You’ve probably noticed that our crew at Systemware likes nerd and geek culture. That’s why we couldn’t help but celebrate when the new Star Wars movie finally hit theaters. Who knew the Star Wars universe had anything to do with Information Strategy?

We love what we do. So we can’t help but infuse everything we do with bits of the things we enjoy. I think that’s how we give our customers such a positive experience.

As the season concluded the other day, talk turned to the The Big Bang Theory (TBBT) – another of our nerdy favorites. It happened again: we came up with one ECM analogy after another. Here are just six of the reasons your information strategy should – or shouldn’t – mimic The Big Bang Theory.

#1 Starting off on shaky ground

Did you know that the first season of TBBT got a lukewarm reception? It’s true. It got as many thumbs-down reviews as thumbs-up. One review said the show assumed that obscure geek-speak was common knowledge, so it wasn’t a successful medium for jokes. That sure changed, as TBBT is well into its 9th season with no end in sight.

What’s this got to do with modernizing your ECM strategy? Most information projects get off to a rocky start due to lack of user and executive buy-in. They also lack thorough analysis and planning. That’s why we’ve published our series of ECM Strategy Steps, to prevent misunderstandings and to make sure the viewers – um… the business users, I mean – get what they need and expect. It’s always easier to start off on the right foot than to correct a misstep.

#2 Just fix the elevator – please!

Sometimes, ignoring the obvious can hurt everyone. Just how long has Sheldon’s building elevator been out of order? Regardless of cost or the mess, just fixing it once and for all would give everyone some relief. (Of course, it might ruin a recurring plot element, too.)

How often do we overlook the obvious and immediate needs of our users? We may be working on a broad, modern information strategy, but often the best first step is to give the users some immediate relief. If you can get that done in an early phase, or even as a precursor, it will go far toward maintaining support for your long-term strategy.

#3 Bringing in the “experts”

Believe it or not, Sheldon doesn’t always know the answer. Everyone knows he can rarely be guided to do the right thing – unless by his Star Trek heroes. Whether it’s the voice of Leonard Nimoy (may he rest in peace), George Takei or any number of other cast series members, only they have Sheldon’s ear.

As we implement our business’ information strategy, we’d like to think we have all the answers. But as quickly as technology evolves – both infrastructure and the content itself – sometimes it’s best to consult with a specialist. That doesn’t require a long-term cost or commitment. But it can ensure your initial analyses are an accurate representation of your needs before you embark on an implementation.

#4 And speaking of know-it-alls…

To touch on all the quirky characters in TBBT would require a book. Besides, picking on Sheldon is easiest. Sheldon is nothing if not a know-it-all. He could avoid so much trouble if he’d just ask his friends what they need from him.

This happens with information projects, too. It’s tempting for an IT department to develop a strategy as an IT initiative, seeing only the technology and infrastructure, then have it fail. Instead, you should involve the users throughout the organization to ensure you align closely with key business strategies. Just asking can secure business buy-in and sponsorship to carry your project forward.

#5 Can a good thing go on forever?

Any TV show that lasts 9 seasons is a cult favorite. Networks have to weed out poorly conceived ideas, and consider the public’s short attention span. The ideal balance is having a solid concept, a willingness to experiment and to always give the viewers a good laugh (or scare).

Modernizing your information strategy is the same way (though you don’t want to scare your users). You need to look back at what worked and failed, prioritize what gives the most benefit for the cost and risk, and plan a roadmap to get there. Of course, you don’t want a project to last “forever.” But you have to acknowledge that your information needs aren’t static and your strategy will require continuous improvement.

#6 The theory itself

If you followed our “Step Process” for preparing a new ECM Strategy for 2016, you’ll understand that waterfall “big bang” projects don’t make sense anymore. Waiting to complete and test every feature could mean the business won’t realize any benefits for years.

Forget the Big Bang approach (sorry, Sheldon). Prioritize all the changes based on their relative benefits, risks and costs, then phase the program into immediate, medium and long-term phases. The business will see immediate results, and you’ll be able to adjust course as inevitable future technology unfolds.

May your information strategy live long and prosper.

Need help with an ECM strategy that gets renewed year after year? Request a consultation and our team of experts can help.