Question: Can you give an example of what a strategic framework for a document strategy would include? What are some short-term and long-term goals?

JOHN KNOTTS, @johnrknotts

I explain in my blog post, "Think Big, Take Small Steps," that two of the five things that cause strategies to fail are an executable focus and a strategic framework.

All strategies should have a Mission, a Vision, Goals, Objectives and Actions. I could probably guess what some of the major goals would be if you have never created an enterprise document strategy.

I would start with: one, developing an executable strategy; two, establishing accountable governance; three, understand the end-to-end document life cycle for your organization; and four, developing actionable measures for the end-to-end process that include what the business customer wants to know.

More than likely, you lack any of this to any detail.

However, the best way to build a strategy is to do an assessment of the document domain and then design the strategy based on this assessment, as I explain throughout my blogs. If you have a well-thought-out mission and vision and develop what you need to overcome obstacles to meet your vision, your strategy will be very executable and will have a solid framework.

If you rely on someone else to tell you what are good ideas to put into a strategy, I can pretty much guarantee that the strategy would falter.

JOE SHEPLEY, @joeshepley

At the most fundamental level, this is really business analysis or consulting 101: Where are we now? Where do we want to go? How do we get there? What will it cost? What will we get out of it?

So you begin by assessing your current state across people, process and technology for managing documents as part of day-to-day operations. This gives you a baseline for where the organization is strong and weak, has gaps and opportunities for improvement.

Then, based on the current state as well as corporate goals and strategy, you define what the future state should look like, i.e., how should we evolve people, process and technology around managing documents over the next three to five years to help us achieve our goals and execute on our strategy?

Then, you map out all the work that needs to be done in order to move from where you are today to where you want to be and create a program roadmap of the initiatives needed.

Finally, you work to develop estimates of the costs associated with this work and the likely benefits to be realized (either in hard quantitative terms or directional benefit/impact areas).

This approach is a solid, proven way to develop an actionable strategy for document management that we’ve used at hundreds of clients to help them build their document strategies.

John Knotts is a results-oriented business professional working out of the San Antonio, TX area. He leads strategic transformations and has extensive experience in strategy, change, process, communication and many other areas.

Joe Shepley brings more than 12 years of operational and technology experience to his consulting engagements at Doculabs. He also currently serves as the conference chair for the DOCUMENT Strategy Forum.

Remember to check back every Monday and Wednesday, as we feature a new answer to your questions each week. This is a special Q&A in partnership with the DOCUMENT Strategy Forum. For more information on how to build the document strategy or on attending the DOCUMENT Strategy Forum, email or call 866-378-4991.

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