Friday, May 18, 2012

Organizations, in order to implement and adapt Alfresco as the ECM solution for the enterprise, need to follow certain plan and path.

Here we will elaborate what should be the specific plan of action for implementing Alfresco as the ECM solution in the business.


Identify Content Sources

In an organization, Content can be produced from a variety of sources.
For example Email transactions, Business Document productions, Images, Media file generation processes etc. Identification and listing of all these sources are quite essential.
There should be particular life cycle of each of these contents in the business, capturing these is also equally required.


Identify Actors

Similarly as there are number of different content sources possible in an organization, there can be variety of people and system actors involved in the production and maintenance of the content.
It is important to list down all such actors who contribute and participate in any phase of the content life cycle, along with their roles and actions they usually perform. This will also help to structure the permission model of the system.


Create Organization Taxonomy

This is probably the most important thing to do while establishing an ECM system. This involves
  1. Creating standard and fixed set of content Tags for the business
  2. Creating content categorization hierarchy and structure
  3. Creating user folksonomy strategy
  4. Create business specific content metadata, content types etc


Design Content Storage Structure

This is all about how different types of contents will be stored in the repository.
Answer the questions such as how many Sites will be created, what will be the default space (folder) hierarchy in each of the sites, what are the standard folder templates that can be re-used in the system etc.


Identify Document Management features

There are several standard document management features available in Alfresco ECM. For example
  • Versioning
  • Check-In, Check-Out
  • Comments
  • Manage Permissions
  • Manage Content Types, Metadata
  • Copy, Move, Edit
  • etc
The business needs to identify which all features they need and how to use them.


Structure Content Business Process

In an organization, contents are not created without any processes behind them.
Identifying and structuring these business processes and workflows are one of the most important aspects of an ECM implementation.
Write and spec these workflows in flow chart format that can help developers to easily implement them.


Collaboration around Contents

Alfresco is not only a simple document management system, it offers rich set of Web 2.0 collaboration features.
In today's social media driven world, users work in a very collaborative and connected environment. Alfresco offers all standard collaboration stuff which organizations must evaluate and implement accordingly.


Implement the above standard features

Deploy the above standard ECM use cases, run for a period, evaluate the performance and functionalities of the system.


Finally, identify and implement Customizations

At this point of time, the business owners should be pretty clear about what they need from Alfresco, as the ECM solution of the business. Now you can write down the business specific customizations, additional features they want. Implement those functionalities and you have a stable ECM solution in the business that will last long.