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Document management the untold story: Readiness, risks and resistance. Kate Forbes-Pitt Systems Manager London School of Economics. Document Management the untold story:. Readiness, risks and resistance. Purpose. Not to scare you What lies beneath Share experience

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Kate Forbes-Pitt Systems Manager London School of Economics

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Document management the untold story: Readiness, risks and resistance

Kate Forbes-Pitt

Systems Manager

London School of Economics

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Document Management the untold story:

Readiness, risks and resistance

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  • Not to scare you

  • What lies beneath

  • Share experience

    • First worked with DM in 1991

    • Worked on system 2000 – 2004

    • Studied DM and its implications:

      • For workers

      • In organisations

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  • Readiness

    • Do you understand your organisation and it’s documents?

  • Resistance

    • Many types

    • Can be fatal

  • Risk

    • You don’t end up with a working system

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EDM systems

  • Failures are not uncommon

  • Why do systems like this fail?

    • Two questions

      • What constitutes a system?

      • What is a document and what is its purpose?

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IT systems

  • Common myths

    • Its all about computers

    • Tell people to use it and they will

    • Computer people can talk to normal people

    • Implementing computer systems is hard

  • Reality

    • Human beings are an integral part of any system

    • A system out of use is not a system

    • The hard part is changing work practice

    • Computer people sometimes need translators

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  • What do we think a document is?

    • A piece of paper with writing on it?

    • A way of capturing / imparting information?

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The letter

  • How do we know this is a letter?

    • It doesn’t contain words

    • It isn’t a piece of paper

  • Does it contain information?

    • It contains the information that it is a letter

  • Documents contain more than their words

    • ?Creation of identity?

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  • Is your organisation ready?

    • Do you know what documents you have?

      • Do you know what categories of document you have?

    • Do you know who accesses them?

      • Do you know how they search for them?

        • Have you asked them or watched them?

    • Do you have ‘information poor’ staff?

      • Are they to be deprived of information?

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A computerised mess is still a mess

  • EDRMS does not sort this out

  • Searching does make life easier

  • Concept of a ‘file’ has to change

    • How many duplicates of documents are in your filing system?

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  • Non-use

  • You are potentially attacking

    • Importance – people’s jobs make them

      • Gateways to information

      • Knowledge silos

    • Direct contact with work

      • Reflected importance

      • History

    • Laziness

      All of these factors can lead to rejection of the system

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  • Political checkout

    • “No-one’s altering my document”

    • Checked-out documents can’t be altered

    • “No-one is seeing my draft”

      The value of version control can be seen as a way to undermine authority

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  • IT Services / web teams

    • enablers

  • Who will own this system

    • ‘Intimidation’

      • Forced into systems you don’t want

  • Work with ITS early

    • Get a translator

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  • EDRMS systems reduce risk

    Picture from 9/11

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  • Risks of implementation

    • You will end up with a failed system(rejection)

    • You will end up with both a paper and an EDRMS (rejection)

    • The system will be too costly to roll out

  • Additional risks

    • Legal

      • Legal admissibility

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Overcoming the problems

  • Involve users at an early stage

    • Can counter resistance

    • Can enhance feelings of importance

    • Can increase perception of relevance

  • Observe processes don’t just survey

    • People will not tell you what they really do

  • Understand your enemy

    • Reasons for rejection are rational not personal

  • Think about profiling typical users

    • Find out how they might behave

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Good luck!

  • Universities need these systems

  • Shiny new systems

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Selecting an Electronic

Records Management System

A one-day event for Higher Education

10th May 2006

The Conference Centre, Lancaster University

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