DMS Blog

Creating a Healthy DMS

- Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The power of a document management system lies far beyond the bells and whistles that the system in which you are using promises. Of course features such as automatic review date notification, check out check in features, document versioning can make document management easy and effective, but the true power lies in the thinking behind what document management is all about.

There are five key steps when planning and executing your document management system. These steps can be used at any stage of your document management journey and they are worth reflecting on.

Stage 1: Document quality and more importantly content quality. If you are investing your time in creating, storing and most importantly using the information stored in your documents you would want those documents to be of a high quality. Now I realise this principal sounds simple in nature, but there are a few key questions that you can ask when determining the quality of your documentation. Is the information contained in the document serving the purpose in which it is intended? Is the purpose of the document aligned with the business processes, key objectives or mission? Is the information in the document written in a way that will be easily understood, used and implemented? If the answer to your question is yes, then the likelihood of your document being of high quality is increased. If the answer is No, then you may need to question the reason for having the document in the first place or re-write it so that it does achieve its intended purpose. Just remember having a tonne of documents doesn’t mean you are managing your business effectively which brings us onto our next point.

Stage 2: Quantity of documentation. The number of documents you have available in your organisation doesn’t mean that your systems and processes are sound. Often the more "stuff" you have can cause confusion around what is trying to be achieved. Information overload is a common problem experienced by individuals and having a document management system with hundreds of documents, photos information etc... can add to this problem. When designing your document management system it is important to address the key areas in which documentation e.g. policies, procedures etc... are required. Each area needs to be determined by key business process so that the number of documents available is limited. Now I realise at times there is a requirement to maintain documentation on projects completed, orders etc... however this information should be set up in a structure that prevents it from being accessible to every individual. Part of the process P2B uses is a DMS audit and 99% of the time the problems lies with the DMS becoming a bucket to dump every bit of information into. The problem of this is that people within the organisation start setting up their own folders and documentation which can lead to duplication and out dated information being used. It is integral to set up a system that is clean, simple to use and understand and for documentation to be easily found found. A key to achieving this is by communicating this structure with the people maintaining the DMS - if everyone is on the same page then your DMS will be used.

The third Stage revolves around the structure of the Document Management System. It is recommended at best that no more than three levels of structure be created. This prevents folders upon folders upon folders being added. Creating rabbit warren structures adds to confusion and loss of knowledge and key documentation. When structuring your DMS it’s important to have the end goal in mind. This means that as your business or organisation grows so does the DMS. There are a number of ways in which you can structure your DMS - you can base it on type e.g. policy, procedure, or around key processes e.g. HR, admin, projects. The decision is entirely up to you and needs to be established based on what you are trying to achieve. As mentioned previously the purpose of keeping the DMS structure clean and easy to use is that makes it easy for personnel to find, store and use the information contained within the DMS. 

Stage 4: Versioning and document control.  This is a key element in effective document management. This ensures that the most recent documentation is available, provided that it has been uploaded into the system and the previous version is either archived or removed. P2B DMS has the ability to automatically archive the previous version once the new version has been uploaded. Keeping versioning and document control practices in place also means that a standard approach, design and information required is maintained. Consistency is they key.

Stage 5: Accessibility, so you now have great document information aligned with key objectives and processes, the number of documents available is suitable for the information required, your system is sound, easy to use and simple and all up to date versions are available. So the important stage is making sure the information is accessible at all times and in all areas. There is no point in having all this great information if no one or a limited few can access it. Accessibility also goes beyond being able to open the DMS and get the document, but it also includes the ability to easily search for relevant information. How often have you asked for a document only to be told it’s "somewhere in the DMS" - great that can be like finding a needle in a haystack. This is where an online DMS can be valuable. Online DMS mean that information can be accessed anytime, anyplace and any location provided that there is internet connection. An online DMS can be your own private internal information browser, where you can simply search and find, the added benefit to this however is that it can be completed anywhere in the world. You don’t need to be the office to get the information required.

Although these five stages seem simple in nature, you would be surprised at how many organisations fall into the trap of poor document quality and quantity, no version control, ineffective structuring and limit accessability to users. If you are finding that your DMS is not supporting your business and its goals, why not sign up for a free trial with out online DMS products.

Comments commented on 26-Aug-2014 03:55 AM
I was recommended this web site by means of my cousin. I'm no longer sure
whether this publish is written via him as no one else know such distinct about my
difficulty. You are incredible! Thank you! commented on 26-Aug-2014 06:08 AM
Awesome blog you have here but I was curious if you
knew of any forums that cover the same topics discussed in this article?

