site sprawl and a potential security nightmare with no visibility into who has access to what.

3. Engage People Early and Often. People need to feel supported with new ways of working. Starting at implementation is too late!  It is not just technical training on the new system. Convey what is changing, why, and how the tool fits into business processes. If people do not fully understand the impact to them on a personal level or the added value of working in this new way, they will be slow to adopt and embrace the new technology.

Three Things to Know for Successful Implementation

1. Build a Strong Program Foundation. A content management system is only one component in your overall information management program. There are other key components necessary to effectively mesh and map people with their content, policies, processes, and technology. These foundational elements include your overall information management policy, your enterprise taxonomy or knowledge graph, metadata model, big bucket retention schedule, and security model. A weak foundation contributes to user frustration with content that is hard to find, a system in which it is difficult to collaborate and not intuitive to the way people think, and disposition processes that do not scale.

2. Guide Behaviors with Good Governance. People need to know how your organization defines appropriate behavior and what their responsibilities are in managing information. Standards and processes should be in place to guide the usage of the content management system functionality. Without good governance, information can become a liability rather than an asset. You risk site sprawl and a potential security nightmare with no visibility into who has access to what.

3. Engage People Early and Often. People need to feel supported with new ways of working. Starting at implementation is too late!  It is not just technical training on the new system. Convey what is changing, why, and how the tool fits into business processes. If people do not fully understand the impact to them on a personal level or the added value of working in this new way, they will be slow to adopt and embrace the new technology.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Digital Acceleration for State CIOs:

“The coronavirus pandemic exposed gaps in state-run information technology systems. Given the experience during the pandemic, some legacy modernization projects may be accelerated.”

Successful Implementation Delivers Secure, Reliable Information Access and Storage

Security and reliability may not sound sexy but think about what your information means to you. You use it to communicate with your customers, document compliance and decisions, promote transparency, set strategic direction, capture what is most important about what you do, determine what your customers want, and build an archive of historical moments. What if it was lost and irrecoverable? Information is really an asset. Making data-driven decisions or investing in analytics, artificial intelligence and machine-learning initiatives for competitive advantage means first having trust in the integrity of your information. Do you?

Going forward, flexibility is here to stay with a workforce that will be a mix of remote and onsite. Digital collaboration is what we need in order to make work, work again, in this next normal. Team members should have access to the same set of trusted information at the same time. Inefficient or overly complex coordination methods increase costs with multiple tools or systems to traverse and manual workarounds or bottlenecks. COVID-19 is accelerating moves to digital integration for many of our clients. If you have not already started, now is the time to think about planning for your organization’s needs.

Successful Implementation Delivers Secure, Reliable Information Access and Storage

Security and reliability may not sound sexy but think about what your information means to you. You use it to communicate with your customers, document compliance and decisions, promote transparency, set strategic direction, capture what is most important about what you do, determine what your customers want, and build an archive of historical moments. What if it was lost and irrecoverable? Information is really an asset. Making data-driven decisions or investing in analytics, artificial intelligence and machine-learning initiatives for competitive advantage means first having trust in the integrity of your information. Do you?

Going forward, flexibility is here to stay with a workforce that will be a mix of remote and onsite. Digital collaboration is what we need in order to make work, work again, in this next normal. Team members should have access to the same set of trusted information at the same time. Inefficient or overly complex coordination methods increase costs with multiple tools or systems to traverse and manual workarounds or bottlenecks. COVID-19 is accelerating moves to digital integration for many of our clients. If you have not already started, now is the time to think about planning for your organization’s needs.

Where to start?

Start by asking yourself, “How do you think you’re doing,” then I invite you to watch our webinar.  This webinar will introduce Access Sciences’ 7-Point Governance Model, and it will cover:

  • Setting up effective, fit-for-purpose governance from the beginning versus as an afterthought
  • Appropriate prioritization of business groups to maximize investment
  • Functionality planning based upon needs of your organization

McKinsey on The Next Normal:

“Collaboration, flexibility, inclusion, and accountability are things organizations have been thinking about for years, with some progress. But the massive change associated with the coronavirus could and should accelerate changes that foster these values.”

“…agility is just a word if it isn’t grounded in the discipline of data. Companies need to create or accelerate their analytics capabilities to provide the basis for answers.”

“Start imagining the business as it should be in the next normal.”

Where to start?

Start by asking yourself, “How do you think you’re doing,” then I invite you to watch our webinar.  This webinar will introduce Access Sciences’ 7-Point Governance Model, and it will cover:

  • Setting up effective, fit-for-purpose governance from the beginning versus as an afterthought
  • Appropriate prioritization of business groups to maximize investment
  • Functionality planning based upon needs of your organization