Start talking about “technology change” to any organizational leader, and the conversation inevitably switches to “change management” like a wet blanket thrown over a campfire.
But change management is only as hard as the technology it’s trying to champion. The problem is not the process, but rather our long history of solutions that are poorly designed, hard to use, difficult to implement, and selected with marginal – if any – involvement from the people who will actually use them?
What if we listened to users and delivered what they actually need to make their jobs easier?
“User-centric document management” was once an oxymoron in the same category as “jumbo shrimp”, “clearly confused” or “Advanced BASIC” (for IT readers!). This is no longer necessarily true. That means change management becomes an enabler, not an obstacle, when you consider document management solutions.
It’s only recently that document management has embraced user friendliness. According to AIIM, over 60% of existing ECM (enterprise content management) and document management implementations report that their biggest challenge is usability.
This is the unfortunate legacy of early document and content management systems. They were overly complex, focused on specialists versus everyday knowledge workers, driven by IT decision-making rather than the functional leaders, and were not designed with usability and mobility in mind. The net result? An explosion of change management concerns when it came to implementing these systems.
But it no longer has to be that way. Document management has come a long way in the last few years. Cloud-driven innovations have revolutionized the end-user experience. Lessons learned in first- and second-generation document management implementations have led to greater end-user engagement in the planning stages of a project. Users are demanding solutions that work consistently across phones, tablets and laptops, and the business is demanding solutions that work seamlessly across on-premises or cloud environments. Automating digital workflow takes weeks, not years.
All of these technology and market changes dramatically reduce the friction of change management. That doesn’t mean the necessity of careful planning and early-stage stakeholder engagement has disappeared. But moving into an era where “user-centric document management” is no longer an oxymoron enables to have productive technology conversations without the risk of wet blankets thrown on top.
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