Part 1 – Getting Started
From a user organization perspective, constructing an effective ECM Project Team needs to be on of the initial mandatory objectives and activities undertaken when implementing an ECM Project. Achieving this objective in its totality directly links to the success of the implementation of any major ECM project within an organization – whether it be for a phased enterprise or a departmental initiative.
Achieving this objective is a management challenge that must be supported at the top. It requires Executive leadership that should initially lead to developing:
- Organizational vision
- Clear and consistent motivation
- Full mid-management support
- Staff commitment at the user level that supports the executive sponsored vision developed by a qualified Project Team.
With the above being understood, in an instance where the initiating champion of an ECM Project has a mid-level management role, that person needs to acquire an appropriate and committed executive level sponsor.
In a typical scenario there initially needs to be a management level person(s) involved as project sponsor(s) who would likely be a department/division manager or line of business (LOB) manager. As indicated, this person needs to acquire the active support and sponsorship of executive level management. This could be a VP of Operations or the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the organization.
The first sponsor tasks are to:
- Develop and document the initial premise of the ECM initiative.
- Select and organize an effective team of Project Team members who will work together with the sponsors to fully define and refine the project vision, and develop a strategies to plan the details and bring the project to fruition.
The people selected for the Project Team, their planning and collaboration skills, their ability to understand the underlying concepts of both the change management and technologies necessary to implement ECM, and their ability to communicate effectively are going to be as important to the success of the ECM Project project’s success as the software, supporting expert resources, and project implementation team solution that is ultimately selected.
The successful ECM project will likely have new business processes implemented, improved workflows, integrations with existing systems, and will require changes in the way supervisors and users do their work. The successful Project Team will be realistically creative, and individuals as Team members need to be open in their communication of ideas and the challenges to be faced.
Neil W. Lindsey, ECMΜ, CDIA+
Project Manager / Senior Business Analyst