Tuesday, August 11, 2015

ECM Matures Beyond the Models

Gartner’s ECM Maturity model from 2012 shows the simplified journey of an ECM implementation into a company through time. The trail followed is well worn into the trained minds of solution providers. What typically happens with this methodology mantra is that it infiltrates and pervades, then when fully dependent upon the software solution that touted it, the company buys more modules, more licenses, more storage, etc.

How mature is mature?

ECM implementations reach the goals put forth be the company’s director in charge of operations. Each time a “nice to have” is overlooked or pushed to further phase, it may reach a dead end. These dead ends accumulate, but are not factored into the overall implementation; they fester and show up again when the next cycle of solutions/consolidations/open source evangelists sweep in.

It’s easy to win with a Model

I’ve seen original solution documentation show this maturity model from the beginning. The instructions are outlined, budgeted, and milestones are set. All you have to do is do what it says to do and you will succeed. Any movement forward is seen as a win. Plus, you executed on the plan, never mind that dead ends were left along the way. You can’t please everyone!

The model is the model

The model’s steps of “Initial, Opportunistic, Organized, Enterprise, and Transformative” are exactly what happened to this model. It is an artifact of solution execution, but in the end it is just another way to sell product suites and Gartner products. This model matured. A new one is coming.

Implementation’s long tail

If you are looking at models make sure the last half the curve looks like a thick long tail. This shows the correct long term implementation of ECM. It takes mature team of people to fully realize its potential beyond initial expectations and bouts of disillusionment. Over time, if you are lucky there will be enough focus on the quality of information and its benefit to productivity.

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