Case Study: Managing Information – How and Why


PHIGs GraphicThis is the second case study type thing I’m trying. It’ll likely be the last for a while as I have nothing left that I can publish without getting sued. Ah, the joys of being an independent consultant. Anyways …

This case study has to do with the project referenced in the two posts linked below. You may want to read them to get a better overall view of the project :

  1. Don’t Blame SharePoint;
  2. Guerrilla Tactics – IG Whether or not They Want It.

The document I’m sharing is part of a set of four docs that were delivered to the client. The purpose of each document is explained in the case study document.

The client in the case study builds electricity infrastructure; they are heavily regulated. They took the decision a while back to use SharePoint as their ECM pillar (though they don’t really know what ECM is). They also don’t have an Information Management strategy, nor any type of dedicated information governance structure. Though they rely heavily on information, and generate tons of intellectual property, they don’t do much about treating information as an asset. As far as they are concerned, information is IT’s problem and the business is just a client.

I was working as a subcontractor with ARC Business Solutions on this project. One of the key contributors to the project and the document was Chris Riley. You can follow Chris on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HoardingInfo. We knew early on in the project that the client was in ECM trouble and needed help. Though not part of the project mandate we wrote the docs up anyway (No. We didn’t bill the client extra.).

Without further ado … click the link and check it out: Managing Information at client name.

Feedback is appreciated.

The image in this post is my first attempt at visually representing the Principles of Holistic Information Governance. Click on it for the original PHIGs post and a larger version of the image.

Chris Riley, along with Shadrach White, is a co-author of Enterprise Content Management with Microsoft SharePoint.

PHIGs Graphics


I’m working on a graphic to represent the PHIGs. Which do you prefer?

Grahic A

PHIGs Graphic

Graphic B

PHIGs Graphic B

Graphic C

PHIGs Graphic C

 

Adopting ECM – A Case Study in Failure


Head in HandsEarlier this year I completed an assessment of Alfresco for a university client. The university licensed Alfresco several years ago and did not have much success. They hired me to find out why, and what to do about it. The options they wanted to look at were to continue on with Alfresco or switch to SharePoint. An option they weren’t willing to consider was a cloud based option. I gave them one anyways, based on Box. Unfortunately I was asked to remove that option from the final report. Oh well.

While the platform in question was Alfresco, I can’t stress enough that the failure had nothing to do with the platform. Under the circumstance nothing would have succeeded. You can read a bit about it in an earlier post here.

I’m trying something a little different; because of my altruistic nature I am making the final report available as a downloadable PDF. I figure there’s stuff in it that many could use, and perhaps critique that would be helpful.

I want to thank Laurence Hart for his contribution to the report and the overall project. Thanks, Laurence. You can follow Laurence on twitter at https://twitter.com/piewords and check out his blog at http://wordofpie.com/.

Anyways, just follow the link and you ought to get to the report (no fees, no signup, no tracking). Feel free to provide feedback.

University ECM Assessment – I’m using Box to share this content. Please let me know if you have any issues.

Image: “Paris Tuileries Garden Facepalm statue” by Alex E. Proimos – http://www.flickr.com/photos/proimos/4199675334/. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Today I Earned My CIP


CertInfoProfI wrote AIIM’s Certified Information Professional (CIP) exam in March 2015. Two hours to answer 100 multiple choice questions across six knowledge areas. I finished in 41 minutes. Frankly, I suggest that anyone who needs the entire two hours should probably not be working in any area related to managing information.

I wrote the exam not because I wanted the certificate for any particular reason, but because I wanted to assess my competence across the various domains. In preparation for the exam I did absolutely nothing other than what I do on a regular basis. I worked on my projects, I engaged with the information management community, I read, I wrote, and I attended the annual AIIM conference. I admit to a certain amount of trepidation in my approach as I may have found out I’m not as “expert” as I had initially thought.

As it turned out, I missed my target score by 0.9% overall, but I passed the exam and in a few weeks I’ll get an email, a certificate, and a pin (apparently I’m on my own to get the tattoo). I’m pretty pleased, not because I passed, but because the score breakdown shows me where I need to put in some additional effort in my professional development (not that anyone should ever consider not putting in effort). My breakdown is as follows:

  • Access / Use – I scored about what I expected and I’m happy with that.
  • Capture / Manage – I scored a little higher than I expected. I’m a bit “meh” about that one as the capture part isn’t really where I put a lot of focus, but I do spend a fair bit of time dealing with the manage piece.
  • Collaborate / Deliver – I scored lower than I expected. I’ll need to put some additional effort in here.
  • Secure / Preserve – I scored way higher than I expected. This one scares me as it may indicate that I ought to get into Records Management or something.
  • Architecture / Systems – I scored about what I expected. I would have been seriously bummed if I’d scored lower than expected as this is where I make most of my living.
  • Plan / Implement – See above.

