Lack of staff training hinders ECM implementation

Lack of staff training hinders ECM implementation

Staff need more training if they are to get the most out of content management tools

The main problems organisations face when implementing Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems is a lack of staff training and underestimating process issues, according to the international association for ECM, AIIM.

Internal politics and poor policy enforcement were the next most common reasons given by organisation managers who took part in the AIIM survey. The research was conducted using a survey of 180 record and IT managers.

Doug Miles, AIIM managing director, said only 28 percent of the organisations surveyed are deploying ECM systems with a further 18 percent moving towards deployment. Also, only 48 percent of the people questioned have confidence in their ECM project, Miles added.

“More background work should be done to understand particular issues in the organisation, such as email and document issues, before the project is launched and suppliers and products are chosen,” Miles said.

Staff need to understand the process papers go through properly before they try to map the process to an electronic form, Miles said. This is often difficult because it means IT need to have a good understanding of the business, he added.

There are particular problems around who should be responsible for the implementation of the ECM project.

The survey found 27 percent of organisations surveyed put the IT department in charge of implementation, 20 percent of systems are managed by the business’ CEO, and 67 percent of projects are managed by compliance officers, Miles said. Worryingly, 28 percent of organisations reported having no specific department responsible for ECM implementation.

“Records managers and compliance officers need to be more aware of IT issues,” Miles said, explaining that responsibility for managing emails is left to the IT department, but because emails are as integral to a business as letters used to be, record managers need to also take responsibility. “Records managers need to understand emails should not just be backed up,” Miles said.

A mixture of responsibility needs to be taken for implementing ECM systems in order to make do of different personnel’s expertise, Miles explained.

Records managers have expertise in how long documents are kept for and the management scheme that needs to be used, while IT people have the knowledge of how documents are stored presently and in the future, Miles said. CEO’s have the best understanding of compliance and legal issues, Miles added.

Miles said the enforcement of the ECM system is about “policy, policy, policy.” It is important to get agreement for the project and match it to business needs, Miles said. “Otherwise it just won’t be used,” he added.