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It’s more than just the features
Dynamic Best Practices



It’s more than just the features 
(Centre for Document Management Research, 23 Mar 2002)

Many MIS managers – even experienced ones – make the common mistake of placing too much emphasis on product features when making their purchasing decisions. Even now, many organizations install expensive systems and end up utilizing no more than 20% - 30% of the offered capabilities. They fail to realize that the key issue is not about the latest information technologies, but whether those technologies are used within, and for facilitating, a culture of information sharing, relationship building and trust.

MIS managers and senior management alike should focus more on getting the right system that solves a practical problem immediately while ensuring the system is scalable to meet their forecast growth and strategic technology requirements. There should be more emphasis on best practices and research on methodologies that work with the electronic system. The target organization that successfully combines both features and procedures will achieve greater value and a higher return on their investment.  

In order to do this, there should be a greater involvement by non-IT managers during the product evaluation and decision-making process as they are better positioned to identify the practical problems and solutions within the organization. The success of the document management system also depends on the knowledge these end-users and knowledge workers can attain during the planning and implementation process. The higher the participation of the end-users, the better, as it keeps the channels of communication open to allow for more exchange of issues and ideas. This is facilitated by continuous communication between the DMS experts and end-users, flexible meetings and face-to-face personal and group interactions.



Dynamic Best Practices
(Centre for Document Management Research, 15 Feb 2002)

One of the major concentrations of CDMR consultants for any of its DMS projects is identifying a set of “best practices” that can be used to manage the client’s documents efficiently. Sometimes, this involves re-writing the existing procedures that are only suitable for their existing manual or paper document management systems. The work of constantly updating an organization’s code of best practices is even more pertinent when new technology is introduced. Yesterday's core capabilities embedded in best practices could become tomorrow's core rigidities.

When changes to the business environment, industry, competition and technology are radical, there is a persistent need for continual renewal of the basic premises underlying best practices. Organizations in such an environment need imaginative suggestions more than they do best practices. Even though the standardization of procedures and the main thrust of ISO9000 document controls require organizations to archive their best practices for later referral by other employees, there is the need for ongoing reassessment.




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