Implementation plan for your Document Management or Email Archiving / Discovery Solution
For successfully executing and implementing a Document Management System (EDMS) project, a lot of important documents need to be created. These multiple documents state the scope, constraints and the vision of the project to be achieved by implementing a document management or email archiving and discovery system. Below are some of the documents that can be useful for planning the project execution:
- Project Execution Plan – This is a project management plan for the implementation of the document management / email archiving solution. How many libraries are to be created. User permissions. Specific information on the various document types. Methods of capturing searchable meta data, such as, key from image, barcode and zonal OCR.
- Scope of Execution Plan – The functionality that is to be included should be identified, for example, the extent to which the document management system is to be interfaced with the line-of-business solution.
- Project Schedule – Supporting the Project Execution Plan, this document provides a list of activities, tasks, milestones, target dates, resource utilization and costing details of the project.
- Risk Management Plan – In case the Project Execution has any issues then there should be a contingency plan for it. This document manages the issues that arise during project execution.
- System Changeover Plan – If there is any existing DMS system, then this document has the plan for migrating the legacy systems. Details such as whether the legacy system will be decommissioned are included as part of this document. Some legacy document management systems have archaic storage methodology and are quite often designed for keeping the data hostage. There may be a loss of some legacy data after the changeover is complete.
- Data Migration Plan – The document will define the scope, methodology, and deliverables for addressing the requirements of migrating data from existing system. Migrating data from one system to another may compromise some of the data and could also take months to complete the migration.
- Training Plan – This document will define the scope, methodology, and deliverables necessary to meet the requirements of the Training Needs Analysis/Specification. Train the trainer is the preferred practice when DocuLex performs the training sessions.
- System Integration Test Plan – This document defines the testing requirements for different systems, backup and recovery, and any associated technical infrastructure. ODBC connectivity testing between the line of business database and Archive Studio is common prior to going live. DocuLex add-on’s and plug-in’s for Microsoft Office.
- System Acceptance Test Plan – This document defines the scope, methodology, and deliverables to meet the requirements. A complete rollout into production can take from two weeks to six months, depending on the complexity requirements, multiple training locations and amount of users. This may not include the complete migration of legacy data.
- Post implementation Review Document – Once the document management / email archiving system is implemented this document has the parameters based on which it can be ascertained if the document management / email archiving solution met the objectives identified for the implementation.
Apart from the various documents, it is also important to identify the objectives of the system and document them. The follow apply:
- Improve efficiency through reduction of business processes and systems
- Provide consistent data to customer queries through well formatted reports
- Define business rules and automate them with business process workflow
- Define ownership of data and regulate permissions
- Improve document control and security
- Provide architecture that is:
- Scalable and extensible for growth and wider deployment
- Flexible to cater to diverse business needs and litigations
- Rationalize different data repositories and, wherever needed integrate different databases
- Decommission systems that are redundant and those not important to business
Though documenting can be a tedious process, the benefits of documentation are important. These documents can act as a design and implementation roadmap that is easily understood by all parties involved in the implementation of the document management / email archiving solution. This documentation depicts the boundaries of interoperability by all parties and products.
Any document management system should go through a quality management process. But before defining the process, it’s important to clearly identify the requirements as part of the implementation strategy.
Some of the quality checks may include:
- Data dictionary evaluation to see how different attributes are related and captured in the document management system process.
- Documentation versioning.
- Data integrity check.
- Checking the indexing process to evaluate the consistency of search results based on given search criteria. Proper indexing and classification of metadata is important for an effective document management system.
A quality assurance check needs clearly defined roles and expectations. Quality assurance plan documents may include:
- Stating the person who will do the assessment and review the project.
- When it will be done.
- Standards and procedures to follow.
- Actions to take should if a data or functionality issue arises.
- Any internal or external quality analysis to be done.
- How assessment of project progress will take place
A person or a team can take ownership of quality assurance activities. In either case, it’s important to identify the skills needed for testing the document management system.
