Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Measuring the success of ECM

When it comes to measurements, industry is full of them - but IT is not. Or rather it is at a very technical level, but not at the business level.

For ECM implementations in particular, the nearest we usually get to measurements are in dodgy ROI calculations that are appended to even more dubious business cases. There should be much more granular measurements undertaken to justify and to hone ECM technology into the machine for change that it can and should be.

What I mean by this is that to run an ECM system effectively we should be constantly monitoring:
  • The processes that the ECM system drives
  • Systems usage
  • Time taken to search and access
  • Time taken from check out to check in again
  • Who is using the system and when (and in some cases why)
  • Which files are used, and which sit dormant
It's all data that is available within the system, yet few (very few) make use of it - it would be good if ECM vendors could learn from business application vendors - and provide simple dashboards and metrics templates.

Why? Why bother with all this? Because then we have control of the ECM system, and we can measure expected and required usage, against actual. Allowing us to modify and continually improve the system over time. Rather than allowing it to become an expensive online storage system - with mountains of redudancy, duplication and waste that so many become.

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