Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Control: Key element in ECM projects

We have told you previously how to calculate the success of an ECM project in financial terms. A good ROI can give us an idea of how good an ECM project has worked for the global company goals. But getting a good ROI can't be done without considering control measures. Of course, as in any strategical process, control is useless if you don't make a good job at planning, organizing, directing and taking the right corrective measures. Let's suppose you have done a great job in these project phases.

So, how can you control if the project is taking the proper way forward? The answer is simple: measuring.


  • How many of the users you had expected to use the system are actually doing it? 
  • How many of the business processes you had expected to be involved are working with the system at the present time?

Not to much time ago, I knew about a project in which the system had been planned to be working with several units, but at the end, only three of them were really using it. Why? In this case it could be a planning mistake, because they didn't consider these units' needs, but also a control failure, because they didn't take corrective measures to get the project back on track in order to do the system more useful for those rebel units.

Information availability

In my opinion, this is the breakpoint. If users don't find what they're looking for, they won't use the system again. The final goal of software is to make easier the users' life, not to bother them with speed issues or stuff like that. Ask your employees how comfortable they feel using the system and if it allows them to have the right information at the right time.

So, you should check:

  • Response times in searches 
  • Searches accuracy rate 
  • Which devices are used to access the system?

System usage

Some people think that the number of docs in the system is not a good metric. I think it depends on what your global number of documents is. You can have lots of documents in your ECM system, but, is this quantity of documents relevant compared with the total of used documents?

Another metrics you have to take on account are:

  • Number of access to the system 
  • Number of searches performed

Effectiveness of the project
This is crucial for projects which main goal is to reduce manual work.

  • How many employees are working to correct system errors? 
  • How much data are you missing?

Measuring things like that, means to correct deviations on time and of course, it can ensure project success.

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