Collaborative Document Management: be user-centric!
The digital revolution is under way and is transforming most organizations. This naturally impacts the working environment of your employees. Traditional approaches from DMS (Document Management Systems) are no longer sufficient to address this issue. What is the use of the traditional Acquisition – Treatment – Access – Diffusion framework when employees exchange information and documents by e-mail or even by instant messaging?
Match modern usages
Why spend whole days designing and evolving a classification map when the user is more and more accustomed to typing a search engine query to access content on the Internet (remember Yahoo’s and Google ways to access to content: the first has now almost disappeared).
Personal or professional social networks are now common tools for your employees and the action of sharing and commenting a document within a community (project team, department, etc.), subscribe to a publication feed, follow this or that person, are more and more natural.
However, it can be important for organization to capitalize on these more or less informal exchanges and to keep control over the reference materials.
Meet the needs of employees
The phenomenon of consumerization of IT makes it clear : nature hates emptiness! This means that if the tools made available by organizations do not meet the needs of employees, they will find solutions, sometimes outside the official channels: consider the uncontrolled use of file sharing services.
Make exchanges and collaborative work easier
Become user-centric is making Document Management more efficient for organizations and making it more value-creating.
Therefore, make it closer to the needs of users facilitates exchanges and collaborative work but also makes it easier to find documents or information they need when and where they need them.
A basic set of features could be the following:
- notifications and alerts that will prevent e-mail circulation
- instant messaging
- the ability to search easily in the content, without specific competencies or special knowledge,
- to be sure that the version of the document is the last one
- Simple, secure and flexible (scalable) management of access rights
- co-authoring systems that make it for many people to work on the same document
- the possibility of commenting / annotating
- the ability to map (capitalize) a process of collective and collaborative thinking
- the ability to share a calendar
- the ability to subscribe / follow content
- directly accessing a shared area, dedicated to its main activity (ie a specific project)
Focus on simple, intuitive and flexible approach
Nevertheless, be careful. Implementing too much complex solutions that will try to fulfil all the expressed needs could finally satisfy none because of that complexity.
Focus instead on a simple, intuitive and flexible approach that makes it easier to use the tool and allow users to create and develop their own use cases, while enabling the organization to better capitalize on the content and knowledge produced.
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