|Identify the appropriate level of complexity for indexing of documents
||Users and customers are easily able to locate the documents they need.
Also ensures that monies aren't spent on indexing that does not add value to the user or customer experience
|Think about how hard copy files are currently organized and what information is utilized for locating a specific document. This may include: Name, Date Modified, Document Type or Category, Employee Number, SSN, File Number, etc.
Your electronic indexing structure should likely mirror the current organizational structure of your documents (potentially with a few meaningful enhancements).
|It might be difficult for your users and customers to verbalize how they currently search for documents. This can make it challenging to identify the appropriate level of indexing.
Additionally, budget might not allow for indexing to the complexity level that your users request. In these instances, efforts should be made to reduce the number of keystrokes the indexer must make by auto-populating other related fields from a comprehensive spreadsheet or database.
|Use barcode separator sheets
||Eliminate manual data entry of indexes
||Agencies should utilize existing applications, such as a case management, that would have index data to be used in the barcode separate sheets. This process will need to be developed.
||Agency may not have the budget/resources to develop/program to be able to create the barcode separate sheets.
The barcode separator sheets must always be clear in order for process to accurately read the index data. If the process is not able to read the barcode separator sheet correctly, users will need to manually enter the index data.
||Eliminate manual data entry of indexes
||Agencies should utilize existing data source/database for their index values since this would be the most efficient and accurate way of retrieving the needed index values. This process will need to be developed.
||Agency may not have the budget/resources to develop/program to be able to create an auto-database validation process.
Database connectivity must always be up. If not, auto-database validation process will fail. When this happens, users will need to manually enter the index data.
|Determine the appropriate scanning resolution for your documents based on your agency's retention schedule(s), storage costs, and retrieval time
||Electronic documents align with State Library & Archives standards, electronic storage costs are minimized, and electronic document retrieval time is not overly burdensome for users and customers.
||Compare and contrast options for document resolution requirements with the business needs of your individual agency. If it is costly to store documents at a higher DPI and the larger documents take too long to load, your agency should carefully consider the cost vs. benefit of scanning at the higher resolution.
||Many agencies would like to destroy their paper files after scanning but are unable to do so because of the requirement to scan and store at the higher DPI (600 DPI). This is usually directly related to on-going costs associated with budget constraints and the business needs of users and customers to have the documents load more quickly.
|Identify which documents would benefit from Optical Character Recognition (OCR) capabilities
||OCR-enabling documents makes the documents key-word search enabled, making it quicker and easier for the user to find the document or page they are searching for.
||Agencies should consider how useful this feature would be for the particular document types in-scope. Enabling OCR capabilities is an additional cost/page that might not be worth the investment if the documents are rarely accessed or are older documents that are hand-written or from a type writer (OCR does not work very well with these types of documents).
||Some users might not know how often they access certain document types or sets, making it difficult to determine the cost vs. benefit of enabling OCR.
Budget considerations can also be a barrier for this feature.
|Thoughtfully consider your agency's plan for destruction or maintenance of current and future paper documents
||Ensuring agencies have a proper plan for destruction or retention of paper documents (in accordance with State Library and Archives standards) reduces the State's risk and ensures the agency is adhering to the legal requirements for retaining documents that have been determined to be the original or document of record.
||Agencies should consult directly with State Library and Archives to identify options and the cost vs. benefit of retaining paper documents or destroying them (this is also closely related to the scanning resolution item listed above).
||Many agencies would like to destroy their paper files after scanning but are unable to do so because of the requirement to scan and store at the higher DPI (600 DPI). This is usually directly related to on-going costs associated with budget constraints.
|Keep your scope manageable, and implement a pilot (if timeline & budget permit)
||Helps safe-guard from scope-creep and ensures that you aren't trying to boil the ocean all at once.
A pilot can help to work out some of the issues before launching a larger-scope project.
|Agencies should develop a scope (and corresponding timeline) that is manageable for their teams. Scopes that are too large can be stressful for members of the team and can be difficult to close-out and finalize on schedule.
The following should be considered when developing the scope: Will scanning include only historical documents or new documents? What subject areas will be included? What types of documents will be included? What age of documents will be included?
Pilots can help your teams to learn a lot about the project and make appropriate course corrections prior to rolling out the project to additional areas.
|Available budget, cash, or spending authority (appropriation) could put an agency in the challenging position of having to do more all at once, instead of creating a manageable scope in phases (including a pilot).
|Don't lose sight of the importance of change management
||Effective change management can help make the transition from paper to electronic documents smoother for your users and customers.
||Change management is just as important as the actual digital conversion. If your users and customers aren't ready for the change, are fearful of the new system, or don't understand how their daily work will fit in to this new system, the document management system is likely to fail.
||Scope and timeline can make effective change management very challenging. A large scope or a short timeline often divert resources and attention away from this important aspect because your team might be solely focused on achieving the technical milestones.
|Demonstrate courage and humility by empowering your teams to ask for help
||Asking for help early-on and regularly ensures that issues are identified before they get too large and help can be routed to the appropriate resources for resolution.
||Leadership should encourage teams to stop and notify when they come across issues (of any size) with the project that might affect its success.
||It is often difficult for leadership to foster an environment where teams actually feel empowered to do this.
|Identify the appropriate hardware for your digital transformation, team members will now likely need to have two computer monitors and access to scanners
||Users will be able to more easily transition from a paper process to a digital process.
||Agencies should plan/budget to purchase a second computer monitor for any team member that will be utilizing electronic documents. It is recommended that the agency purchase the largest size monitor it can afford (that is reasonable).
Additionally, agencies should purchase scanners (or utilize existing scanning-enabled multi-functional devices) appropriate to the volume of scanning that will be conducted on a regular basis.
|Access to these items may be constrained by agency budgets.
|Consider ADA accessibility
||Electronic documents are equally accessible to all team members and customers
||Agencies should consider potential modifications/reasonable accommodations that must be made in order to make the electronic documents available to all team members and customers.
||Team members may not be familiar with various accessibility options.
|Properly adapt paper workflow to new electronic workflow (if applicable)
||Smooth transition from paper documents to electronic documents
||The team should properly adapt existing workflows into the new electronic format, and should include the business owner(s) in this decision making.
This is closely related to change management and essential to ensure users will actually utilize the new electronic system.
|Again, scope and timeline can make effective change management and workflow adaptation very challenging. A large scope or a short timeline often divert resources and attention away from this important aspect because your team might be solely focused on achieving the technical milestones.