Content or process is the common dichotomy in Information Management projects. Do we focus on getting the content into the system, on the assumption that processes will naturally follow? Or do we focus on the process, and assume that the content will follow? And what about our users?
In this three part blog, I will reflect on the common dichotomy in Information Management projects between content versus process. And I will reflect upon different ways of thinking about the problem.
EDRMS projects are commonly driven by content considerations. In particular, they are driven by records compliance consideration. Such projects are underpinned by the assumption that if all unstructured digital content is migrated into the EDRMS – from the legacy EDRMS, from network drives, from document storage repositories in business systems etc. – processes and users will naturally follow.
The history of EDRMS implementations, however, does not necessarily bear out these assumptions. Users, in many organisations, are not active users of their corporate EDRMS. Indeed, many users will have limited need to use the system – while some users will actively avoid usage of the system at all.
An EDRMS might be full of content while being underutilised by its users. Why might this be so? Many business processes might require users to create or use some unstructured content (i.e. documents). Therefore when the substantive process relates to document-centric tasks (e g. creation, editing, and approval of documents), there is an obvious driver for users to manage the process within the EDRMS – especially as an EDRMS is primarily concerned with document-centric activities.
In Part 2, I will talk about subverting the usual EDRMS paradigm and reflect upon processes that are not document-centric.