If you are considering implementing Worldox or dissatisfied with your current configuration, what would be the best practices to implement, how can you make adjustments to get the most out of your system?
The most important thing to understand when adopting a document management system, is that it represents a paradigm shift from a folder-based, table of contents-type structure, to an index-based, search-based structure. Think Google.
As one of my clients noted in analyzing their adoption of Worldox, “the problem was that we thought about profiles [Cabinets] the same way we thought about Windows Explorer and our billing system; instead we needed to be thinking about it in terms of searches and what would have been best for tailoring searches.”
The structure best suited to any firm can be defined as the response to a series of questions. How does the firm need to organize its documents: By client/matter, firm general information, more restrictive personnel/HR/Admin information; users’ personal information? What kind of information needs to be extracted? More generally, any configuration should reflect responses to the question: “What is the best/easiest way for me to find...?” For example, the best answer to the question “how do we organize our standard forms?” would be to create a read-only Forms Bank, managed by designated people in the various practice areas.
A central principle here is “less is more.” Users frequently want to try to micro-manage categories, document types, etc. in ways that mirror what they are used to in Windows Explorer. This rapidly becomes extremely inefficient. For example, I have seen firms that insist on multiplying Document Types beyond the 30-50 that is normally optimal. Then they wind up with a dozen files out of several hundred thousand assigned to some of the doc types. Not very efficient.
Small to medium size firms can usually integrate Firm General and Personal information into one main Cabinet by creating “pseudo-client” numbers for those functions. Firm General would then have various “matters” concerning firm information. HR and Admin as well as personal “matters” can also be subsumed here. Worldox security settings (which can be integrated with Active Directory for even better security) prevent anyone but designated individuals from seeing restricted areas.
Many firms do want to have an HR/Admin Cabinet separate from the main repository.
Most firms will need a “Legacy” Cabinet to store files created prior to implementing document management until such time as they can be imported into the system.
These issues are dealt with at much greater length in my book, Worldox in One Hour for Lawyers, published by the ABA Law Practice Division. Available from the ABA and Amazon.