I'd really like to be a part of community where I can get feed-back from other
experienced people that share the same interest.
If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Thanks!
samsung 32 Led Tv commented on 26-Aug-2014 07:03 AM
Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe that this web site needs far more attention. I'll
probably be back again to read through more, thanks for
the information!
Http://Youtube.Com/ commented on 26-Aug-2014 07:09 AM
I tend not to drop a lot of comments, however i did a few searching and wound up
here Creating a Healthy DMS. And I do have a few questions for you if
you do not mind. Is it simply me or does it look as if like some
of the responses appear like coming from brain dead visitors?

:-P And, if you are posting on other social sites, I would like to follow everything fresh
you have to post. Would you make a list of all
of all your communal pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?
tv with dvd Player built in walmart commented on 26-Aug-2014 11:37 AM
My spouse and I stumbled over here different website and thought I may as well check things out.
I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to looking over your web page yet again.
new Activity trackers commented on 26-Aug-2014 11:47 AM
I every time used to read article in news papers but now as I am a user of web so from now I am using net for
articles or reviews, thanks to web.
Buy used adjustable dumbbells commented on 26-Aug-2014 12:23 PM
Today, I went to the beachfront with my children. I
found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said
"You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear."
She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it
pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell
someone! commented on 26-Aug-2014 12:30 PM
Howdy! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that
would be ok. I'm definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.
Youtube.Com commented on 26-Aug-2014 12:41 PM
Great weblog here! Additionally your website lots
up fast! What host are you the use of? Can I get your affiliate link to your host?

I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol
bacchetta Recumbent Bike Prices commented on 26-Aug-2014 08:40 PM
I think that what you said was very logical. But, what about this?
what if you wrote a catchier title? I ain't suggesting your information is not solid,
however suppose you added a post title that makes people
want more? I mean Creating a Healthy DMS is a little plain. You might peek at Yahoo's home page and watch how they write post titles to get people interested.
You might add a related video or a related pic or two to get readers
excited about everything've got to say. In my opinion, it would make your posts a little
lcd tv reviews commented on 27-Aug-2014 04:28 AM
I am regular reader, how are you everybody? This post posted at this site is really good. commented on 27-Aug-2014 04:40 PM
You can certainly see your enthusiasm in the work you write.
The sector hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren't afraid to say how they believe.
All the time follow your heart. commented on 27-Aug-2014 04:44 PM
Hello there! This post could not be written much better!
Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
He constantly kept preaching about this. I'll forward this information to him.

Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!
Ab bench commented on 27-Aug-2014 05:48 PM
We're a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our
community. Your site offered us with valuable info to work
on. You have done a formidable job and our whole community will be thankful to you.
300 Pound Olympic Weight Set commented on 27-Aug-2014 06:20 PM
Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article.
I'll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of
your useful information. Thanks for the post. I'll
certainly comeback.
airdyne bike for sale commented on 27-Aug-2014 07:14 PM
Your style is really unique compared to other people I have read stuff from.
Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I'll just bookmark this site.
running with weight vest commented on 27-Aug-2014 07:24 PM
It's going to be ending of mine day, but before ending I am reading this
enormous paragraph to improve my experience. commented on 27-Aug-2014 07:31 PM
Link exchange is nothing else except it is just placing the other person's weblog link on your page
at proper place and other person will also do same in support of you.
recumbent stationary bike reviews commented on 27-Aug-2014 08:20 PM
If you want to get a great deal from this piece of writing then you have to apply such strategies
to your won weblog.
Reagan commented on 27-Aug-2014 08:47 PM
This is very attention-grabbing, You're an excessively professional blogger.
I have joined your feed and look ahead to in quest of
extra of your great post. Additionally, I have shared your website in my social networks
Exercise Equipment For Abs Nordica commented on 27-Aug-2014 09:19 PM
I savour, cause I discovered exactly what I was having a look for.
You have ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless
you man. Have a great day. Bye commented on 27-Aug-2014 09:26 PM
After I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are
added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I recieve four emails with
the exact same comment. Perhaps there is an easy method you can remove me
from that service? Kudos!
canoes boats commented on 27-Aug-2014 09:39 PM
I have read so many posts concerning the blogger lovers but this paragraph is really a nice article, keep it up.
tv Samsung panel lottery 2013 commented on 27-Aug-2014 10:13 PM
You can definitely see your skills in the article you write.
The sector hopes for more passionate writers such as you
who are not afraid to mention how they believe. At all times
follow your heart.
philips 40 led tv commented on 27-Aug-2014 10:17 PM
Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thanks, However I am encountering difficulties with your RSS.
I don't understand why I am unable to join it. Is there anybody having identical RSS issues?
Anyone that knows the solution will you kindly respond?

Post a Comment

Captcha Image

Trackback Link
Post has no trackbacks.

Reap The Rewards