Software quality assurance activities can include checking:
- Processing and response time.
- Operating environments and system compatibility
Many evaluation techniques are available for assessing software. They may be grouped according to software evaluation, information evaluation, and interface evaluation. It’s important to make the quality assurance specific to the document management system.
Once you have a document management system that meets your requirements, you should consider a secure way to manage stored documents. To start, ask yourself these questions:
- What type of digital documents will you store? For example, .doc format documents take up more space than .docx documents
- How many different versions of a document will you store? Determine the type of documents whose multiple versions will be stored online or in backup. Storing only two versions of documents in cache and the remainder in storage media might impact the retrieval time for documents.
- Will you store all parts of an archived document? For instance, will archived email messages contain attachments and images?
- Will you convert documents to a format that saves storage space? If so, when the document is retrieved it should display in its original format
Proper planning helps you determine the right hardware configuration. You should also anticipate your storage needs for the next three to five years before getting the hardware.
Regardless of location, users should search and retrieve documents at the same speed. But performance depends on many factors, some of which fall outside the document management system. So enterprises should recognize such constraints when defining performance criteria, which include:
- The operating system and browser.
- Configuration of the machine. Define the optimum processor speed for document management system retrieval.
- Network bandwidth. Evaluate performance over the LAN versus accessing the Internet from a remote location.
- Performance. Does it go down when a number of users cross a threshold limit?
- Bytes. Fetching and displaying a larger document might take more time.
- Retrieve and view functionality. Test it using the tool from the document management system vendor and any other external tool that the organization plans to use.
- Response time. Measure it from the time a user presses the enter key until the full document displays on the workstation screen.
Apart from these specifications, an organization should specifically define the performance requirements of the document management system. These requirements can be updated based on multiple testing. Such a document lets users know what to expect. Some performance parameters include the time needed to:
- Launch a document management system client tool.
- Archive a document based on size.
- View a document based on size.
- Retrieve single and multiple documents based on a search key.
Any performance requirement can depend on a variety of conditions, such as size of document or storage medium. Tests should be done when multiple users access the system in an actual operating scenario. An organization can’t depend solely on data from the vendor because each environment differs.
Social media seems to have expanded to everything we do. More and more, people have become engaged and active through social media applications. This activity has also created a massive volume of data, which makes managing information created through social media more relevant. But the marriage of social media and document management systems has its challenges. For example:
- In social media, information is shared and visible all. Staying open is the main driving force of social media websites
- Censoring social media is difficult.
- Each company has its own social media policies. Many companies ban social media Websites on company networks.
- Social media has a lot of personal content. Software must include the ability to differentiate business information.
- Document management has more static information, whereas social media information gets updated frequently.
To blend with social media, document management companies should consider these key points:
- Be location independent. Executives or clients anywhere in the world should be able to see and update documents.
- Because social media is usually a place for networking, information will have to be managed in a networked way.
- Immediate availability of published documents is important.
- It should be easy to share and access all types and sizes of documents from anywhere at any time. Content posted by people in the network or group can be duplicated or copied from some other source. So an intelligent copyscape tool is needed so no violations occur.
- Business intelligence (other than just grabbing, storing, and distributing) will have to be built into the new document management system.
It is high time for document management system providers to innovate and provide a valid solution for social media users.
Once a required DMS tool is built as per functional requirements, the next important consideration is about storage. Organizations should provide a secure system for DMS tool in order to manage documents in primary or secondary storage. Consequently this means short listing a vendor product to install mass storage capacities during each stage of development and probably across the organization.
Building a storage facility for documents need to be done after defining the requirements of storage capacity. In order to do so, the following points should be noted:
- Type of digital documents to be stored: This will help in getting an approximate size of file. For instance, .doc format documents take up more space compared to .docx documents
- How many different versions of a document will be stored? It is important to determine the type of documents whose multiple versions will be stored online or in backup. If all versions of documents are stored online then this might take more space on cache. Rather, if only 2 versions of documents are stored in cache and the remainder in storage media, this might impact the retrieval time for documents.
