In the last post (Part 1) I indicated that we were going to talk about the first steps of the establishment of an ECM Center of Excellence organization. But before we go there we have a few other things that need to fall in place.
Establish a ECM Program and Program Manager
For ECM to be successful at a enterprise level, it must be treated as a program. A program with a Steering Committee that is representative of the whole enterprise and leverage it to provide guidance, impetus, and a high-level sign-off for company-wide issues such as the corporate taxonomy, key metadata, and security models as well as critical SLA and Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity requirements. The ECM Steering Committee is responsible for the establishment of a ECM Center of Excellence, first by assigning a ECM Program Manager that is responsible:
• Ensure ECM program services are visible, planned and managed to the client’s goals and objectives
• Facilitate the development of ECM vision and strategy
• Ensures the development, promotion and management of ECM services
• Oversee the creation and adherence of best practices, proven methodologies and processes
• Develop and continuously refine COE metrics and management reporting
Develop an ECM Program Roadmap
One of the first item of the ECM Steering Committee is to assign resources to work with the ECM Program Manager to develop an ECM Program Roadmap. First step of the ECM Program Roadmap is to evaluate current state followed by gathering current and future business and IT needs. Once the current state and needs are determined then the high-level future architecture is defined. A gap analysis from current to future is performed which drives the rest of the ECM roadmap. The roadmap needs to address both the ECM COE development/implementation, ECM technology planning/design/deployment tasks and the establishment of measurements/system validation tasks.
The ECM COE Foundation Development group of tasks in the ECM Program Roadmap, includes the identification of needed services, and a development plan for the COE resources. The development of key ECM COE processes to run the COE as well as develop and deliver the needed services.
The ECM Technology Planning & Design group of task focuses on the development of the ECM Technical architecture and produce the architecture artifacts to integrate into your Enterprise Architecture. On of the important artifacts that I want to point out is the concept of Solution Patterns. Later I will discuss packaged (tiered services) and these solution patterns provide governance when to use particular packages and provides guidelines around the extension (customization) of these packages. The other activity of this grouping is the development of an ECM Technology Deployment Plan which will be a detailed plan and timeline of the deployment of all the ECM underpinning as well as the services provided to the organization
Identify ECM COE Offered Services
During evaluate the current state (first swim lane) of the ECM Program roadmap, information was gathered to define a high-level architecture to meet the business/IT needs. Now the ECM COE resources look at the business challenges/objectives and the future architecture and define appropriate levels of functionality for various segments of the potential user base.
ECM COE and business units work together to define various packages or tiers of ECM functionality (for example: ranging from packages with basic store-and-retrieve capabilities, to more advance packages offering revision-control and automated workflow capabilities). Other tiers may take into account the acceptance of change in the business units. Some business units may desire mature services and avoid change while others may require more leading edge technology which typically involves introduction of technology on a more frequent basis.
While leveraging package solutions is the desired for fast deployment and cost containment of ECM to the business, it may not meet all the requirement of the business. In that case the package can be used as the base and custom components augment the package to meet the business needs. All custom components will be design with reuse in mind and could be considered ECM COE services as well.
Using the Current/Planned ECM technology and the project pipeline, a prioritized delivery plan of packages and custom components can be developed. The Industry ECM Direction can be used to determine other services/packages that might need to be developed that are not currently needed by projects in the pipeline. Services that have no immediate need but need is expected in the near term, should be noted and once the ECM COE has needed services implemented, these will be areas of research focus (Research is a key recommended process that will not be discussed in this presentation).
So far we have been talking about technology services but the ECM COE also provides Advise & Consult Role based services to the enterprise. Services such as:
ECM Solution Design Services – ECM COE Architect Role provides the knowledge to develop business solutions leveraging the ECM technologies. These solutions can be either: Content Storage and Retrieval Solutions: These solutions are primarily focused on centrally managing content (paper and electronic) as well as content retrieval. Typically a generic client is provided for retrieval. Document Centric Workflow Solutions: These solutions not only focus on centrally managing the content but managing the business process that leverages the content. Typically this will be a BPM application with a customized user interface.
ECM Solution Requirement Gathering Services - ECM COE Process Designer/Business Analyst provides the skills to help the business gather and understand their requirement and translate them into ECM solution requirements. This information is then used by ECM COE Architect to more efficiently and accurately design a business solution.
Process Modeling Services - ECM COE Process Designer/Business Analyst is knowledgeable in principles of process modeling as well as the tools to assist the business with documenting their current and future process with ECM technology enablement. The ECM enable process models then can be used by the technical designer to automate the model with the BPM tool
ECM Technology Research Services - ECM COE provides the skills to evaluate and research new ECM technologies and help the business in the selection of technologies to meet their requirements
ECM Vendor Management Services - ECM COE provides skills to effectively manage ECM vendors by:
• Centralized ECM vendor relationship management
• Regular schedule monitoring of vendor performance,
, and issues against defined metrics SLA
• Stringent change control process of vendor code
• Regular reviews of contracts, licensing and maintenance agreements
• Regular review of vendor products and roadmaps and technology vision
ECM Solution/Technology Training Services - ECM COE provides the business with ECM education and solution “train the trainer” engagements
ECM Project Oversight Services - ECM COE provides proven ECM solution project management by leveraging proven ECM deployment methodologies and experience.
The ECM COE role services should be indentified during this exercise so that it can be communicated to the customers resulting in strengthen ECM solution provided by the ECM COE
Oh, time flies when having fun. I am out of time and my daughter is waiting for me to tuck her in so on the next post we’ll pick up with a discussion of the next step of a ECM COE Foundation Development.
Please let me know what you think. All feedback is greatly appreciated.