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Archive for the ‘Records Management’ Category


Once upon a time, a long time ago, but not SO very long… time flies.

Jeopardy time. Category – The Old Man and the Content. Answers – Fifteen and Thirty-Eight. Questions – How many times I’ve been to FileNet UserNet or IBM IOD conferences in the past twenty-three years and how many classes I’ve taken from FileNet Education and IBM ECM Education over the years? A hefty investment. In the past five years I’ve made a fairly healthy investment in @pega and @IBM_BPM as well, but nowhere near as significant a one as being a FileNut, the fifteen and the thirty-eight alone easily being a six figure investment, much less lo these two decades’ tenure.

Over the years I’ve been an at-large board member on the UserNet board and have presented three times. They were good exercises, activities in networking and public speaking though the latter’s never been much of an issue. SleazerNet ’93 I asked for and got permission from my employer at the time to run as a board member at large, trotted up to the podium in the ballroom in front of a thousand people, extemporized a speech and got the most votes that year for an at-large member. Felt bad for the people who go I’ve seen go up there over the years and have a meltdown, but I digress. I think there’s still a board, but I don’t know how it works any more, much less how to get on. Think it has to do with the vendor just asking you and you working for a large enough client.

More recently, IOD’s value to me has been to be a “target-rich” environment. Every year I’ve attended IOD, and UserNet before that, somebody I’ve met has turned into an engagement somewhere down the road and therefore more than compensated my cost for attendance. In the past four years it’s become my annual touch base for the state of ECM in the Big Blue world as Info360 was for the ECM world at large for the better part of fifteen years. More on that later vis-a-vis #AIIM. Lately I’ve been going with the intent of focusing on whatever I, we are doing for any given client in-flight at the time, see who else is doing what we’re doing, if they’re doing it better, having the same heartburn.

This year’s focus is a little different, but one thing that’s jumped out at me having just registered at the eleventh hour (also as per usual the past few years) is where the focus is going to be THIS year. Year-before-last it was Big Data, last year it was SMAC. This year’s agenda shows that the big three trends of emphasis will be the segregation, differentiation between content management and case management, and information governance. Thirteen, twenty-eight and twenty-seven sessions respectively across those tracks. The first two are just the latest and greatest terms – IBM Content Foundation and IBM Case Manager – that we apply to the old Content Manager and BPM Manager suites in the P8 days.

In any event, I’m fairly solid on the “I’s” these days, confident that IBM Content Navigator’s TLA (ICN) won’t change, reasonably confident that ICM (remember IBM Classification Module?) and IBM Case Foundation (nee Process Engine) won’t change, but for whatever reasons “Content Foundation” isn’t sticking in my head so much.

Anywayz, items of interest this year:

  1. Certifications. Need ’em for the new and old entities both re: partner certification. Sitting in the lab all six hours tomorrow, blowing off the rah-rah opening keynotes in the big tent first thing Monday morning and maybe during breaks as well. Need four for sure, shooting for eight.
  2. Datacap. Haven’t been a big capture guy for quite a while, but more and more people keep asking for it as a component of engagements. Most of our capture stuff is Kofax, but in the IBM world…
  3. What’s up with SharePoint integration these days? Where we at? Just because Big Blue doesn’t talk about it that much doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be addressed at more client sites than not.
  4. The $64K question – Where does IBM Case Foundation fit in the BPM world? Is it just the foundation for IBM Case Manager and no longer a standalone product? Remember, it’s still PE under the hood.
  5. Hands-on Labs for current products of interest, mostly ICM I suppose.
  6. Always looking for a product in the vendor expo or a presenter in a breakout to show me something new that makes me go “Wow, that was cool,” but it doesn’t happen very much.

So what’s the moral of your story Mr. Peabody?

  1. I dunno, not much. I’ve been around a good while, technology keeps advancing, organizations, people and processes not so much.
  2. DKDN on going from “Information” to “Insight.” Wish we’d leave names alone, I’m a creature of habit for all my interest in continuing education. Simplifies communicating with and educating the client when we don’t change terms all the time.

What’s next?

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<begin rant>Jumping straight into it:

  • If you think there should be a one-to-one mapping for every document class in the Records Object Store (ROS) to every record class in the File Plan Object Store (FPOS), you’re a dummkopf.

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  • If you think there should be a one-to-one mapping for folders in the ROS to record categories in the file plan, you’re a dummkopf.
  • If you want to create a nested directory structure on the ROS that maps straight to your record category hierarchy and expect your users to navigate that structure to file their documents in (and it’s over 1,900 folders, including a folder for every year’s documents under any given record category in the file plan), you’re a dummkopf.
  • If you take five years paying someone to engage in the above before you even get around to the implementation mechanics, that sum is seven figures and the first number’s not a ‘1,’ you’re wasting a lot of time and a lot of money. And you’re a dummkopf.
  • If you recognize any or all of the above, find yourself saying “BTDT,” I’m sorry. Let’s break beer and commiserate some time.

These things I have seen, witnessed and railed against. More than once. Further thoughts:

  • The world of metadata in the content search and retrieval world and the records management world are not, do not need to be, should not be synonymous. They serve two separate purposes. The former is finding stuff, the latter is deciding when, where and under what circumstances to keep stuff around and and when, where and how to get rid of it. The former is ALWAYS a superset of the latter. Else, you’re doing it wrong.
  • Records management should be transparent, seamless, invisible to the end-user. If it’s not, you’re doing it wrong. Period.
  • Remember ‘GIGO?’ “Garbage in, garbage out?” This is very true of content search and retrieval and records management both. Give some care, some thought, as to how content gets put into the repository with an eye towards the latter.

Further thoughts, myths and half-truths for a Friday morning:

  • Collaborate between users and IT, legal and the rest of the corporate kingdom and define and derive an engagement model – from inception to implementation – how stuff gets into the system, when it’s declared, how it’s declared, how it’s managed and, eventually, disposed of. In this exercise define who does what, when, in order to initiate a new project, make sure it complies with governance, MAKE SURE PEOPLE CAN FIND THEIR STUFF. Then make the declaration and disposition part invisible. You can do it, it’s easy, trust me. If you spend five years jackin’ around just defining the file plan, well, you know the rest.
  • If they can’t find their content, they won’t use the system. If they don’t use the system, the content is not managed, if the content is not managed, you’re not in compliance. ‘Nuff said.
  • Don’t be afraid to say the “onomy” word out loud. It’s not singularly the world of the ERM people or the barristers. Use the analogy of high school or introductory college biology – kingdom, phylum/division, class, order, family, genus, species. “A hierarchical ordering of related things.” The users can, will get it. They’ll understand. They can help. After all, it is their content, they know what they do with it, right?
  • Targeted search is good, really swell when done right. Navigational search, maybe not so much. We’ll talk, argue folders later.
  • Rinse, repeat. It – a file plan – is a living, breathing artifact, constantly in motion, constantly being refined and (hopefully) improved upon. And that’s okay. Contrary to what (some) barristers (dummkopfs) may say (dictate?).

So what’s the moral or your story Mr. Peabody? You get out of it what you put into it. Beware GIGO.

If you spill your orange juice all over your desk whilst writing a diatribe such as this, you’re (I’m) a dummkopf.

#ThatIsAll

</end rant>

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