This is an interesting comment: help wanted. To many of us, this would be interpreted as a company seeking employees, but for the sake of this article, I suggest it means the company is seeking expertise for their information management project. In this light, it is a statement organizations should use more often. It does not mean that the company is creating a permanent position of employment—it means the company has recognized a need for expertise beyond their capabilities and seeks to bring that expertise to help them through this phase of the project.

There are many organizations implementing technology and coming up short of their expectations, due to a lack of planning, lack of requirements gathering and lack of expertise to make it happen smoothly. The AIIM Study on SharePoint 2013 revealed that 61% of those polled cite their expectations have not been met or the project has stalled. In most cases, this is due to selecting and implementing technology without having a clear understanding of the problem at hand. It also reflects poor requirements and planning to understand and align to the business needs. Many organizations I have spoken with tell me they are unfamiliar with requirements gathering, process mapping and other such activities that would provide great benefit and drive a successful enterprise content management implementation.
MORE: Technology Implemented for the Sake of Technology Will Not Work for Your Content Organization

Business problems are often presented as an inability to process applications fast enough, or lengthy review cycles. Requirements are then created based on these statements and passed to IT with the expectation technology will be selected to fix the problem. Yet, in fact, the real problem has not been identified. These statements are merely a reflection of the symptoms of an underlying problem. What is really needed is a determination of the cause of the symptom.

For example, if processing times are lengthy, what is the underlying cause? Perhaps the submitted package of information for the applications is incomplete due to the required information not being readily available. The application form is complete and submitted, but supporting documentation, though captured, still sits in a silo somewhere in the enterprise. Once this is identified, the next question is, "Why is it just sitting there," and look to find the cause of that.

It is by looking at the process and the related content that you identify and document the actual cause of the problem.
It is only when you know the true problem that you can select the proper technologies to solve the business problem and meet the business requirements. Some organizations have the in-house expertise to walk through a process, identify content and document problems. Many do not.

In my view, one of the first things to be done is an assessment of skills and expertise within the organization. I say this in the same way as I would about conducting an inventory of solutions and functionality to determine what is in place and what is actually needed to complete the technology picture. Once you have made an assessment to identify your strengths and weaknesses, look to the outside for the expertise you are lacking. Professional services are available, and yes there is a cost, but it is often surprising how much you save in the end by doing things right upfront.


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