DOCUMENT Magazine - Spring 2012 - (Page 10)

COlUMN DOcumEnt, DOcumEnt, whO’s gOt thE DOcumEnt? by Bob Larrivee ave you ever gone to a share drive, file cabinet or even an established technology solution and not been able to find the document you seek? You searched, but yet you still have not found what you are looking for, or even if you did, perhaps your level of certainty as to the accuracy and integrity may be in question. You are not alone. Even though the technology has been available for many years, document management is still a huge challenge in that many organizations still do not have appropriate governance over their information and information management practices. They have installed technology thinking it was a solution, yet there are still issues. Employees are still using share drives and local storage, in other words, the digital landfill has not gone away. I have even heard this from folks who implemented SharePoint thinking that if they constrain document storage to a SharePoint solution, it would solve these problems. The message was clear that SharePoint did not, in fact, solve the problem; it merely moved the digital landfill to a container, which is rapidly becoming a digital dumpster. There are no controls or supporting processes on how documents are handled, where they are stored, version control and how to create and close team sites. This leads back to a fundamental aspect of document management and that is governance and establishing a solid set of guidelines and practices that the organization will follow. This does not even require technology when you think about it. We are simply talking about the establishment of corporate guidelines and standard operating procedures to provide consistency. How documents and information is organized should be the first element of document management that you address. What are the common terms you will use for consistency and also predictability? Perhaps the term invoice rather than statement or bill? Perhaps you will use the term correspondence in place of letters? As I always say, you can search, but will you find, and if you do find, do you know it is the latest version and most accurate? If there is doubt, there is risk. If there is risk, are you willing to take a chance? Are you willing to take a chance of facing litigation, fines and even prison in some regions, but let’s not focus only on the negative, there are also benefits of strong document management practices. Establishing a solid framework for document management structures and practices will improve efficiency, accuracy and costs. When you focus on common terms, taxonomic structure and best practices, your employees will find information that they know is the latest version and the most accurate available. Why? They found documents that were placed with a standard terms set, no doubt as to what it was titled when stored. They found the most accurate because you have version control in place to track the revisions, and they know it is with high integrity as there is an audit trail that presents the life cycle history of who touched it, when it was touched and what happened when it was touched. This is document management and the way you can say, “Document, Document, Who’s Got the Document?” with the answer, “I do, and I know it.” O BOB LARRIVEE is an internationally recognized thought leader with over 30 years of experience in document imaging, content management, records management, the application of advanced technologies and process improvement. He is director of the AIIM Learning Center where he works to identify, develop and deliver specialized training in best practices, technology and methodologies. Mr. Larrivee can be reached at 10 spring.2012 Full column:

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of DOCUMENT Magazine - Spring 2012

DOCUMENT Magazine - Spring 2012
Most Social
Editor’s View
Taking Payments Cues from Millennials
Document, Document, Who’s Got the Document?
Say Goodbye to Big Brother… for Now!
Understanding the Legal and Regulatory Risks in Social Media
Let’s Keep It Private
The Price Is Right
It’s All in the Numbers
Options and Challenges
I Feel a Change Comin’ On
Social Technology & Business
What’s New on

DOCUMENT Magazine - Spring 2012