And how to ensure yours succeeds
Investing in a document management solution is not merely a matter of researching options and purchasing a system. While these are the first steps, the follow-through once your organization adopts a document management project is where the real challenges arise. Sometimes, despite the effort you went through to implement content management in your company, the project fails.
Why do document management projects fail? On the surface, it would seem like a program that offers solutions to business problems and reduces manual work for staff would be a slam dunk. However, there are numerous reasons why these projects fail.
Here are 4 reasons document management projects fail and how you can ensure yours succeeds:
- The system isn’t user friendly. Thus, your staff isn’t using it properly. We live in a world where a few screen taps on our smartphones can pull up virtually any information we desire. This is the speed of information in the 21st century, yet for some reason, some content management systems are stuck in the dark ages.
It’s unrealistic to expect your staff to embrace a system that is not intuitive and requires a ton of manual work. The point of your document management system is to avoid time-consuming processes and inefficiencies. If document management is unpopular in your workplace, it’s time to take a hard look at your system and probably seek a more user-friendly solution.
- Users aren’t invested in the solution. Maybe you were diligent in finding the best document management solution available. You got it all set up and you’re ready to start seeing the return on your investment. Yet, it’s been a few weeks or months and nothing has changed.
What went wrong? Your users—the ones who are responsible for the day-to-day interactions with the system—haven’t bought into it. It’s time to back up and get your users on board. Carve out some time to educate them on the system. Moreover, explain how using it properly will make life easier for them.
- You didn’t set specific goals. Is your goal to have less paper floating around the office? Or to lower your document processing expenses? Those are great big picture goals, but they’re not specific and measurable. Failing to have specific goals can lead to dwindling interest in the project, and ultimately failure.
Instead of generalized goals, set some benchmarks that you can track to ensure you’re getting a good return on your investment. For instance, set a goal date for fully implementing the solution in a specific department. Do you have a high rate of errors with your current system? Set a goal for reducing those errors by a specific percentage with your new solution. Take the time to measure your results, so you know just how effective the solution is. If your staff sees impressive results, they are more likely to stick with the program.
- You didn’t make a plan. Ever heard that failing to plan is planning to fail? This is undeniably true of document management. Because it can be used in virtually any department, some people try to implement it everywhere right away. Unless you have a plethora of resources to accommodate that undertaking, it’s best to plan out your project in phases.
Start in a department that is most in need of the solution—often this ends up being Accounts Payable or Human Resources. These departments are likely to see a quick return on investment. Thus, the staff will be helpful in getting other departments excited for the solution. Here’s a quick example of a basic implementation plan:
- Implement the system in one department of your organization.
- Get feedback from the staff and learn about any concerns they may have.
- Make necessary changes to the process to ensure maximum user adoption and satisfaction.
- Once that department is happy with the solution and is proficient in using it, have them assist in educating the next department.
It’s a good idea to have a goal timeline for implementing your document management project. However, remember to allow some flexibility in case you need to make some tweaks along the way.
Want to learn more about user friendly document management that offers a serious return on your investment? Talk to an expert today!