ECM Project Failed Again – It’s All Your Fault
Enterprise content management (ECM) systems have a high failure rate. What’s unique is that, typically, it isn’t the software at fault, but people. Yes, I am talking to you.
What are the reasons for failure?
- Underestimating the impact on business processes and organizational structure
- Improperly trained users
- Project derailment by internal politics
- No implementation of adequate governance processes
Only 32 percent of all projects succeed with on-time delivery, within budget, and with required features and functions. While this number is not all that surprising to experienced IT professionals, the success rate is astonishing to most executives – and so it should be.
This is equivalent to a 68 percent failure rate – an unacceptable percentage in almost all other aspects of business. Could you imagine a 32 percent success rate within car manufacturing, refrigerator operation, or space shuttle development?
Consider a few data points from AIIM surveys of ECM adopters:
- 22 percent regard their ECM project to be somewhat stalled
- 21 percent have user adoption issues
- 52 percent admit that they are still dependent on their network file shares
- Poor content management practices result in taking too long to find content – 62 percent
- Duplicated efforts – 52 percent
- Insufficient reuse – 46 percent
According to AIIM, nearly 50 percent of all ECM programs fail, just from a technology perspective. And of the 50 percent that succeed, half of those fail to really provide value to the business.
From my perspective, maybe Gartner does have it right by renaming ECM as content services. If you set content services in motion with content optimization, search, and an enterprise metadata repository, this would go a long way towards fixing the human element. Are you stuck with the human element? How are you addressing it?
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