Invoices, Catalogs, Proposals, Checks, Emails, Manuals, Statements, Spreadsheets, Packing Slips, Purchase Orders, PDFs – keys to a business functioning day in and day out. With information being in all different forms in today’s Information Age, companies needs to have a document strategy.
No matter how people define a document, they are a key basis of business revenue as well as expense. As information switches from paper to email and computer screens, companies that have an effective document-centric strategy will have an advantage in this crazy and ever changing “Information Age.” Developing, implementing, and managing a document strategy in an organization is not easy and will vary for each organization, but here is the way to put you in the right mindset to develop a great document strategy for your organization.
1. Think of a document strategy as your business strategy. For a document strategy to be right for your company, it should be able to support your components of your corporate goals.
- Basic elements of a company’s corporate strategy are: increase productivity, increase revenue, decrease costs, decrease effort, reduce headcount, and increase customer satisfaction. Your document strategy should align with these elements.
- What is your business – the reason you exist?
- Currently, do all your employees from Executives to entry-level understand, support, and demonstrate during their work the company’s strategic goals?
2. Once you figure which elements of your business strategy you want your document strategy to model, you need ask yourself: Currently, where is company at, and where does your company need/want to go? Answering the questions below, you will start to assess different needs and wants. Ask your employees these questions and see the different responses.
- What areas needs to be addressed? What are the most important objectives you see currently and see will impact the company in the future?
- How are these areas of need being managed and addressed currently? Are there initiatives underway to achieve these objectives?
- One these areas are improved, how do you measure the success and make sure the changes are maintained?
3. Once you figure which elements of your business strategy you want your document strategy to model, you need to assess your documents, your employees, and your technology.
- Documents: Which documents are keys to the success of your company? Are there problems with these documents currently? Are there solutions or workflows in place currently for these key documents?
- Employees: Who is uses the key documents in your organization the most? What problems do these people have obtaining and using documents? Will your employees sponsor, support, and react to change? Will employees have objections to change? How will you assess employees are using new strategies?
- Technology: What type of technology is currently used to create, retrieve, and use key documents? Does current technology create problems or solutions when it comes to documents? Will new technology be needed to achieve your aligned document and business strategy?