Don’t you just wish it was your job to introduce iPads to every staff member in your organisation? Imagine the enthusiasm when the news was released in the internal newsletter. Imagine the welcome you’d receive from every staff member as you set them up. And what training would you need to deliver? Possibly none at all; everyone just seems to work them out. People just love their iPads and they’ve become a must have business tool, and yet there’s often no great value that they add to our work. No compliance, productivity or risk gains.
Instead you’ve been tasked with introducing a really useful application: TRIM. It’s not backed by a sexy, seductive, glossy, bling campaign. It doesn’t even have the ‘personalised solution for everyone’ appeal of SharePoint. It’s being mandated to meet legal compliance and reduce risk. How do you compete in a world where the lure to using new hardware and software for end user consumers is “excitement” ahead of usefulness?
You, the EDRMS project team, need to start wearing new hats.
Sell the Sizzle
Hat number one is marketing. It’s well recognised that in successful adoption of new technology that good communication is vital, but what is “good”?
The common mistake with current communications is they “tell” end users what the EDRMS project team is doing and will do, how the project is progressing and when end users will be trained in TRIM. That’s polite and informative, but not engaging. You need people to be engaged. Engaged people actively want to participate.
A marketing campaign engages. Its aim is to capture the imagination of the audience and make them believe in a concept of something more enticing and exciting than the status quo. Build a convincing vision of a better workplace people will be part of and get people to believe they will be better off with TRIM.
Lofty and idealistic as the idea sounds, it works. Saturation branding with video + posters + newsletters +intranet + case studies + every other communication with the audience adhering to the same message makes it work. Using eye catching colours and fonts, with a logo or a character to represent the future gets attention. Engaging people with passion and facts about the future creates understanding and belief. You’re not going to have Apple’s budget for promoting the iPad, but thinking along the same strategy lines is free. Sell the concept of a better work environment from the outset.
Plan to Improve
Take the Record Manager hat off. It’s a hat that demands perfection in record registration to the detriment of quantity of registration. The first step to successful adoption of TRIM is to get a critical mass of people registering records.
Adopt a new style strategic planning hat. Strategic plans have a long term vision and provide a path of continuous improvement to get to the end goal. Electronic document recordkeeping is still a new era requiring a flexible approach from professional record managers. Hundreds, if not thousands, of staff in your organisation may now be using TRIM as their main repository of information, unlike the handful you worked with in the past. The quality of records in the system will initially decline as a result.
Traditionally the configuration of the TRIM system has been set to maximise required outcomes for the recordkeeping unit. For instance, Thesaurus titling provides recordkeepers with the ability to fine tune selection of retention schedules. An excellent concept, but time and experience has proven end users are not so skilled, and have no desire to gain the skills to be. Because it’s hard they elect not to register records.
Thus Business Classification Titling with attached retention schedules has become the standard method of fixed titling when TRIM is the chosen EDRMS. Sure there’s a battle to get end users to move beyond two levels of titling, but at least they’ll register the records. Rather than constantly criticize, look to the future and strategically plan engagement with the third level of titling and fine tune the retention.
In configuring TRIM, examine very carefully initial ease of use for end users. Look at it from their eyes. Adhere to the KISS principle. Encourage for now and build a strategic plan beyond the initial rollout and step by step add improvement to the quality of recordkeeping.
Fix the Pain Points
This last hat is the final key to creating the right environment for successful TRIM training. To maximise successful adoption of TRIM the EDRMS team must focus on business processes that currently causes pain to the individuals participating, and use TRIM to take away that pain. It’s the business improvement hat.
What is the individual pain TRIM can solve? Embarrassment, frustration, confusion, stress when information is lost, latest versions can’t be found or collaborative business processes are not completed in time. Blame laying and resentment amongst staff from poor business practice that is consistently doomed to have poor outcomes for the business and those involved.
The introduction of TRIM provides the opportunity to streamline and audit business process, and win the hearts of end users in doing so. The task of comprehensively doing so across a whole organisation is most likely beyond the scope of your EDRMS project. So think strategically. What improvement to business process will enable the project team to take away the pain for a critical mass of people, either on a business unit level, or across the organisation?
Analyse the process, build the TRIM interactions, deliver training, support adoption and prove that TRIM is a productivity tool. Once the concept is proven, recognised by management and promoted, you’ll find business units are empowered to start building their own productivity improvements using TRIM.
Training TRIM users is exciting when working with an EDRMS project team that wears the hats of marketing, strategic planning and business improvement. Technical training is still necessary. But training engaged users, on a system maximised for their preferences, to be used for a purpose that benefits them absolutely maximises TRIM uptake. You might even overtake the iPad uptake!
© 2011 Linked Training and Change Factory