- When a document is archived should all the parts of the document be stored? For instance, email messages that are archived may contain attachments and some images.
- Documents stored in repository should be stored in an ideal format: For instance all documents can be converted to a format that saves more space in storage. But when this document is retrieved it should display back in original format
It is important for the organization to understand that capacity planning is a must, otherwise the whole tool cannot work appropriately. Proper planning of storage helps in determining the right hardware configuration for the DMS tool. It is also best to make an approximation for the next 3 -5 years of storage needs before procuring the hardware.
In a globalized business environment, users are unaware of physical location of servers. A user sitting in an offshore location might have a file server location in USA or vice versa. But irrespective of location, the users should be able to search and retrieve documents at the same speed.
Given that users can search data from any location, the DMS tool should provide a high level of system performance, .i.e. it should support satisfactorily the entire user base of an organization. But the performance of a system depends on a lot of factors, some of which are external to the DMS tool. Hence, the enterprises should recognize such constraints and state any assumptions made when defining performance criteria.
It is important to state these assumptions in the Nonfunctional Requirements Specification. Some of these requirements are:
- Configuration of the machine such as RAM, Processor speed from which the DMS tool retrieval will be optimum should be defined
- Organizations network bandwidth is also important. It is essential to evaluate the performance over the LAN versus access from Internet (while accessing form home). LAN Usage Patterns reports can be monitored.
- Performance should also be explicitly stated in reference to the Operating System and Browser.
- It is important to test the performance of the tool when multiple users access it. So if performance of the tool goes down when a number of users cross a threshold limit, then it is important to mention it.
- Document retrieval should be defined in terms of number of bytes. For instance a bigger size document might take more time to be fetched and displayed to the user.
- Retrieve and view functionality should be tested using the tool provided by the DMS vendor and any other external tool that the organization plans to deploy.
- Response times should be measured, from the time user presses the enter key until the full document is displayed on the workstation screen.
Apart from the above specifications, it is also important that the organization specifically define the Performance Requirements of the DMS tool. These requirements can be updated based on multiple testing. Such a document provides a baseline for customers of the organization on what to expect from the tool. Some of the parameters that can be defined for performance are:
- Time needed for DMS client tool to launch
- Time needed for a document to be archived based on size. Ex: 10kb, 2MB etc
- Time needed for a document to be viewed based on size. Ex: 10kb, 2MB etc
- Time needed to retrieve multiple documents based on a search key
- Time needed to retrieve single documents based on a search key
Any performance requirement can depend on a variety of conditions, such as size of document (letter, legal, or A4), storage medium (magnetic or optical) etc. Tests should be done when multiple users are simultaneously accessing the system in an actual operating scenario. It is not possible for an organization to depend solely on the vendor provided data because each environment differs.
A Document Management system (DMS) should be subjected to the quality management process through proper documentation and recorded procedure of the business process. But before the quality process is defined, it is important that requirements are clearly identified as part of the implementation strategy.
The quality may be assessed in a number of ways, depending upon the way the DMS is implemented. Some of the quality checks may include:
- Data dictionary evaluation to check how different attributes are related and captured in the DMS process.
- Documentation versioning
- Data integrity check
- Check the Indexing process to evaluate the consistency of search results based on given search criteria. Proper indexing and classification of metadata is important for an effective DMS Tool
In order to do the QA Check, it is important that roles and expectations are defined correctly. Hence Quality assurance (QA) plan documents may comprise the following:
- Explicitly stating the person who is going to conduct the assessment and review the project. This can be a QA team or an external expert. A date on when it will be done is also needed.
- Standards and procedures that will be followed need to be defined. This will help the QA reviewer(s).
