A couple of recently published articles by prominent individuals in the SharePoint community – Chris Riley and Christian Buckley – remind me of an important feature of SharePoint plans more likely to succeed. These plans treat the challenge of user adoption as a chronic condition requiring continuous effort. Riley’s article is Why I Left ECM. The article by Christian Buckley is titled As SharePoint Moves Toward the Cloud, Governance Remains a Priority. While I am at this task, I might as well include a third article, which was published on December 29, 2014, titled ECM isn’t delivering.
The common thread running between all three of these articles is what I would call a weariness with the perpetual task of prompting personnel to adopt ECM solutions. One can argue Buckley’s article is, at best, about governance, which is positioned at the periphery of adoption. But I would counter any notion about a presumed distance between the process of providing structure to a solution like ECM, which is what governance planning is all about, and the actual solution, as it is presented to the personnel responsible for implementing it, is an illusion.
So I would request my readers to follow me a bit further on this notion. Riley and Walker contend ECM is a technical concept which has failed the organizations implementing it. I am not disputing their position. But the reason for the failure can be found in likely low levels of user adoption of the flavors of ECM Riley and Walker point out for their readers. An ECM solution can not be successfully implemented if users do not adopt it. Then, is the failure attributable to a poorly designed system? Or is it actually attributable to an unrealistic plan, which somehow missed the need to design something a specific group of users, within a unique organization, would be capable of implementing? Finally, just who is responsible for this mistake? Not to leave Buckley’s article out in the cold.
I am not arguing for a simple solution to any of this. Rather, I am arguing for a different approach to how ECM projects are put together (because I do not see big organizations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors dropping their quest for methods of managing the range of content produced by their personnel, customers, partners, and more, anytime soon). Efforts to hasten user adoption must be built in as an ever-present facility. Users will always require support as they grapple with a need to adopt daily computing methods specific for any ECM. There will never be an end to the need for this type of effort.
VisualSP™ offers a set of solutions useful within an adoption campaign. The most successful of our customers have included a program like the one I have just presented as a permanent feature of their effort. I do not see how an ECM implementation can succeed any other way.
©2014, Ira Michael Blonder & Rehmani Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved