Electronic Content Management (ECM) State, Country, and Local Government Need and Planning Steps

Electronic Content Management (ECM) State, Country, and Local Government Need and Planning Steps

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As independent consultants, we find state, county, and local government agencies can have significant challenges with their paper, email, shared drives, and electronic documents management systems in the areas of Governance (email, public disclosure, records management: policies, procedures, schedules, retention, and disposition), Management (duplicates, indexing, search, security), and Efficiency (workflow and process).

Duplicate copies and versions of documents can be found in email, vault, portal, shared drive, hand-held device, paper, and microform storage areas. These fragmented systems cause inconsistent document indexing, version control, security, routing, workflow, retention and disposition; impact efficiency and customer service; and put agencies at risk of not meeting operational, litigation and public disclosure requirements.

Planning for ECM

Before an agency selects an ECM vendor pre-planning work is mandatory to help ensure a successful system and expansion. It is best if this work is conducted before vendor selection, and independent of the vendor selected, so it is objective. This work includes the development of an ECM:

  • enterprise-wide plan,
  • vendor cost/benefit analysis,
  • return on investment ROI assessment,
  • conceptual application design (to identify requirements),
  • workflow mapping and process improvement (LEAN, Six Sigma, BPM, CPI) to clean up and improve the process before automation,
  • change management plan,
  • RFQ/RFP to select proper software vendor and integrator,
  • vendor demonstration evaluation plan (integrator and software company, typical different companies),
  • RIM (records information management) program review and development,
  • update of retention/ disposition schedules, and
  • development of Information Governance (IG) policies and procedures (email, records management, public disclosure).

To help ensure a successful system, it is important that the above planning work is conducted previous to vendor purchase, to ensure proper:

  • budgeting – to confirm the correct level of funding is established for the project, return on investment ROI is calculated, and an enterprise-level plan is established,
  • vendor selection – to make sure the design of the system is based upon the needs of the organization, not the product or toolset being offered,
  • contacting – to hold the vendor accountable for how they will fulfill enterprise and project requirements.

For additional information including CRE8 Independent Consultant articles, white papers, and a discussion of how CRE8 can help your agency plan for information governance IG, records information management (RIM), Paperless Technologies (ECM, Workflow, and ERM), and Process Improvement, Read More

About the Author. George Dunn, President of CRE8 Independent Consultants, is a worldwide ECM and process improvement consultant, speaker, and author. He has assisted hundreds of government organizations/departments with ECM planning. He can be reached as follows and at Linkedin.

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