I’d love to get a question-by-question breakdown of what my scores were; I’ll bet money that there are some AIIM and I could debate. Having taken some AIIM training in the past, I know that sometimes the answers on the exams are based on the course content rather than what happens in the real world. I’m cool with that as there are just too many possible right answers to account for them all in an exam.

Assuming the course goes ahead, I’ll likely continue with some professional development in May by taking AIIM’s ECM course in Calgary. I already have the ECM Master certificate (along with ERM and EMM), but I’m not after the certificate. I’m after what I can learn by attending the sessions and leveraging the discussions with the instructor (Jesse Wilkins) and the other attendees. I know that there are some who attend training for the piece of paper, and that’s cool in an academic setting. In real life, the take away has to be the experience and the knowledge. The paper is, maybe, a good piece of personal marketing.

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the pat down and scan upon entering the exam facility; the TSA and CATSA could learn a thing or two.

AIIM2015 – Quick Thoughts


IMG_1301This year the annual AIIM Conference was held in San Diego, California; way better than last year’s location which was really a few hotels sitting on reclaimed swamp land or something. And it was great to reconnect with people and meet some new folks and blah, blah, blah ….

Overall I found this year’s event much better than last year’s. This could be because: A) I had no responsibilities as a speaker or representative of any company in any form; B) The content was just way more compelling to me. Either way the AIIM crew, led by Georgina Clelland (recently promoted to VP of something at AIIM, deservedly so), deserves huge congratulations. If I’m not dead or incapacitated I fully intend to be at the 2016 conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

On to the good stuff …

Priorities

IMG_1324I have to say that I was pretty dismayed, though completely unsurprised, that most people and organizations still view managing information from the risk / compliance side of the ledger. Even one of the vendors I spoke to understood that their tools could do so much more if they were employed for insight and analytics, rather than for responding and defending against discovery and compliance issues. During the conference AIIM ran an informal, unscientific survey about organizational priorities; the results are over there <-.

Information Governance

Information Governance seemed to be a hot topic this year, with at least a couple of roundtables and one panel discussion dedicated to it. Good news, right? Sort of. Between the sessions I attended and discussions I had, no one offered up a definition of Information Governance. In fact, one of the IG vendors went so far as to say that they don’t do IG, they’re merely a small part of it. For the record, this is the same vendor that opined their tool could be used for value as well as risk. Regardless of the lack of a cohesive definition (just shows that what the IGI, I, and others have said is true) it was apparent that IG is an important topic.

Enterprise File Sync and Share (aka The mmppfff Problem)

You don’t think that file syncing and sharing is important or disruptive? I don’t know how many sessions at the conference covered the topic, but I attended three:

While Lubor’s session was not explicitly about EFSS, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out where things are headed. Actually, you could say that we’re already there, but just not in a very polished way. In his session, Alan pointed out that, while working for some client or other, he and his team stopped counting once they’d reached 130 EFSS vendors.

EFSS is a big deal. No, it won’t kill ECM; depending on the vendor, it will BE ECM. Don’t believe me? Think about ECM vendors coming out with their own EFSS offerings. Some because it’s the future, some because it’s the only way to defend against the likes of some of our favourite EFFS players (130+? Holy Carp!)

Bits and Pisces

Lane Severson and I chatting about big data, analytics, data scientists (that kinda stuff) – if your data scientist type people don’t understand your business and context, they’re not worth it.

The guys in the corner from a three-letter ECM vendor now flogging an EFSS solution – if you can’t answer the simple questions, why are you here? Seriously. Why?

You know who you are – a roundtable session is not where you talk about your product for 20+ minutes to the point the AIIM monitor person has to step in and tell you to give everyone else a turn. That said, once you stopped talking it turned into a pretty good session.

Surprised but not by the absence of some of the EFSS players. You should have been there; I think it would have worked out better than last year.

Panel moderators should be like hockey referees; we don’t know they’re there until a fight breaks out.