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Implementing a new information management system……don’t design your Business Classification Scheme yet…. by Megan Cappelleri MRIM

Tuesday 07, Jan 2020

Implementing a new information management system……don’t design your Business Classification Scheme yet….

We are acutely aware that one of the problems organisations face is low user adoption of information management systems.  Regardless of the technology used or supporting policies in place; end users continue to think that the capture of information is a drag. 

It is not uncommon for Information Managers to spend years writing business cases, fighting for budget and grappling with internal procurement processes to finally get approval for a new system.  Then spending months of hard work implementing the technology, working through change management issues, getting everyone trained in the countdown to go-live for it all to be wrapped up and abandoned not long after…and one of the biggest reasons is, yes you guessed it – it’s the dreaded Business Classification Scheme and the way the system has been designed throughout the implementation project to capture and manage information.  

Implementing a new technology is one of the best opportunities an organisation can get to think about the way you manage information capture, improve end user experience and show greater return on your technology investment through improved user adoption.

Quite often consultants arrive in an organisation to assist with a system selection and implementation project and the Information Manager will proudly wave their freshly prepared Business Classification Scheme around to let us know it’s all ready to include in the system design phase once the product is selected…this is the part where we break their hearts and say “let’s put that aside for a bit” and here’s why…

Each information management technology in market has its own strengths and nuances and without yet knowing the solution you are going to implement, you shouldn’t yet be thinking about its design.  At this stage you should be focused on what the technical and functional requirements are to select a suitable solution in the first place. 

It’s only after you have selected the system should you start to think about how it’s going to be implemented.  For example, if you were looking to SharePoint with an add-in such as RecordPoint or AvePoint, your design would primarily be on the SharePoint side of the fence (sites, libraries, content types, metadata) and business rules to map content for disposal and destruction processes.  Yet if you were implementing OpenText Content Suite your design might be more centered around the people and processes, roles and responsibilities of your end users to create templates and workspaces etc. Where a TechnologyOne Enterprise Content Management design might focus on Quick Add Profiles etc. and automating through selection.  So designing a stock standard function, activity, transaction type folder structure upfront in any of these instances would not be considering the best of the technologies features or may miss the opportunity to provide any value add benefits to your end users.  The best way to overcome this is to lean on your implementation partner to help you understand the systems features, then think about how that technology can be best utilised to capture and commence the design from there.  This approach will save you a lot of unnecessary effort and hopefully provide a greater user adoption.


Author: Megan Cappelleri

Manager, Enterprise Information Management