- Actions to be taken should there be an issue on particular data or functionality. For example, Root Cause analysis document of any issue will help the reviewer
- If any internal Quality Check such as Internal Quality Analysis (A person from within the development team) or External Quality Analysis (A person from outside the development team) needs to be done.
- How assessment of project progress is to take place
Specific QA responsibilities may be required by project participants. These all can be defined while determining the QA plan. Alternatively, there can be a single team or a person who will take ownership of QA activities. But in either care it is important to identify the skill set needed for DMS testing.
Any software QA activities can be assessed in terms of the following:
- To check the functionality of software
- To check the reliability of software in case of failures
- To check the usability of software when put to use for future users
- To check the processing and response time for software
- To check the software in different operating environments. For example, Operating system compatibility
There are many evaluation techniques available for assessing softwares. They may be grouped according to software evaluation, information evaluation, and evaluation of the interface between the user and information through the software. It is important that the QA strategy be specific to the DMS tool. For example, when referring to document indexing procedures, QA documentation should check the indexing field, whether the indexing field location is fixed or floating, etc. These may be complemented by written instructions on difficulties and errors encountered and how it has been resolved.
Social media is expanding to everything we use. Rather than sitting back, people are engaged and active through social media applications. With increase in people network and interactions, massive volume of data is getting created. With flow of information through Social media increasing, the role of document management systems (DMS) in managing information created through social media is becoming more relevant. But marriage of DMS and Social media has its challenges. Some of them are
1- In Social media, information is shared and is visible across to all. Staying Open is the main driving force of famous social media websites
2- It is difficult to censor social media.
3- Each company has its own social media policies. Interestingly lot of big companies ban social media websites on company website and networks.
4- Authencity of content/documents produced in social media is questionable. Plagiarism is common.
5- Social media has lot of personal content. Differentiating information that needs to be used for business needs to be built into software. As of today Law agencies use personal information for analysis ( for example FBI wants to monitor social media to solve future crimes) while recruiting firms are using information available in social media to find a potential candidate for their clients.
6- Document Management has more static information. Whereas Social Media information keeps getting updated frequently.
Though challenges are tough, there is always an opportunity in a challenge. World’s best companies have come up from Garages while some others have become smart or more productive when faced with challenges. Nevertheless social media has its own advantages
1- Lot of potential customers are active on social media platforms. Social media platforms provide an opportunity to network and grow.
2- With growing usage of computers/smartphones/tablets, people rely on information from net before choosing anything. Be it reviews of company product/services or to search which company matches its expectation.
3- Social media provide a platform for people across the world to contribute, learn and get updated.
Social media information can be used for wide variety of purpose. Some of the things that Document Management companies will have to do, to blend with Social Media are
- Be location independent. People across the globe should be able to access it. For instance a Multinational companies (MNC) executives or clients located in different continents of the world should be able to see the documents and at the same time be able to update it real time. Synchronization of the work is needed.
- Social media is majorly a networking place. So the document/information will have to be managed in a networked way.
- We have people as friends on social media. We chat/email/comment on each friends contents. Whereas if a person has made his profile public they we have a bigger audience. DMS system should also be shared with a group of people. Basically access control needs to be put in place.
- It should be easy to share and access all types and sizes of documents from anywhere any time. Immediate availability of document published is important.
- Content posted by People in the network or group can be duplicate or copied from some other source. Hence an intelligent copyscape tool is needed so that any kind of violation does not occur.
- Business intelligence other than just grabbing, storing and distribution will have to be built into the new DMS.
If you see the story of Cloud computing, it was seen with suspicion when initially it was launched. But today it has been accepted by lot of industries. It is high time for Document Management system providers to become innovative and provide a solution that will be noticeable and accepted by social media users.
Today the world is better connected because of internet/satellite connections. Communications are easy because of advanced technologies. With these technologies you are connected to the world wherever you are. Also with technology on the rise, devices are becoming smaller and smarter. With these advancements in recent years, the office today is not a fixed location but it can move or be located anywhere. There are teams that collaborate but are physically across different locations/geographies.
