SED: there are contraindications


    For many years of work in the market of electronic document management systems, our team has faced a variety of projects. Among them were those that already in the process of pre-project preparation it became clear: the company was not ready for the introduction of an EDMS and the system would only harm. We also had the experience of “reanimating” other people's projects for introducing EDMS. As a result, we formulated the general principles of “contraindications” to the introduction of an electronic document management system, which I want to share.

    Start of failure
    Both successful and failed projects for the implementation of EDS begin the same way: the company comes to the understanding that something is going wrong with the workflow. It is difficult to find a document, they are lost, coordination is delayed, orders are not tracked and are not executed on time. Trying to solve this problem, the management of the company begins to incline to launch a project to introduce an EDMS.
    The partner company that will implement the implementation and the platform are selected. Everyone is inspired, there is a feeling that the situation is not hopeless and that soon everyone will begin to work in a new way in the company.
    However, this does not always happen. In some cases, at the output, the company receives a completely different picture that was drawn at the start of the project. This "denouement" has all projects for the implementation of EDMS in companies that have "contraindications" to automate workflow processes.
    So, in what cases does the introduction of EDMS not bring the desired results?

    List of contraindications
    × Incorrect diagnostics.
    If prior tasks are not identified correctly, priority tasks can be safely calculated. Automation should be started by identifying “bottlenecks”, problem areas of automated processes, for example, such as high workload of departments, low efficiency of employees, increased bureaucracy, and coordination delays.
    After analyzing these factors, it is necessary to "draw" a picture of the desired future, to set priorities for the goals, on the basis of which the "recovery course" will be drawn up. 

    × Understanding SED as an antibiotic
    Everything is simple here. You can not think of EDMS as a drug that will solve all problems simply because of its properties. EDS, like in general any other information system of a company, is intended to increase the efficiency of its activities. And that means that the basis of this system is not at all a certain hardware and software complex, but internal business processes, regulations and the business logic of the company itself, that is, what is the subject of automation. A mess in the processes - EDMS will not help. Moreover, the system will be harmful until the company adopts an ordered model for the movement of documents and decision-making on them. Implementing companies will help you choose the appropriate business scenario from the arsenal of "best practices".

    × "Patient" does not want to "be treated"
    The most important role in the success or failure of the project is played by people who work in the company - future users (those who ensure the implementation of business processes) and consumers (department heads interested in improving the efficiency of automated processes) of the system. Success depends on their interest, involvement and motivation. And their complete indifference or resistance is the reason for the low “return” from the project. More about this in my last review.

    × No responsible
    The key role in implementation is played by the “Customer”. This employee (or group of employees) must ensure competent interaction with the partner company implementing the system. He must monitor the implementation of the project objectives, have authority in making decisions on the ideology of the system. Often in the process of implementation at different stages of the project decisions are made by different people, that is, the role of the “Customer” is blurred, which significantly complicates the work and leads to a deterioration of the result.

    × The budget for “treatment” is inadequate
    Before starting a project, you need to understand very clearly: EDS is not a one-time purchase of licenses, it is a design solution that requires regular budget investments. You can organize the project itself quite comfortably for the budget, dividing the implementation into stages. However, it should be borne in mind that after a successful launch, the system also requires, if not constant, but attention and care: regular updates, maintenance, and adaptation of functionality to changing business needs.
    In this regard, it is important to consider the process of achieving the economic effect of implementation (for example, including information from reports on performing discipline in the motivation system).

    × The compatibility of "drugs"
    When choosing a platform, a very important criterion must be taken into account: the possibility of their integration with other information systems that are already used in the company. Otherwise, there is a risk of losing more on changing the existing logic of business processes than acquiring.

    × Inadequacy of “treatment” to the scale of the “disease” A
    project to introduce an EDMS is an investment. Therefore, before starting the project, it is worth assessing whether such an acquisition will pay off in your particular case. It may be cheaper and more efficient to get by with standard Microsoft tools. Well, you must admit, why pay for an expensive course of treatment at the best resort when it is enough to drink vitamins?
    In total, any “contraindication” from this list is quite enough to think about measures of “prevention”. So I recommend that you seek the advice of a specialist!

    Ekaterina Kamchatova, Executive Director of ECMGroup.Pro

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