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Successful Document Management: A Structured Approach.

TITLE: Successful Document Management: A Structured Approach

PRODUCING COMPANY: Commonwealth Films Inc.


INCLUDES: 65 min. video (VHS or VHS/PAL formats), CD-ROM, and spiral-bound guidebook

PRICE: $305 member/ nonmember

SOURCE: ARMA International Bookstore, or 888/298-9202

"An immense and ever-increasing wealth of knowledge is scattered about the world today -- [information] that would probably suffice to solve all the mighty difficulties of our age -- but it is dispersed and unorganized. We need ... a depot where knowledge and ideas are received, sorted, summarized, digested, clarified and compared."

H.G. Wells (1940)

This statement could easily have come from the keyboard of some well-heeled, latter-day information management pundit; Wells' astute observations still ring true some 60 years later.

Organizations are awash with information. However, in many instances, information critical to business success and survival remains ineffectively managed. Although an important asset, critical business information may get lost in the morass of poorly controlled, poorly handled documents. An organization that fails to effectively control its documents -- both electronic and paper -- is susceptible to numerous organizational, economic, and legal risks.

There is literature available on the finer technical points of document management within organizations. However, less attention is given to the practical aspects of designing, evaluating, developing, and implementing a .comprehensive document management solution within the context of a strategic information management plan.

The Clarity Document Management Institute Video Consulting Series has broken new ground by offering a unique, no nonsense, step-by-step education on document management. Authored by Karen V. Strong, Clarity's President, volume one of the series, Successful Document Management: A Structured Approach, is a vendor-independent, multi-media approach that guides an organization through the process of implementing a successful document management solution. The package consists of a 65 minute video, a CD-ROM with presentation slides, and a comprehensive guidebook with supporting material and tips on using the program.

The information contained in each of the six video modules is easy to understand and provides a consistent message about launching a document management initiative and gaining management support for it. The six modules include: (1) a management briefing on the challenges of document management; (2) developing a comprehensive strategy; (3) defining the document environment and the importance of relationships between data, document, processes and people; (4) evaluating document technologies -- software and hardware; (5) building the business case to ensure top management support; and (6) implementing a solution within a business environment.

The CD-ROM contains more than 125 Microsoft PowerPoint color slides that support and reinforce each video module. PowerPoint Viewer, included on the CD-ROM, allows viewing of the slides without the need for a native copy of PowerPoint. The CD-ROM also contains the slides in black and white handout format; they can be customized to reflect the details of a specific document management initiative, thus allowing the presentation to be tailored for any audience on any particular topic discussed in the modules.

Additional educational materials, available in Microsoft Word and Adobe portable document format (PDF), include descriptive module overviews, outlines, and summaries of the video information that may be printed and distributed. A copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader is also included on the CD-ROM.

The true strength of this program lies in its common sense, structured approach to document management. When considered in the context of developing a strategic business approach to a document management solution, the cost ($305) can be easily justified. Clarity's video series offers a quality driven, cost-effective option to outside consulting services for developing an educational program for internal use.

Strong emphasizes throughout this program that document management consists of the collection, organization, access, and control of documents through information technologies and strategic business approaches. With the publication of the first volume of this video series, Clarity Document Institute has taken a leap forward in providing a wealth of information in a usable, practical format. One looks forward to future volumes of the Video Consulting Series.

Tad Howington, CRM, is the manager of records and information management services for the Lower Colorado River Authority. He may be reached at
COPYRIGHT 1999 Association of Records Managers & Administrators (ARMA)
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Review
Publication:Information Management Journal
Article Type:Video Recording Review
Date:Jul 1, 1999
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