Engineering document management (EDM) systems are a big investment. But while a poorly planned and implemented EDM rollout can cause lost productivity and delays, a successful implementation can help your organization streamline workflows, cut costs, and much more—in other words, the benefits greatly outweigh the risks.
In this second installment of the Top 11 Mistakes to Avoid, we’ll be covering the final six mishaps our Applications Consultants see companies make during Adept implementations—and how to avoid them. Head to Part 1 for our first series of must-have tips. Let’s dive in.
Mistake 6: Confusing functionality across products
Choosing the right software solution—and vendor—for your organization requires extensive research, time, and attention. All too often, those performing the software evaluations are tasked with this project on top of an already jam-packed list of daily responsibilities. Keeping track of which solution does what without a score card or requirements list can be challenging. Without documentation on each solution, it can lead to some confusion on which software does what across vendors.
In order to avoid confusion, we recommend that you carefully catalog and document Adept’s functionality as you plan the implementation process with an Adept expert—especially if you have are trying to accomplish very specific tasks for vaulting, workflows, creating libraries and more. Once everyone is on the same page about Adept’s core functionality, you’ll be able to take full advantage of it during implementation.
Mistake 7: Unable to locate critical files during the implementation
For a successful Adept implementation, preparation is key. One of the recurring problems our Applications Consultants see are teams with an unclear understanding of where users actually store their most critical files in Windows Explorer. Without identifying where all key files are located, there can be a dramatic slowdown in the implementation process.
This means that it’s critical for organizations to be prepared before an Applications Consultant (AC) arrives onsite. Our ACs recommend surveying key groups of users to determine where they store their most critical files. Once Adept is implemented and up and running, start interviewing other groups of users to understand how they store their files and if additional changes are necessary. This phased approach allows you to thoroughly ensure all your files—from your most critical to less used documents—are migrated into Adept.
Mistake 8: Thinking you have to clean all of your “junk” documents and data before implementing your document management system
Rolling out a new engineering document management system can be an optimum time to clean out poor documents and data that you no longer need—which may include backup files, temporary files, unused plot logs, and more. This will provide a better experience for everyone in the organization.
However, don’t make the mistake of trying to clean it all before implementing Adept. Unlike other solutions, Adept actually makes it easier for you to clean this data once it is under Adept’s control. The solution comes equipped with built-in tools for identifying duplicates, evaluating which files are out of date, and cleaning them up. Adept also allows you to easily find backup files, unused temporary files, unused plot logs, etc.
Mistake 9: Not setting up a sandbox Adept environment
The old adage, “measure twice, cut once” originally applied to woodworking; but this concept can and should also be applied in working with complex enterprise document management systems. A sandbox is a testing environment that isolates untested changes and other experimentation from the production environment. In short, it allows you the ability to play and test without worrying that you’ll cause unwanted changes in the live environment.
Setting up a sandbox within Adept during both implementation and upgrades, provides a whole host of benefits. You’ll be able to determine what works and what doesn’t in a new implementation, without hindering the production environment if it fails. It also provides the perfect environment for training. Once Adept is fully implemented within your organization, the sandbox can be used in the future to dry-run the upgrade process and identify any potential problems before they arise.
Mistake 10: Not understanding when to delete files when deleting records
Prior to the 2018 Adept update, a checkbox dialog box would appear when deleting a record, asking the user if they wish to delete the file in tandem with the record. This could potentially lead to some confusion on when it’s best to delete the file or when to keep it in the database.
Our Applications Consultants recommend asking yourself if you truly wish to delete the file or if you just don’t want other users to see it. If the latter scenario is applicable to your situation, they recommend creating an archived library to store the files you don’t need now, but may want to retrieve in the future.
Mistake 11: Not establishing and testing backup procedures
Not all disasters come in the form of major natural catastrophes. In fact, day-to-day threats can prove to be just as devastating to an organization as an earthquake or fire. That’s why it’s critical for all businesses to have a disaster recovery (DR) plan in place.
Even organizations with a DR plan can still experience setbacks to their information infrastructure—the key to fully protecting yourself and all your users is to perform regular tests to ensure that your DR plan indeed works. Many things could happen during the testing process; it is better to catch them before a real disaster hits.
Planning a solid implementation strategy is critical to making your Adept rollout a success. Subscribe to our blog and check out our YouTube channel for more great content, including tips and tricks on best practices, customer stories, and more.