The Ugly Truth Behind Compliance and Records Management


Yesterday, Joe Shepley wrote an incredible post on the simple fact that No One Cares about Compliance. While an overstatement, it is true. When it comes time to invest the money, organizations don’t care.

Sure, everyone sees the need, but they don’t do it. It is too hard, too expensive, and prone to failure. There are too many project with a better promise of success. If those things weren’t true, everyone would be compliant and conferences like ARMA would be celebrations of success, not spent drowning sorrows in beer.

Yesterday, Joe shared some realities from his time in the field. I’m going to do the same.

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When is 30% Better Than 80%?


There is a basic misconception that is plaguing the Content Management industry. This misconception is that 80% is better than 30%. Without context, it doesn’t seem like much of a misconception, but trust me, it is a problem.

The missing context? What percentage of features that organizations are looking for does a solution have out-of-the-box?

The answer is never 100% unless you are the ONE organization that matches the generic solution template. Still, you can usually find a solution that gets pretty close if you tweak a few internal business rules that are more of a business tradition than an actual need.

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Failure, Mistakes, and Actual Success


shanghai_building_cs_20090629035740.jpgA month ago, as I was waiting to start my first day with AIIM, I can across several tweets that I felt over-stated the benefits of failure. I decided to write a quick little post on how Failure is Not a Positive on my tablet over my morning coffee.

There were some great comments, but I had little time to respond. I am taking some time now to respond because this is an important topic. First, let me start with my baseline statement:

Failure is bad.

I still stand by that 100%. It should be noted that once you are no longer in grade school, you realize that good and bad are on a sliding scale and are rarely absolutes. Something can be bad and not be the “worst”. Bad in this context refers to the simple fact that if you draw a line in the middle, failure is something to be avoided.

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Failure is Not a Positive


A while back, people from the tech world began postulating about the value of failure. The context was that failure may not be a waste if the lessons can be built upon. One should never use “fear of failure” as an excuse not to do something.

The problem is that now people are talking about failure as if it is a good thing, something to be pursued. It isn’t.

FAILURE IS BAD.

If someone fails once, no biggie. If they fail more often, maybe it is because they don’t have the chops to proceed. Maybe they just suck.

Failure teaches you what doesn’t work. It doesn’t always teach you what does work. You may do something wrong, but if you adjust, you haven’t failed.

If you have truly failed, you need to not only analyze what went wrong, but why you didn’t see it in time. Why didn’t, or couldn’t, you adjust.

Most likely, you need help to learn the right way. Depending on the failure, you may need to add someone on your team.

Better yet, think on your weaknesses, we all have them, and act to get people on your team who can compensate.

Failure is to be avoided. It is a bad thing. Failure isn’t the end of the world, but if you decide that you are willing to fail, you likely will.