Folks may recall that I was hired a few months ago to develop a
records management program from scratch, with the goal of having most
of the active documents managed electronically. The company had
absolutely nothing in the way of a file plan, retention schedule,
standardized language, etc. They couldn't even say where all their off-
site records storage was without doing a bunch of research first.
Well I have been busy crafting a file plan and developing a records
inventory. All the while, working with IT and our litigation counsel
on deploying an email archiving program (started before they hired me)
and trying to reign in another IT group who was barreling forward
looking at ECM programs and another one trying to develop a home-grown
records management system. I think I have managed to get everyone to
slow down and consider the bigger picture. I have been very careful,
talking to business units about their needs and discovering just how
many disparate systems we have (we are a very big company), gathering
or developing all the information to make sure that we have a clear
idea of what we need vs. what we want and how we want an ECM system to
work for us. However, as I am doing research, I keep coming across
articles, blogs and the like that say that a true enterprise-wide ECM
is a pipe-dream -- that the best bet is line-of-business or other more
My question to you: Is enterprise ECM -- especially for very large
companies -- just not possible, or have most ECM deployments been
sabotaged by poor planning or unrealistic expectations?
If the latter, do you know of any exceptional, successful ECM
installations? If it is a matter of having my ducks all in a row, what
do I need to do to make sure my little quackers toe that line?
One other, slightly tangental, question. I don't buy-in to the idea
that e-docs don't need a structured plan since they can be just be
tagged and found by a search engine. But I don't quite know, in
developing a file plan, where are the differences, if any, between
what is needed for paper documents and e-documents? I'm starting from
scratch here so I can build it just about any way I need to.
Mucho thanks for any input you can offer.
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Tracking where records are kept is what Tiggers and Records Managers
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