Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Document Management System(s)

Working in a large organization brings an information professional larger support and also its own set of problems. Large organizations often employ a centralized document management system (DMS) to manage documents created/used throughout the organization. The goal behind these systems is to help users across the organization share, compare, and documents. However, could these systems actually be make the system worse rather than better? Documents uploaded to the system often use different naming conventions, different administrative metadata, and different versioning conventions. Essentially, even the best DMS system can be a disaster without any care and monitoring.

Large document management systems alone are not a solution. Instead, the organization has to build a culture that weaves together knowledge sharing and collaboration principals alongside deploying the document management system. Users have to be made aware of the larger picture concerning document management and how their work can help others and vice versa. Furthermore, it is important that users enter the metadata for each document correctly or documents run the risk of being lost in the electronic slush pile. While the investment in a “DMS Librarian” could seem daunting having someone whose role it is to tend to fix metadata, help users upload documents correctly, and audit document libraries can pay dividends in the long run.