Today’s organizations feel the pressure to accomplish more and more with fewer resources. For many employees, it’s a struggle to stay on top of daily workflows because they’re inundated with information and hampered by inefficient, paper-based business processes. No wonder more organizations are seeking out paperless office solutions.
As with any technology initiative, there’s more to a successful paperless office initiative than purchasing the right paperless office software and hardware. You also need a strategic process that guides you toward your goal.
Getting Buy-In From The Leadership Team
The most fundamental requirement for a successful initiative is getting buy-in from directors and C-level executives. Getting that buy-in helps to set the direction and goals for the project and push it forward. That’s why the first stage in going paperless is to create an internal enterprise content management (ECM) team.
This team should include the aforementioned leaders, representative stakeholders and internal experts who are able to offer feedback from each department about the challenges and opportunities they face in going paperless. You may also want to bring an external ECM professional into the leadership team — either a third-party consultant or ECM vendor — to guide the conversation about what’s feasible.
The goal is to ensure that each department has a voice in the initiative and understands the objectives and what’s feasible. When selecting stakeholders, choose a representative group of people who are able to explain and disseminate this vision to the rest of the organization. The stakeholders should also be high enough in the organization that they’re able to push the leadership team’s agenda, whether that’s to improve cash flow or increase visibility into how long it takes to process files.
Without an ECM leadership team, the initiative is likely to fizzle due to lack of support, or get stuck in conflicting agendas.
Choosing The Right Group Of People
It’s important to choose this team carefully: You need different departments to work together toward a paperless strategy, and directors often have their own ideas, interests and problems. A common mistake is for one department to resist changing the way it does business while expecting other departments to accommodate them by changing their methods.
When these situations arise, having an executive on the team keeps the overarching goal in sight and helps departments to work out their differences as you roll out the system. Take a team approach, and focus on helping everyone improve by going paperless.
As with any technology initiative, you need a strategic process and roadmap in place to become a paperless office. While it may be tempting to push ahead and take shortcuts to reach that goal, each stage in your initiative plays an essential role in creating a successful paperless solution.
Ready to learn more? Download our e-book, Become A Paperless Company In Less Than 90 Days, and discover the six-step process for making your paperless office a reality.