Every business needs a document strategy in place. This is essential for controlling the flow of information throughout your business. Although it’s difficult to design a new document strategy, executing that strategy is a huge hurdle, too.
You have to ensure implementation happens without delays, miscommunications, or errors—that’s a phenomenal task. Before executing your document strategy, plan for these 7 common challenges and design solutions for overcoming them.
1 - There is no ownership
It’s common for organizations to implement a document strategy without assigning ownership of the responsibilities that come with the strategy. This is usually because of organizational silos and a lack of cooperation.
The best way to solve ownership problems is to formally assign these duties. You can establish clear lines of ownership and responsibility with training, SOP updates, job descriptions, and workflow software tools.
2 - You lack high-level advocacy
If you don’t have buy-in from the C-suite or leadership team, it’s going to be an uphill battle implementing your initiatives. You need to prove just how effective your strategy will be to get continued support from the leadership team.
The best way to solve the issue of advocacy is to articulate the benefits of your document strategy. Document your efforts to demonstrate how they positively affect the organization. Focus on ROI, sharing your metrics and analytics with leadership to get buy-in.
3 - The team is resisting change
Change is hard, especially when your team is used to a different way of working. The fear of change means you can’t get everyone at the organization on board with much-needed adjustments.
The solution is investing in change management—and as early as possible. Take a phased approach to your document strategy implementation, communicating the benefits and value of these changes clearly to all stakeholders as you go through the process.
4 - You can’t reach a consensus
If you’re working with a large team, you know it’s nearly impossible to get them to agree on anything. Fortunately, you don’t need to satisfy everyone.
You can solve this problem by creating an advocacy program. Instead of fighting over every little detail, work with a small team to implement the strategy so you can move more quickly. Just make sure your team is made up of various stakeholders so everyone’s voice is heard.
5 - You fear external disruptions
Outside disruptions come in all forms, whether they’re environmental or regulatory. Some organizations get caught up in the fear of their technology changing or becoming obsolete. They don’t want to implement a strategy because they fear unknown external elements.
The best way to assuage your team’s fear of outside disruption is to create a plan for potential impacts. Conduct frequent SWOT analysis to ensure your document strategy isn’t under threat from outside changes. After all, your organization doesn’t operate in a vacuum: real-world implications and changes should always influence your document strategy.
6 - There isn’t enough funding
Does your organization have limited funding to roll out a solid document strategy? This is especially common in smaller organizations, but it’s not uncommon for enterprises that lack resources for allocation.
You can still roll out your document strategy on a limited budget. However, your team will need to take a phased approach instead of one big rollout. By taking baby steps, you can make the most of your budget.
The phased approach is also helpful for tracking your ROI. You can document your success along the way, using that as proof to secure funding for future phases of the project.
7 - There isn’t enough time
Sometimes teams fear the amount of time it takes to implement a document strategy. They fear that they will lose focus or resources during the document strategy rollout process.
The best solution for time concerns is to revise your plan as you go. When you review the strategy regularly with your team, you can continually optimize it. No strategy is perfect from the get-go, and you’ll need to update it over time to get the most benefits for your organization.
Your organization put in the effort to design a solid document strategy. But these 7 challenges often get in the way of successfully implementing a much-needed strategy. Instead of allowing these issues to block your team’s progress, take a solution-focused approach that removes barriers and streamlines your path to success.
But we know that the path to success isn’t always linear. If your organization needs a better document strategy but struggles with implementation, get in touch with DTI. We help organizations save time, reduce costs, and streamline their workflow for document strategy implementation.