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ECM Project Governance
By Alexander Hagen

In my ECM projects, I use the following governance model to manage stakeholder interests:

ECM Governance

Figure 1: ECM governance

  • The ECM Board acts as business owner of the ECM application and the ECM framework. In the ECM framework, the application configuration, the high-level folder structure, generic functionality, customizations, and “the way of working” can be found. The board consists of the ICT Manager and representatives from senior business management, and decides about changes to the ECM framework, and new ECM initiatives.
  • The ECM Steering Committee acts on a delegated responsibility from the ECM Board and monitors the ECM implementation. When necessary, priorities are set. Consideration should be given whether the ECM Board and Steering Committee are separate bodies, of if they can be combined into one. This mostly depends on whether the ECM Board is a dedicated board for ECM, or if they have a more extensive mandate. Also, seniority of involved management, and their availability plays a role in the decision process.

  • For clusters of implementations, I establish a Project Steering Committee. In most cases, this is for implementations at branch offices. The project board consists of the ECM project manager, and representatives from the branch office’s management team, optionally extended with the ICT Manager. The steering committee’s main focus is on ensuring adherence to the project’s timeline. Especially for remote implementations in branch offices, costs can soar when implementations are allowed to slip.

  • All individual ECM implementations are executed by a project team, with project management to support it.

    • Project Management provides control and escalation mechanisms for the implementation, and consists of the ECM project manager, the department manager, and the business project champion. It’s also the platform to escalate issues to the Steering Committees.

    • Project Execution is done by a team, consisting of an ECM Specialist, the business project champion, and a number of project team members. The ECM specialist will facilitate the implementation process and provide technical know-how, while the project champion will ensure business commitment, follow-up department staff, and provide business process know-how.

Alexander Hagen is an experienced, multilingual Project Manager with projects in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France and UK. He’s specialized in Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system implementations and has experience in ICT Services, the Chemical and Oil & Gas industry as well as Industrial Automation business. Alexander is internationally educated and fluent in Dutch, English and German.

Alexander has 10+ years detailed, in-depth knowledge of Open Text Content Server (Livelink) and Archive Server, and proven skills to successfully implement it in multinational organizations. You can read more from Alexander on his blog and you can connect with him via Twitter.

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