Magazine article Information Management

Book Review: Designing a Document Strategy

Magazine article Information Management

Book Review: Designing a Document Strategy

Article excerpt

TITLE: Designing a Document Strategy

AUTHOR: Kevin Crane

ISBN: 1-893347-00-1

PUBLISHER: MC2 Books

LENGTH: 166 pages

PRICE: $29.95 plus shipping

SOURCE: MC2 Books at www.document-strategy.com or 817-577-8984

Anyone faced with the daunting task of implementing a document management system or any other large project will find that Designing a Document Strategy provides the critical tools necessary for creating a viable strategy. Author Kevin Crane delivers what he says is needed most -- "...a process to guide the development of your strategy so that it is meaningful, practical, and ensures worthwhile and lasting results." Designing a Document Strategy provides the framework and guidelines for that process, breaking it down to principles that can be applied to any information management project.

Using a conversational style that simplifies difficult concepts, Crane explains the importance of looking at documents as both strategic and tactical. He also describes how information assets, when they are used strategically, enable organizations to reap the benefits of increased revenue, decreased costs, and increased customer satisfaction.

Crane begins with a historical perspective of the importance of managing documents and how documents form the basis for most communications. Following is an overview of how the document strategy model must be molded to meet the needs of its users and organization. Crane emphasizes the importance of examining the types of documents created and the indivictuals who use them before looking at technological solutions.

Chapters Three and Four help readers make a baseline assessment of their current document environment in the context of their organizations' current business mission, goals, and vision and to evaluate it so that the "pain points" can be discovered. The author stresses concentrating on the lifecycle of documents as a basis for the analysis and investigation. While this book does not begin to explore all of the current document management applications available, it gives pointers about how to discover current technological trends. Finally, the author helps the reader identify the different document constituencies and how those information owners and stakeholders can impact the overall success of the plan.

In the next chapter, Crane describes various tools for determining current issues and formulating possible solutions. He does a good job of explaining how flow charts can be used effectively to help sort out issues that can be impediments to a successful document strategy.

Selling the strategy and managing the resulting change are always challenging. …

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