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Document Center of Excellence Best Practice #1, Empowered Leadership with Executive Support

BY Ed Worsfold

Part one in a series of six posts around Document Center of Excellence best practices.

Establishing a Document Center of Excellence is an important strategic step for organizations today. The question becomes: how do I do it? This post is part of a continuing in a series of articles that outline important best practices for creating a powerful Document Center of Excellence.  This time we examine Best Practice #1 – Empowered Leadership with Executive Support.

Sponsorship is Essential

An effective Document Center of Excellence needs to have executive buy-in and support. One way to ensure this high level of sponsorship is to establish a DCOE steering committee that includes executive membership from all involved stakeholder departments. This cross-functional composition helps ensure that objectives and activities align closely with the demands of daily operations and the critical technologies that make them work. For most organizations, forming this steering committee can and should require great care and attention in order to be sure that the right people are at the table and that the right stakeholders are heard.

Speak the Language

Even the best plan will fail without the support and resources you need to make your strategy a reality. How can you obtain the executive sponsorship you need?  Kevin Craine, podcast host and author of the book Designing a Document Strategy, suggests that the benefits of a DCOE should be described in a language that will resonate with executive sponsors. “Obtaining sponsorship requires that the picture be painted in meaningful ways,” says Craine. “The picture you paint must show the benefit to the whole of the organization, especially to the extent that the results are measurable, improvement is demonstrated and cost-effectiveness is enhanced.  And if the brush strokes are in alignment with corporate direction, it will be awfully difficult to ignore.”

Steps to Move Forward

Establishing a Document Center of Excellence is not an easy task and one that requires more than pulling a few people into a conference room and declaring a new committee. At Messagepoint, we are experts in customer communications and we hope this series of articles will help you establish a Document Center of Excellence that will make a difference in the performance of your organization.

Next up: DCOE Best Practice #2 – Right Mix of Expertise

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