Companies are recognizing the importance of working remotely or across multiple locations. The Personal Computer (PC) is at the office desk or at home, but business cannot stop if both are not accessible. Access to applications from mobile/smartphone is needed to better utilize resources and increase productivity since mobile phones travel with us everywhere. Be it Android or Apple or any other mobile operating system, the technology companies’ gadgets make working remote a reality. There are lots of companies who are realigning their strategies to focus on mobile business.
Some of the companies seeing the opportunity in mobile business have created a Document Management system (DMS) that can be installed and used from any portable device. A DMS is a computer program to manage electronic documents on a PC. A mobile DMS will do the same through a mobile device or smartphone. But the question arises why a mobile DMS? The main advantage is access from anywhere rather just at fixed locations. For instance if you want to access/modify a presentation while you are commuting then you can do it. Another example can be to track audit records. For instance a shredder machine is an important proof during audit to prove that secure documents are destroyed after use. Just take your mobile device, click it and archive it. The applications of mobile DMS are enormous.
Businesses that have yet to use it, probably have underestimated the future of mobile DMS. Be it security, adherence to regulations, document workflow, document control, etc, all the features can easily be built into mobile DMS. With your Android, iPhone, or iPad it is possible to access document, review it, create or update it and store it. You can digitally sign documents, authorize purchases, search and download a stored document or update a report into the system from the site etc.
Companies rely on Technology and associated services, to collaborate on different projects and also optimize their business performance. With mobile services, Work does not stop if you are in the office or outside the office. Be it presentations, emails, proposals, contracts, etc everything can be accessed remotely or when you are travelling. As per one statistics by TomiAhonen Consulting, globally only about 10% of the population owns a smartphone. There still a long way to go before smartphones become common but this also is a big business opportunity to develop advanced DMS for mobiles.
Adobe has acknowledged a massive data breach of its systems, resulting in the exposure of personal data on millions of its customers as well as the source code that serves as the foundation to Adobe Acrobat and other products.
Attackers stole personal data of 2.9 million people. The information included customer names, encrypted credit and debit card numbers, expiration dates, and other information related to customer orders.
The company is resetting relevant customer passwords to help prevent unauthorized access to Adobe ID accounts. Affected customers will receive an email notification with information on how to change the Adobe password. Adobe is also notifying customers whose credit or debit card information was exposed in the breach. Banks and credit card processors have been notified of the incident.
The company said it’s not aware of any increased risk to customers as a result of the source code leak.
Adobe said it will work aggressively to prevent these types of events from occurring in the future.
Almost every business deals with a mountain of paperwork. While small businesses deal with fewer documents than multinational corporations, they also have fewer people to handle the documents. That’s where document management software comes in handy — especially if it’s just you running your business.
What is document management software?
As the name implies, it’s a program that lets you store,organize, sort, and retrieve documents. Yes you can already do that with a series of folders, but document management software works more efficiently, particularly if you deal with years and years of invoices, records, and payment data.
Find documents quickly
If you save files in folders, you likely save documents by type. That’s fine when you have a handful of documents, but when you have hundreds or thousands and need quick recall can you easily find the right file?
With document management software, you can search using metadata that you put in the document when you save it. For example, you could add the date of a finished job or invoice, a client’s name, or any relevant data. And with metadata you can include multiple tags so you can search for the same document in different ways and find it quickly.
Can I afford document management?
More important, can you afford to do without it? Most small businesses don’t need expensive systems. Basic document management software offers a lot of help for storing, organizing, and retrieving documents.
Small business owners often think they can get by without document management software—until they have a problem finding or retrieving an important document. This can result in a loss of business or in looking unprofessional in front of clients or vendors.
Adding document management software to your system makes you more professional and lets you focus on doing your work without having to sort through endless files on a regular basis.