White Paper | February 27, 2012

The Consequences Of Failed ECM Implementation

Source: iDatix

IT projects are notorious for having low success rates without proper project management. Some of the best software products in the world have failed to meet clients' expectations because the salesperson set unrealistic expectancies or the implementation time was shortened in order to meet a magic budget number. Only 32% of all projects succeeded with on time delivery, within budget, and with required features and functions, according to a 2009 study. While this number is not all that surprising to experienced IT professionals, the success rate is astonishing to most executives-and it should be. This is equivalent to a 68% failure rate — an unacceptable percentage in almost all other aspects of business. Could you imagine a 32% success rate with car manufacturing, refrigerator operation, or worst case — shuttle development?

After being in the ECM industry for over 10 years, and overseeing hundreds of implementations, we have found that success is typically not based on the technology. According to a study on aiim.org, research has shown that the most common reasons for ECM failures are due to:

  • Underestimating the impact on business processes and organizational structure
  • Improperly trained users
  • Project derailment by internal politics
  • No implementation of adequate governance processes

Evaluating these causes, you will notice that none of them actually deal with technology! The issues arise from the process of implementing the technology and the manner in which you enable users to utilize the system. A proper ECM system must be developed in coordination with the intended user audience.

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