One of the tools we provide to our VIP clients is a system check. Or as we refer to it a sys check (for short). A sys check is a systemic evaluation of your Laserfiche system using the CPS framework. Our framework is a graphical treatment and uniform set of criteria that provides a holistic approach to Laserfiche usage and performance. I thought it would be instructive to explain our approach and the benefits of implementing our recommendations when determining your ECM roadmap and planning your IT strategy.
The matrix is broken into quadrants. The purpose of these quadrants is to communicate the Laserfiche utilization audit. The utilization areas we’ve identified are Population, Consistency, Searchability, and Growth. Much like an IT systems audit, we’re evaluating whether the Laserfiche system (the actual application, mobile apps, web access, records management, workflows, customizations, and integrations) are controlled, compliant, reliable, efficient, secure, and effective. Within each of these quadrants, sit a companion Laserfiche performance function goal (about recommendations and optimization) These goals are Volume, Automation, Metadata, Usability. The order of utilization areas is paired in order with the performance function.
Generally, we communicate our findings in-person or via screen-share toward the end of the year. We use this timing because issues we identify, recommendations we make, and solutions we propose can affect budgeting, manpower, and hardware sourcing, so we want to be sensitive to that process.
Here’s a brief example to illustrate reviewing the audit and recommendations with the client. We’ll call the client City A. City A has been a CPS client for one year. We took over their support from another Laserfiche reseller and this is a short, sample of their sys check:
We start with the population/volume quadrant because this is where we report overall usage by department. The document intake is a useful measure as we can see spikes or drops or a steady influx of work. Also, we can see the number of documents, by the department in the system or the number of documents that have entered the system as records. If we wish we can also see the number of Laserfiche volumes used.
Next up we’ll cover searchability/metadata. In principle, if your metadata is accurate then your searchability should be excellent. Also, discoverable is the number of documents imported without templates. In City A, this number was worryingly high. City A can also determine the number of document types (via template assignment) and the total number of documents in Laserfiche. This audit also deep dives into template field data. City A uses Laserfiche for records management but wasn’t using best practices for template fields. We were able to catch and correct this. Besides, we can correct errors like template name mis-spellings and clean up naming conventions. Finally, we can group multiple template fields into field groups for efficiency’s sake.
Thirdly we have the consistency/automation quadrant- From a records management and a compliance perspective it is critical that documents are assigned templates consistently and that the metadata is accurate. City A uses Laserfiche workflow to import documents into the system and assign template field values. In this scenario, workflow imported claims/lawsuits into the system and it was decided to automate the population of the name and claim number template fields.
Finally, there is the growth/usability section- As more documents enter the system and the organization gains more users, Laserfiche installations grow organically and departments, plug-ins, workflows, and integrations are added as appropriate. Many implementations are what we call “the land and expand” model. Documents are audited by the assigned department as is activity. We can also determine whether or not to recommend training (an assumption we make if users are inactive in the system or new staff is hired.) Also, we’ll examine document quantities by the department and map those to templates. Records management templates are carefully reviewed and template fields are added to the contracts template so that workflow will auto file correctly by vendor name.
At this point, we’ll recap all the recommendations and ask for questions and comments and determine the next steps. Hopefully, this scenario piques your interest in sys checks. If you are interested in learning more please contact us via form or email me- firstname.lastname@example.org.