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17 November 2005 - Scotland Group Meeting

The Scotland Group's event, 'EDRMS: practice, pitfalls and potential' took place on Thursday 17 November 2005 at Aberdeen Football Stadium. The popularity of the event led to a change of venue at the eleventh hour from Aberdeen University. This enabled us to accommodate the 80 attendees who traveled from Cumbria in the South to Inverness in the North. We had Records Managers and archivists from local authorities, the police, higher education, national bodies 'Scottish Executive, National Archives of Scotland, Scottish Enterprise'. We were also pleased to welcome attendees from the Oil and other commercial sectors.

Speakers' Presentations

The event flowed very smoothly from one talk to the next.

We were privileged to be joined by Dr Paul Duller who successfully juggled his three roles of RMS Chair, Tribal Technology sponsor and speaker. He launched the day, graphically describing the problems with paper and best practice approaches to overcoming these. His entertaining style and photographic examples of both bad and good paper records management resulted in an ideal event opener.

Hazel Middleton of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) then related the 'long and winding road' that HIE has followed since implement an EDRMS two years ago. Hazel talked us through the last two years and very usefully provided some advice and tips for other organisations planning a similar project in the hope that they might find their own road to EDRMS less rocky.

Richard Jeffrey-Cook's talk on 'Information Management requirements before implementing EDRMS' focussed on the five streams of activity that are a prerequisite for a successful implementation. These streams are business, records management, user, technical and project management. Richard of In-Form Consult Ltd was at pains to point out that an EDRMS project is largely a change management project with technology providing the tools to support that change.

The afternoon sessions kicked off with Jamie Miller, an occupational psychologist who considered an EDRMS project from the user's perspective. He focused on five main themes - organisational change, environmental change, job change, stress and training. His talk offered a fascinating insight into the very real challenges that users face and addressed many of the points raised in the morning sessions.

After coffee, the final two sessions examined two document management projects undertaken by Oil companies.

Graham Elrick described the document management roll out at Total E&P UK. Yet again the key themes were change management, role of technology and the importance of proper planning and project management. Graham's talk illustrated the value of sharing best practice and experience across the public and commercial sectors.

Duncan Mackay of Conoco Phillips did a wonderful job entertaining a now flagging audience while offering valuable insight into his company's use of electronic data rooms to support their Asset Disposal Programme. This provided potential buyers of the assets that were up for sale with online access to 14.1 Gb of documentation relating to these assets from legal documents and physical hard copy to well logs and reports . In only 6 weeks relevant documents had to be identified, found, hard copies scanned and all files managed in such a way that could be easily accessed and viewed by these potential buyers.

Susan Mansfield, Records Manager with Scottish Enterprise closed the event with a summary of the key messages from the day and thanks to all involved - speakers, sponsors, attendees, staff at the venue and the Care Commission for use of their projector.

The quality of the speakers was very high and the feedback on the day and since has been glowing. Short biographies of each speaker can be found on the Speaker Sheet, linked below. Our thanks to all speakers for their time and effort.

Our Brilliant Sponsors

The change of venue meant we had to attract a further three sponsors to join our original sponsor, Tribal Technology to enable us to keep the event free to attendees. The sponsors' exhibition proved very popular at lunch and break times. We are very grateful to all the sponsors:

  1. McPherson Document Solutions: suppliers of document management and document scanning solutions
  2. Railex: filing systems, metal office furniture and mobile storage cabinets manufacturers
  3. Tower Software: providers of Trim Context Enterprise Content Management Solution
  4. Tribal Technology: provider of software applications to support the management of learning, assets and information, member of the Tribal Group of companies

More information on each sponsor can be found in the Sponsors Sheet below.

Sponsor Feedback

'Excellent venue and good value attendees. The other sponsors mixed well together - good balance. Congratulations on organizing such a good professional seminar.'

McPherson Document Solutions

'Excellent - the limited scope of supplier attendance made for a friendly atmosphere and the presenters mention of the suppliers by name provided the delegates with a good idea of the suppliers capabilities. This proved very useful to relate to while in discussions with delegates. We were pleased to have been offered the opportunity.'

TOWER Software UK Ltd

All in all...

The event was a tremendous success and a true demonstration of the value of the RMS regional groups.

Lessons Learnt

We have learnt a few lessons: in future we'll provide break out sessions in the afternoon to prompt more focused debate and encourage people to increase their networking circle. We will also provide floor plans to exhibitors in advance so there is no confusion on where they should set up on the day. Personally, I will take seriously warnings of two hour traffic jams! My planned leisurely arrival at 7.30am turned into a rather harassed rush in the door at 9.20am!

Key Messages

In summary key messages from the day were:

  1. EDRMS projects are more about change in the workplace than technology
  2. Change is a people issue - i.e. get buy in from users asap and support them throughout
  3. Do not underestimate the time and resources required to plan the project
  4. Do not underestimate the time and resources required to sustain the system, post implementation
  5. Identify and address business, information management, user, technology and project management requirements and issues BEFORE EDRMS implementation
  6. You are not alone - learn from others' experiences, cross sector
  7. The Scotland Group of the RMS is a great support and networking Group


We hope to see you next year

PDFs of all the talks are included below. Photographs from Paul's talk have been removed in this PDF version. We are awaiting approval to publish Duncan's presentation. Anyone downloading and using the information in the presentations should be aware that all the material is copyright.

Long Winding Road - H Middleton (PDF, 76.5 KB)

Preparing for EDRMS- R Jeffrey Cook (PDF, 133.5 KB)

Problems With Paper - P Duller (PDF, 247.3 KB)

Meeting Agenda (DOC, 28.5 KB)

Speakers (DOC, 116.5 KB)

Sponsors (DOC, 122.5 KB)

Attendee List (DOC, 32.5 KB)

Total DM Rollout - G Elrick (PDF, 59.7 KB)

User Issues - J Miller (PDF, 79.5 KB)

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