edrms business case

Key Tips For Building an EDRMS Business Case

There are some great reference sources out there which contain useful information on EDRMS Business Case building. Here are my EDRMS business case tips.

My previous blog posts on business case writing generally have covered some of these areas. The key is to understand those things that are more important and relevant for your EDRMS/ECMs implementation.

Here are the key things that I have taken from the articles I read:

Cultural change and change management aspects are key

You must factor cultural change and change management into your business case.  Change Management professionals should be included in building your business case early on. Accurate cost estimates for the work required need to be included.

  • First, make sure your team can handle faster workflow! – This is a great tip
  • An organization’s stage of maturity with the ECM lifecycle at a given point in time may dictate whether a targeted or infrastructure project is required. [1]
  • You consider your approach (to the business case) based on the organizational culture, the appetite to spend, the maturity level of ECM, and the enterprise’s overall familiarity with the potential value that ECM can bring [1]
  • It is important to look at the additional costs required to cover the cultural change and change management aspects, when building your business case [4]

I note that increasing the profile of Records Management is a key part of success project delivery.  Are there costs associated with this that need to be captured? [7]


Documenting your ROI for an ECMs/EDRMS/eRIM system is important

The key note here is that “A content management system must be justified for its value to the business as a whole.” [8]

There was a great article that said: “One of the best ways to demonstrate the value of an ECM system is to liken it with other things that are important to the organization:

  1. The most likely is your legal department and their need to have information available quickly, reliably and accurately.
  2. The safety department – so that maintenance records for a piece of equipment are captured correctly and not missing when needed.
  3. Fewer people will be required to handle document and information requests because users will be able to do more on their own.  A 2012 IDC report found that information workers spent up to 20% of their time filing and searching through paper documents.  On top of that, they wasted over 10 hours per week searching for, but not finding documents, recreating lost documents and other time-consuming tasks.  These figures can be attributed to the problems inherent in hardcopy document management.  [2]
  4. Less pressure on IT since file structures are more tightly organized and controlled than shared drives could ever be.
  5. Time spent searching for information is greatly reduced due to the organized file structure.
  6. Revenue lift:  Benefits that help the organization increase revenues.
  7. Risk mitigation/compliance
  8. Cost reduction: storage space, paper costs, imaging and scanning costs etc.
  9. Business continuity: Benefits that improve the organizations ability to ensure that mission-critical functions and services can continue uninterrupted during and after a disaster.

You might also find it value to look at the “Types of Business Cases for ECM ROI calculation” in this document.

It provides really valuable information on the how to focus your business case in a way to “create defensible scenarios that demonstrate how your proposed initiative will provide quantifiable ROI, not just an enumeration of the soft benefits.”  I fully support this way of operating and calculating ROI in a business case.

Remember the transition to business as usual costs

All too often an EDRMS system is implemented and the on-going costs not factored into the overall cost of project.[6]  This creates problems when there are upgrades to be done, especially if customisation has been carried out.  What other costs might also be incurred in the transition to business as usual? Think about any additional resourcing or training costs required to support the ongoing change management.

The starting premise for your business case

I like the process that Chris Foley uses in his article ‘How do I know that my EDRMS project will achieve what we set out to achieve?‘ Following the process he describes will help in determining a lot of the items that you must ensure are included in your business case. He also asserts strongly that change management is a key component.

You might also like to read through the full article by Richard Mendina ‘Defining ROI Benefits and Business Case Models for EIM‘ as it contains great ways to target your business case.

Listen to this podcast episode for more info.



[1] ‘Quantifying ROI and Developing a Business Case for ECM‘ old title.

[2] ‘5 easy ways to show ROI for Document Management Software

[3] ‘Companies find that calculating ROI on ECM not that difficult

[4] ‘Records management: Are you trapped?

[5] ‘Our top 10 tips for a great EDRMS implementation

[6] ‘Future Proof – Protecting our digital future

[7] ‘Implementing EDRMS for success

[8] ‘What is the ROI on ECM?’ – Post no longer available.