Who Should Manage Your Documents?

This an important question that many CCM teams ask; and we have seen three approaches to document management that work for different reasons: instructional, empowered, and partnered.

We’ve termed the first option “instructional” because this more traditional method relies heavily on technical specialists receiving frequent and detailed instruction from document contributors and owners. Envision here the subject matter expert relaying their requirements to IT personnel, who may not have much background in document design or production, let alone in legal or marketing matters for example. This approach may be least desirable of the three, due to the significant differences in skills and expertise across all those involved, and because constant back and forth is a permanent feature of this option.

The empowered approach is a newer trend in document management. Here, technical experts in IT administer a document system, which lies behind a user interface allowing document contributors and owners to manage their own content. In other words, the work of IT empowers less technical personnel to participate directly, while keeping the most technically demanding tasks in the hands of IT. This approach takes some knowledge gaps out of play, and greatly reduces the back and forth of the instructional approach. However, while it doesn’t necessarily occupy more of the business users’ time, it does require them to learn some technical aspects of document management. The outcome of the empowered approach is that “the business” truly owns its document content.

The third option, often known as managed services, passes ownership to a partner. The partnered approach relieves IT and subject matter experts from tasks which may be peripheral to their roles. Engaging document experts bypasses internal knowledge gaps and relieves technical burden, allowing employees to focus on their core responsibilities. There is a heavy instructional component up front, though long term the back and forth should greatly lessen, and this lessening is a hallmark of managed services done right. The best partners elicit information by asking the right questions and provide expert consultation on the path forward. Managed services can be viewed as an investment, because as the partnership becomes more integrated over time, the benefits of the relationship increase.

President, Gautam Jit Kanwar, shared in his article for CU Management, that in the end any approach to document management depends on factors unique to your organization. At BelWo we know you have specific needs today, and goals for tomorrow. We’d like to hear from you about where your document management is now, and where you want it to be for the future. We can help make it happen!


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