Your Document Management Knowledge Center

Document Management: Important or Urgent?

Ever have someone at work tell you they are busy putting out fires?  Ever worked in organization that has a new crisis every day?  Putting out fires or constantly dealing with a new crisis is unproductive.  So how does an organization get out of fire fighting and crisis mode?

Years ago I took a management class that stressed focusing on the important issues in an organization.  The class divided issues into 2 segments: Important and Urgent.  Important items were ones that would make an impact on the organization.  Urgent items were ones that needed immediate attention.  When you put the two together, you have items that fall into these

•    Important and urgent
Document management addresses urgencies.•    Important, but not urgent
•    Not important, but urgent
•    Not important and not urgent

The concept they taught, and that I fully endorse, is that focusing on the important issues creates a climate where fewer fires start in the first place.  Further, while it might be tempting to focus on the items that are both important and urgent, the only way to truly make this work is to focus on the items based on how important they are.
What people who fight fires do is to focus on the urgent items based on who is screaming the loudest.  Organizations that have this type of culture stagnate and do not get things done.  They don’t move forward and over time can completely fail.

Even when the concept is fully explained and completely accepted, people revert back to working on the urgent items.  It’s human nature to want to look like the hero and put out the fire.

However, it takes true leadership to ignore the fires and focus on the long term strategic goals.  Working towards your goals generates much more value for an organization.

So how does this apply to document management?  Many of our customers come to us because they are fighting a fire and document management will help put it out.  The more progressive organizations see the long term benefit and start thinking strategically about how to use document management to improve efficiency or to gain a competitive edge.  Moving the thought process from urgent to important is what we do almost every day.

Unfortunately, until we help put out the fire for the customer, they usually won’t plan for the future.  The key is to look at how putting out the fire can be used to produce long term benefits.  Once organizations look beyond the crisis of the moment, they can succeed.

In the meantime, we will continue to help customers put out fires.  But we will always stress fire prevention as a better plan. Read more about how we can help you with our special offers.

Topics: Compliance, SaaS