Just like administration, corporate working methods are subject to constant change. At a time when all processes were based on paper documentation alone, one could rely on the same proven methods for decades. In today’s world, constant technological change has significantly improved document editing and formatting efficiency. But how has this affected filing, and in particular speedy access to contents?
Let us have a look at a concrete scenario:
A public administration body implements office tools, mail systems and subsequently a document management system. These tools define clear structures (e.g. a filing plan) and rules (organizational manual) for saving documents. The staff adapt to these standards, and due to the enhanced efficiency and improved information access, success is soon at hand. At the same time, the increasing demands for compliance are met. But is this a realistic scenario? In a perfect world, perhaps. However, real life results are often less satisfactory. There can be any number of reasons given – starting with the popular reference to non-ergonomic software – down to a lack of organisational support.
Failure could more likely be due to the fact, however, that some people, or even entire organizations, apply different working paradigms and are no longer interested in structured document filing. In the days of a paper trail there were also specific focal points for correct and complete filing, such as a registry or secretariat. These were often discontinued in the wake of the introduction of electronic systems.
Hence, when structured order – to return to the blog title – is not an objective, or not possible, it must be substituted by efficient search methods. Although this is not a simple task, it is now achievable. A concrete alternative will be presented in a subsequent blog article.
There is no alternative to coping with the torrential growth of data.
Knowing which path to choose is crucial for success; a false estimate of one’s own order is bound to end in chaos. Efficient search functions are not free of charge, neither from an organizational nor from a financial perspective!