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Millennia Group Blog

The Ideal plan may not seem ideal

Thursday, January 31, 2019

The prospect of getting a company to change a long established process is difficult, especially when that process touches multiple departments.  That should not discourage technology solution providers and businesses from having the confidence to make well thought-out ideas happen, even if seemingly idealistic. 

Despite excellent planning, some hurdles will take a long time to clear.  One or two parts of the plan may need to slip into a later phase.  Creating a plan that needs to deviate from the ideal solution in the short term may be disappointing, but could it be the ideal plan in the end?

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Are any of us on the same page?

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Via Flickr - Aaron FulkersonIt’s not news that every industry has a set of unique acronyms for describing processes, requirements, features, etc.  As long as people participating in a conversation sprinkled with these acronyms are from that industry, it’s a good bet everyone understands.  Except for the newbie of course.

However, there are plenty of acronyms, words or descriptions that can be a bit too general, which leads to mis-understanding and likely, wasted time.  For instance, when doing a Google search for “workflow systems”, the results come back with 452,000 hits to search through.  Just so we are on the same page, let’s try to narrow the definition of workflow a little to save us all a lot of time and money.

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Steps in the right direction

Thursday, December 13, 2018

via Flickr - Tim J KeeganHere are some tips for getting your company or personal electronic files and documents better organized in 2019.  These tips will really make life easier if you are currently storing your company files and documents on a network drive or you use a document management system but never really configured it for your business.

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We feel guilty about tiny workspaces

Thursday, November 29, 2018

via Flickr - BakokoThe open office concept is all the rage, both at work and on Wall Street.  It is not only being executed in corporate offices but there is a booming industry of shared office space startups that take open office to a whole new level.  These spaces do have some intriguing features like comfortable common areas to gather and in the case of shared office spaces like WeWork, beer on tap.

However, we have also seen the demoralizingly small workspaces at some companies and we hear the grumblings of workers about a lack of privacy and inability to focus.  We are not owners of office buildings, nor space designers.  We are, however, somewhat responsible for this phenomenon because we provide the tools that have enabled this to happen – workflow and document management.  We do feel a little guilty, but enabling tiny workspaces isn’t the whole story.

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Try doing less, it really works

Tuesday, October 30, 2018
via Flickr - Juhan Sonin

It is usually with good intentions that a project is tackled with extreme attention to detail.  Every possible variation of input and output are considered and analyzed.  Focus groups are put together to gather information from all interested parties.  The process is time consuming but can result in some good data being gathered and a successful project outcome.  It is the right way to do things.

Now the hard part is trying determine how users will find that data if they need it again.  The data that was gathered may have dug up some minutia but also large sets of data that will be used every day.  The trick is to provide the everyday user with the ability to find information in a few clicks (simple interface) but also provide a way to find that one obscure piece of data.  Can a one size fits all search work? 

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Absolutely positively this is the one

Thursday, October 11, 2018

via Flickr - Dan Zen and William HookLet’s face it, if we encounter 10 of our co-workers during the day, it would be impossible to categorize all 10 as highly structured, organized rule followers.  It might be more realistic to say maybe three of the 10 fit that description.  If you extrapolate those numbers out in a company of 1,000 employees, that is 700 employees that can take a unique approach to structure and organization.  No big deal unless any one of those 1,000 employees needs to go back to find a document because the CEO has a question.

An easy way to turn all 1,000 employees into super organized, happy rule followers is to use electronic workflows where-ever possible.  The end result of workflow is the final, approved set of information upon which all employees can rely.  There will be no more guessing on which supporting documents were the basis for the final credit approval or what version of a spreadsheet was the final one used in the report.  All users will be able to confidently say to the CEO, Yes, this is absolutely, positively the one.

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To Repair or Replace

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

via Flickr - Tetsuya Yamanoto, click for licenseMost likely every business school in the country teaches a section on lease versus buy analysis.  That may be trickier now with the constant tax law changes, but nonetheless, it is a systematic approach to comparing the cost variables and economic benefits of each option.  The end result of the analysis will hopefully provide a clear choice that shows one option with a superior return on investment.

Believe it or not, this type of analysis is helpful in the document management world as well.  It’s called the repair or replace quandary.  We find that a high percentage of companies that completed a scanning project, or inherited the end product of one, found that the work was poor quality.  This makes it difficult and frustrating for users to find important information.  Does it make more sense to repair the damage or just start over?

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Whatchamacallit

Thursday, August 30, 2018

via Flickr, BodoAs businesses become more micro focused on efficiency, the number of highly targeted software solutions treating one specific pain, soar.  Examples include expense report management or employee onboarding solutions.  These are cloud based, third party solutions that typically generate a “document” as an end product or include supporting document attachments. 

That point solution may in fact become relied upon by the business users as their document system because that’s where they go to find the documents they need.  It’s not uncommon for these applications to list document management as a feature.  The functionality doesn’t qualify it as a document management solution and the organization should be careful to accept it as that, no matter whatcha call it.

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Collaboration requires collaboration

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Every business wants its staff to perform at its peak and to get one plus one to equal three through communication and collaboration.  Collaboration can be complicated, even with technology.  Maybe the best way to highlight how complicated collaboration can be, is to think about the creation of a report that summarizes a new project.

The report could span multiple departments or even include inputs from outside parties.  Therefore, security becomes an issue.  Some collaboration may be parallel such as when working on budget numbers simultaneously in an online spreadsheet.  Other collaboration may be sequential wherein the spreadsheet then provides input for the narrative part of the report – can’t start one without the other. The archival of the completed report needs to be managed as well.  These are all issues that make any single technology solution a difficult fit.

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Downsizing and De-cluttering

Monday, July 30, 2018

via FlickrIn essence, a good records management policy and effort helps companies continuously downsize and de-clutter.  That is not to say that the company moves to a smaller space or reduces headcount.  In this context it is the systematic process of eliminating information that is no longer legally required or relevant to the business.  This sounds fantastic for every company and every employee doesn’t it?

It sounds great to have less irrelevant information to sift through and maybe clearer lines of site to people in cubicles around you, unless you like to work in a bunker.  New office space configurations and the wave of digitization have reduced the chances of boxes piling up.  But even those pesky digital files need to be purged every once in a while.  So why is it so hard to do?

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