25 years of experience in the field says, "there's no silver bullet."
You've got to pretty much plan on developing some if not most of the system
requirements in-house. There are Developers, Consultants, and Contractors
galore who will beguile you with promises of feature sets to ease all your
needs - t'aint true.

Take this to the bank: No vendor has a "one size fits all" software
application. Records are built on business rules and business rules vary
from company to company. And it's the business rules that direct the
management of records. Let your business rules be the mortar for the bricks
of your record management software.

Tip number one: Start small. Tackle one of your departments, lines of
business, or operational units. Learn all the ins and outs of managing
their records. Learn everything! Oh, I know you already know everything
about their business, but look again, and then again. You'll find
inconsistencies and variables you were never aware of. Resolve them all.
Then move on to Tip 2.

Tip 2: Make certain everything is working well in that Beta site before you
move on. The temptation will be to start on other departments as soon as
you've installed the new service. Wait until your users start to trounce
it, bang it, and abuse it. You'll find services that are crucial to their
business that you overlooked. You'll find features you thought important
that no one cares about. Fine tune the user end. make certain they're
content before you move on. Why? Because if that first unit tries your
solution and finds it wanting, that will become the reputation of the
application throughout the company, and that reputation will precede you
into every other department.

The bottom line. While the initial effort to build your own record
management software takes some time to complete, every other business unit
will fall into place with amazing ease. And they'll be anxiously waiting
for this software application with such a great reputation for being
valuable to the business purpose.

There are plenty of experienced project managers available as contractors,
as well as thousands of Oracle, SQL Server, UNIX, and JAVA programmers. But
there is only one person that can define the needs and resources of your
company. Guess who.

                    Steven Whitaker
                    <[log in to unmask]      To:     [log in to unmask]
                    NO.NV.US>            cc:
                    Sent by:             Subject:     Re: Request for information from users of DM/RM systems

                    07/10/02 05:39
                    Please respond
                    to Records

Contact Image Information Inc. @
I had them develop the products and systems for me about which you inquire.

Best regards, Steve
Steven D. Whitaker, CRM

>>> Mary Leatherman-Roberts <[log in to unmask]> 07/10/02
12:22PM >>>
My name is Mary Leatherman-Roberts and I am the project specialist for
Wisconsin Public Power.  We are a small company (about 70 people) but
over 20 years old.  We are a non-profit aggregator of electricity for 37
municipalities in the state of Wisconsin.  We are experiencing a growth
explosion.  As a result of this recent explosion, we realize we need
both a records management system and a document imaging system.

I am the person charged with figuring out what system works to meet our
needs.  I invite information from people who have gone through this
experience to tell me what worked for them (and what didn't), what
systems did you think were best, what vendors did you rule out and why,
which is most user friendly, etc.

What we really would like to see is a document management and imaging
system with true records management functionality built right into it.
Anyone have experience with something like this?

I would appreciate any information you can share.  Thank you.

Mary Leatherman-Roberts
Project Specialist
Wisconsin Public Power Inc.
1425 Corporate Center Drive
Sun Prairie, WI 53590
Phone:  608.834.4573
Fax: 608.837.0274
Email: [log in to unmask]
Phone:  608.834.4573
Fax:  608.837.0274
Email:  [log in to unmask]

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