How do you know if your Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system is healthy? You take its pulse and ask a few questions! Checking a document management system can be likened to a trip to the doctor. There are a few low cost steps that will tell you everything is all right, or just like a high cholesterol score, a test result may indicate some preventive measures are in order.
These 3 questions and tests take the basic measurements of your system:
- Is your ECM’s temperature too high or too low?
What do your service and help desk tickets look like? Are you overflowing with complaints or do you rarely hear a peep from the users? If you have a backlog of tickets and the support team is drowning, your ECM system is running a fever. It can’t keep up with usage and going viral will only increase the temperature. Alternatively, if you have few or no tickets in the queue, you might want to check your pulse and see if anyone is using the system. There is little business value in keeping an ECM system on life-support. The goal is to maintain a constant temperature by ensuring consistent and positive user interaction. Your ticket queue should be showing requests for new features and functions to expand functionality and usage. If not, start going out into your user community and see what’s working for them and what’s not.
- Is your ECM’s pulse too slow or too fast?
How often do you change your ECM system? When was your last upgrade? When was the last focus group with the business? If you are not upgrading or making changes to the system to add business value, your pulse is too slow. Is everyday a new adventure for your support staff? Do they live on the edge not knowing what part might break or need a Band-Aid? If you find yourself unable to predict a month or quarter’s work; and instead of leisurely evenings and weekends you are deploying and testing changes then you system’s pulse is too fast. You need a heartbeat, a cadence, there should be a plan to regularly maintain and improve the ECM system so it continues to add value to the business.
- What is your ECM’s blood pressure?
Blood flow equals performance. Too high and you’ll collapse and too low you’ll pass out; both are bad situations to be in. The goldilocks zone for an ECM system can be very tricky. Server, database, storage, and network needs are rarely consistent across companies and industries. In many cases system sizing is merely a best guess and growth is rarely ever calculated and predicted. Monitoring all aspects of throughput and performance can be an answer, but beware that it also might be like having an MRI to find a bruise (e.g. a temporary network hiccup or outage).
If your ECM system suffers from an ailment there are specialists who can help. Just like a cardiologist or neurologist, specialists possess a toolkit and skills for zeroing in on the most likely root cause for a problem. The ability to quickly identify or rule-out a problem may just keep your ECM system happy and healthy. No diet and exercise required. How healthy is your ECM? Over the next several blog posts, TSG will be sharing several best practices to help you understand the true health of your systems.