Hello, I think we’ve met. Aren’t you every IT Executive who has invested in ECM and is realizing that adoption has been abysmal? I thought so.
And a compliance “event” has gotten everyone jumpy about content so now you need to fix it? I’m tracking with you.
Here’s the problem. There’s nothing you need to buy. No, I’m serious. You have all the right systems. Pitching Vendor X and going with Vendor Y instead isn’t going to help you.
Let me show you some data we collected from your employees:
Oh, don’t groan yet – not yet. I haven’t showed you the depressing graph yet. Can we get him a paper bag? Yes, I know, sir, all that money. Yes, they really did say interoffice mail.
Okay, if you think you have the strength, take a look at our next chart documenting employee satisfaction with the way they currently manage their content:
You see, the bad news is that everyone is happy with the way things are working today. For those of you intent on getting user adoption of the organization’s ECM system, you have a real problem here.
So let’s talk about some ways that you can win the battle for “hearts and minds.”
- Get users to understand the business value of managing information assets – for real, not just in a managing-information-is-important-to-our-business kind of way, which is not much better than the compliance-is-everyone’s-job platitudes found on ticky-tacky posters in the break room. Managing information assets (and compliance, for that matter) has to be regarded as a core strategic differentiator, on par with managing your physical, financial, and human assets—and even more so, because most organizations have already optimized these other three, which makes them commodities. Managing information assets, in contrast, is wide open territory: If you can get it handled, you will be way ahead of the competition.
- Demonstrate the business impacts of managing information properly – again, for real, not just in a we-can-save-everyone-eight-hours-a-week way, which nobody who writes the checks at organizations cares about (or at least not enough to actually write a check). You need to show how managing information will lead to more sales, higher margins, or lower costs, which it typically does by improving employees’ ability to perform core business activities. So show how managing information better will enable employees to perform these activities better, which will lead to more sales, higher margins, lower costs.
- Acknowledge that you exist at the organization only to drive business value – which is to say that everything IT does should be evaluated on how well it delivers business value (or enables others to do so). Which is no different than anyone at your organization. You’re not doing it for the kids (well, unless you work for an organization that actually is doing it for the kids, but you get the point), so if you’re not contributing to tangible, measurable business value, best case, you’re dead weight; worst case, your days are numbered.
Making these three attitude adjustments allows you to go to these employees who use shared drives instead of your multi-million-dollar ECM system (and like it that way) and show them how that choice negatively impacts their ability to drive business value…which is much more effective than asking them politely to switch from a system they love, to one they hate – just to make your life easier.