The 13 Most Common Challenges in an ECM Implementation
John Mancini

By: John Mancini on June 14th, 2007

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The 13 Most Common Challenges in an ECM Implementation

Enterprise Content Management (ECM)

According to the recent AIIM State of the Industry Survey, there is some variation in terms of the primary obstacles facing organizations as they consider enterprise content management.

When asked, "What were the top 3 obstacles encountered during your implementation?" survey respondents replied:

44% = Underestimated process and organizational issues
32% = Lack of knowledge or training among our internal staff
30% = Project derailed by internal politics29% = Uneven usage due to poor procedures and lack of enforcement
21% = Underestimated the effort to distill and migrate content
20% = Excessive "scope creep"
19% = Failed to address taxonomy and metadata concerns
18% = Low user acceptance due to poor design or clumsy implementation
16% = Failed to think or benefits/issues beyond our business unit.
16% = Poorly defined business case
13% = Lack of knowledge or training among our external staff/suppliers
13% = Budget was overrun
12% = Failed to prioritize "high-value" content

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One clear difference between large and small organizations -- as one would expect -- is the challenge of overcoming internal politics. Maintaining focus and consistency and management leadership across the life of a project -- particularly those that entail significant process change and redefinition -- is very challenging for large organizations.

Management buy-in and consistency is critical given that the number one obstacle across organizations of all sizes is "Underestimated process and organizational issues."

Another common challenge in organizations is "Lack of knowledge or training among our internal staff." This seems like an appropriate place for a shameless plug of the AIIM training program.

Surprisingly, some of the obstacles that are usually at the top of any anecdote about ECM disasters -- Excessive "scope creep," "Poorly defined business case," "Budget was overrun," ranked significantly lower than some obstacles usually considered as "softer."


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About John Mancini

John Mancini is the President of Content Results, LLC and the Past President of AIIM. He is a well-known author, speaker, and advisor on information management, digital transformation and intelligent automation. John is a frequent keynote speaker and author of more than 30 eBooks on a variety of topics. He can be found on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook as jmancini77. Recent keynote topics include: The Stairway to Digital Transformation Navigating Disruptive Waters — 4 Things You Need to Know to Build Your Digital Transformation Strategy Getting Ahead of the Digital Transformation Curve Viewing Information Management Through a New Lens Digital Disruption: 6 Strategies to Avoid Being “Blockbustered” Specialties: Keynote speaker and writer on AI, RPA, intelligent Information Management, Intelligent Automation and Digital Transformation. Consensus-building with Boards to create strategic focus, action, and accountability. Extensive public speaking and public relations work Conversant and experienced in major technology issues and trends. Expert on inbound and content marketing, particularly in an association environment and on the Hubspot platform. John is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the College of William and Mary, and holds an M.A. in Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.