Pre-ECM Project Checklist: Object Storage Decision

We’re going to add one more item to our pre-ECM project checklist:

1) Where should we store our content?

Database storage used to be expensive.  In the 1950’s, the cost per megabyte of storage exceeded $10,000/MB.  Today, the cost has dropped to a few cents.  Not only have storage costs dropped, so have memory costs as they have followed the same price drop as storage.  Taking advantage of lower costs; most DB manufacturers have begun offering high performance in memory databases (IMDB – In-Memory Database).

From an ECM perspective; because of the higher database costs, content storage solutions were designed to use databases to store only the metadata or the index values associated with content, and the actual files and documents were stored on cheaper file storage devices.   While lowering costs, this approach meant that ECM solutions were forced with managing, synchronizing, backing up, and designing applications where index values were one place and the actual documents, audio/video files were somewhere else. Continue reading

How to Increase ECM Team Efficiency

In the course of doing some work for one of our partners – we were asked to take a look at the existing workload for their ECM team.  This particular ECM team has done a great job maintaining and integrating ECM components from a variety of vendors.  As typical in such an environment – we found that everyone on the team had primary support duties for at least one component, and was involved in customer support issues or updating /enhancing one or more of the company’s ECM products on pretty much a daily basis.  Continue reading

Risk Management

The company you’re working for or consulting for will most likely be sued at some time given today’s litigious environment.  As ECM project manager are you knowledgeable and do you have the proper documentation (records of ediscovery, document retention, disposition, etc.) that is required to mitigate the risks in a lawsuit?

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Plan for Differences

Oktoberfest – the largest party in the world is currently being held in Munich. As a project manager, I would love to see the project plan details for preparing and hosting a party attended by 7 million people and dealing with the drunken patrons locally called “Bierleichen” (German for beer corpses).

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Take a step back to educate!

As project managers – we’re used to dealing with and preparing for uncertainty and risks.  If you were managing a project to improve an existing product or develop a new product, you would most likely be dealing with a project sponsor who was an operations or product manager who could clearly articulate his/her goals and requirements.  In essence your project risk right out of the gate is lessened with explicit project goals and a well-defined set of requirements.

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Part II – Evaluating ECM Projects

In Part I, “ECM Project Costs and Benefits”, I discussed the different types of costs and benefits – and which of those costs and benefits were applicable in evaluating an ECM project.  Continuing this topic, I want to address the financial aspects of an ECM project.

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Part I – ECM Project Costs and Benefits

ECM technology has been maturing for the past few years – and with this maturation comes a wider range of price points and expertise allowing for the benefits of ECM to be utilized by smaller companies and to truly encompass ever smaller business processes and departments within an enterprise.  Regardless of the size of the ECM project, each will be scrutinized by some type of cost/benefit analysis to determine whether to proceed with the project.

Today, we’re going to talk specifically about costs and the flip side of the coin – benefits or cost reductions.  More specifically, I hope that the following information will increase your comfort level in dealing with ‘he/she who holds the purse strings’ – from RFP stage through negotiations that ensue regarding the trade-offs between scope, resources (costs)  and time frame on your project.

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