Design: Make decisions on how you want your data to look in the future and work backward.

Aim for the simplest possible post-consolidation environment. Limit the number of metadata fields available to ensure higher usage and less frustration. End users are more likely to use and appreciate a DMS that does not require a lot of extra work when saving documents.

Discover: With the future environment in mind, review existing data. You want to proactively identify any potential gotchas in the beginning.

For example, it is possible that a metadata field could have the same alias but different descriptions across databases.

Ex. Document Type is EXP

Database1: description is Expert

Database2: description is Export

When you identify duplicate alias values, this indicates the need for separate mapping documents for each source database. You cannot consolidate to a single translation table when the source values are not unique.

Consolidate: Remember that documents will be moving from 2 or more sources to a single repository.

In the new DMS, you will have to reconcile differences by mapping the documents to new values. Using the above example, Exports may need to be classified as EXPORT instead of the original EXP.  You can retain the original value in a non-unique field dedicated to legacy doctype.

Educate: End-user training

Make sure end-users understand the differences in the pre and post-consolidation environments, and that they have access to QRCs (quick reference cards) that help with searching. An end-user that knows how to search will be able to find anything using legacy values, regardless of how documents were reorganized or metadata mapped.