We’ve covered in the past how ECM and BPA (Business Process Automation) are stronger together than the sum of their individual values. But these systems can still be a significant investment for any firm. The scale of your firm can dictate the cost and scale of the appropriate ECM and BPA tools you use, but the cost can easily range from 5-7 figures to set up all the necessary software in a quality fashion.
How can one justify an investment like this before, during, and after its implementation? Getting buy-in from the entire company for a widespread adoption of a comprehensive enterprise system is difficult – so don’t start with that!
One Step at a Time
You know the security and compliance benefits of a strong ECM system, but oftentimes prevention just isn’t motivating enough to spur action, even when it’s vitally necessary. The social sciences are full of examples where we don’t take sound preventative measures in advance of a disaster, and instead tend to focus only on things we perceive as advancing us – it’s human nature.
We at Beach Street look to the Diffusion of Innovations Curve for the solution (sorry for the pun) to this problem – choose the right system for your whole enterprise, but start by only solving one critical, high-value problem for one eager division of your firm.
The rest will come naturally after that. Use success in this one division to create momentum and buy-in from within your own firm so you can protect it in the long term while creating value for the business processes.
What are the benefits to a modular system like this?
- Prove it by actually solving something!
- Faster and more successful initial implementation by focusing the effort on just ONE thing
- As one department encounters success, it encourages others to enroll in the ECM program
- Role-based interfaces make it easier to add incremental divisions to the system, making the threshold to entry lower for late comers
- Common resources of multiple divisions have already been prepared and can mentor new users
Where to Start?
Over our 10 years of experience providing ECM implementation services, we’ve found patterns in how to determine which solutions work best to start the process.
Here’s a general outline of how we picture a modular implementation process working:
While the plan above is an outline we tailored for one of our Public Sector clients, the principles remain sound for any industry:
- BIGGEST PAIN FIRST – There is typically a single system within the organization that is especially painful and in need of an upgrade (in this case Contracts Lifecycle Management). Our standard solutions cover the ones we’ve seen most often.
- LEVERAGE – This becomes the vehicle for the initial implementation of an ECM system that the business has desired for some time for security and compliance
- SECOND/EXTERNAL TIER – Once this is in place, the system is expanded to other core processes facing external parties such as vendors and customers (citizens in a Public Sector example)
- SMOOTH THE GAPS – With the system having gained large momentum within the company’s high value activities, creating compliance and security for other departmental activities is now a much simpler and lower threshold
In short, the initial success from solving that initial “biggest pain” creates buy in from subsequent business areas. Each department that experiences the time savings and efficiency gains of a BPA enabled ECM encourages other departments to volunteer for entry into the system. This in turn replaces the classic user adoption problem with a new problem of meeting internal demand, which is a much better problem to have.
Interested in learning more about how this modular design process can work for your firm? Leave us a comment or reach out here!