Conduct a needs assessment
If your organization has already reached the stage where a document imaging project plan is on the table, then you’ve already identified basic needs on a high-level. However, a more detailed needs assessment will help you determine what, specifically, you require and what results you should expect.
A great place to start is with the documents themselves. What kind of documents need to be converted and stored electronically? Do all of your documents need to be converted, or just some? Do you have specific document preservation needs? Will you need to implement access controls for sensitive and confidential documents? Asking yourself such questions prior to beginning the process can save you time and money, as well as ensure your document scanning project plan is executed more efficiently.
Create a transition plan
A needs assessment should go hand-in-hand with a transition plan. You will want to touch on a few aspects within your transition plan. These may include, but are not limited to:
Creating a process to ensure compliance by identifying which records need to be kept until what date. This way you can avoid converting documents that no longer need to be legally retained
Setting up retrieval and indexing plans for your digital records. One of the greatest benefits of document scanning is the ability to better index and search for documents. Identify which documents are most frequently used and plan how you can facilitate detailed indexing and easy retrieval in your new system.
Eliminate redundant documents. Over time it is likely that your organization has multiple versions of certain resources. Determine the latest versions and ensure that these – rather than older or inaccurate duplicates – are converted. This can help ensure accuracy as well as drive down costs.
Determine whether conversion will be on-site or off-site
Whether you choose on-site conversions via document scanning equipment, or decide to have your conversion done off-site, will depend on your particular needs. Either way, it is a crucial aspect of getting your document imaging project plan off the ground. Factors like the number of documents you need converted, locality, costs, and more will affect which route you choose. Regardless, you should ensure that the vendor you choose is able to meet your particular imaging needs.
Ultimately, the success of your document imaging project plan will be affected by your preparedness as well as your selection of vendor – the above tips should help guide you in both respects.