You have finally made the decision to move to a new iManage Document Management System and are ready and raring to go. Your management team is enthusiastic and asking when the system will be available for them to “play around with” and want to know how long before it can be implemented in your organization.  Your administrators and support teams are excited about the prospect to start fresh with new standards and increase functionality for users. The pressure is on!

At this point, it is critical to ensure that you have the best chances for a successful migration. To do that, you should be prepared by understanding your current environment and undertake some level of discovery and planning before starting your journey.

Here are some steps that you should take to start your project off right:

  • Build your project team:
    • Engage with your subject matter experts who understand how the system is used today and what challenges they currently face. Working with these team members will ensure that you include them in design decisions in the new environment.
    • Understand your functional and practice areas, begin communicating with them on their importance of being part of a design for the new iManage system. Have each of these groups, legal and administrative, nominate representatives to work with your partner to develop new designs.
    • Discuss with your current technical team what their role in the project will look like and what planning or discovery work might be expected of them.
    • Identify your influencers, who are those non-formal leaders that are respected for their knowledge and experience. If you engage them early and get their buy-in, your project will have cheerleaders who have the most impact and greatest communication audience at their level.
    • Choose your internal Project Manager.  This person will understand all the moving parts within a project. From Initiating to Closure, the Project Manager is responsible for disseminating updates to the team and stakeholders. Their ability to identify when tasks should occur and how various pieces fit together is a core necessity for any project. Whether it be resources, conflicts, or risks, your Project Manager expertly guides the project to completion and ensures the goals set by the client are met.
  • Understand your data:
    • How many documents do you have?
    • How many repositories or libraries do you currently have?
    • What is the size of the document repository or repositories?
    • Is the data normalized across these repositories or will there need to be a defined approach to consolidate with a single iManage library?
    • How is your data currently managed by you and your users?
    • What are they filing and how are they filing it?
    • Do your users have folders, are they customizing these folders and a consistent manner within their practice group?
    • What issues do users have with your current DMS, this could be the management of data, workflow, or the user interface.
  • Understand your environment:
    • With each of our projects, we work to conduct research for clients to uncover any potential third-party software products that may currently be out of date and may require upgrading to be compatible with the current versions of the IManage clients. Generally, the impact is insignificant, however, you may find that you have a firm-wide product in place that requires a significant effort to ensure its compatibility.
    • You should gather all applications that currently integrate with your current document management system. This should include versions, patches, and bitness. If you have a road map to upgrade any of these applications, inform your partner so that they can ensure you understand the roadmap ahead.
    • How do your users currently access the current DMS system? Will a new environment require changes to how they access iManage, whether they are in the office or at home?
    • Does your organization or do your clients have specific security requirements or concerns that will need addressing?

Your implementation partner will work with you to conduct discovery to answer many of these questions. However, ensuring that you have a firm grasp on your goals and requirements as well as understanding how your data is currently managed, used and accessed will ensure that you and your team can begin a project with productive conversations and assist in planning for any potential risks, challenges or roadblocks.