“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
Implementing an ALIM system brings change that impacts people, process and technology. It’s understandable that technology vendors represent their products as THE solution to all of you’re problems. I’ve seen a lot of awesome demos and it’s easy to get excited about the possibilities that today’s software tools bring.
But most will ignore the challenges in getting to the benefits the software can provide. That’s understandable right? No vendor wants a prospective customer getting nervous about the implementation challenges, so it’s not in their best interest to bring this up in the sales process.Full disclosure/reminder…I’m a VP at Bentley Systems, Inc.
But another thing that vendors have in common is that they want their software to be used. You might assume that they’re only really interested in the sale, but they know that “shelfware” is a very bad thing. Especially today as the software business is moving rapidly to a subscription model. Years ago…ALIM system cost was very front loaded. So if a system didn’t “take” the vendor would miss out on some recurring maintenance / support revenue, but they’d banked most of the revenue from the relationship on the front end.
Not so much today…and moving quickly to a low-cost of entry and a consumption pricing model that spreads the bulk of the revenue from the relationship over a much longer time horizon. Subscription models have been around for a while, but you can thank the Cloud / SaaS for the recent acceleration that’s occurred in the past couple of years.
So it’s become even more important to vendors that the system be successful both in capability and be widely adoption. If you’re working with a vendor that’s selling a subscription, but isn’t talking about change issues…they don’t get it. And I’d question their long-term viability if they don’t begin to demonstrate quickly that they want to assist with your success by helping you overcome what might be your own internal issues.
So the question…
With the announcement that Bentley’s latest release of eB Insight (That’s SELECTSeries 3) brought Department of Defense 5015.02 Records Management certification, one might ask when will Bentley get around to certifying ProjectWise for records management? Well the answer is both “never” and “just did”.
ProjectWise is aimed at work in progress, collaborative design workflows and the processes managed there do spinoff documents that are deliverables and/or a legal record. So let’s look at the definition of Records Management per Wikipedia:
In the past, ‘records management’ was sometimes used to refer only to the management of records which were no longer in everyday use but still needed to be kept – ‘semi-current’ or ‘inactive’ records, often stored in basements or offsite. More modern usage tends to refer to the entire ‘lifecycle‘ of records – from the point of creation right through until their eventual disposal.
It should be noted that the format and media of records is generally irrelevant for the purposes of records management. The ISO considers management of both physical and electronic records. Also, section DL1.105 of the United States Department of Defense standard DoD 5015.02-STD (2007) defines Records Management as “[t]he planning, controlling, directing, organizing, training, promoting, and other managerial activities involving the life cycle of information, including creation, maintenance (use, storage, retrieval), and disposal, regardless of media.”
The issue for the work-in-progress EIM system is that a “document” may be representing a single file or many. Those files, and their various versions may have interdependencies with other files/documents. So, typically, when multiple files are overlaid together to represent something that’s perceived as a single drawing, then the complex engineering content is typically distilled down to a single, ubiquitous file such as a PDF so it can be used and managed downstream.
Well…ProjectWise does that part (PDF creation) very well through both ad hoc and scheduled jobs. So why not just add records management functions to ProjectWise? As we’ve seen in the above definition, there are concepts in records management that just aren’t applicable for design collaboration. So I’m advocating that the work-in-progress system process the design information into a form that can constitute a legal record, then that record should be pushed or pulled in the RM system.
Bentley does this via a connector between ProjectWise and eB Insight, the latter of which now has DoD 5015.02 records management certification. Ah…but now there are two information management systems, and you’re thinking there’s a problem with that. Not in my view…we’re talking about two VERY different functions that are performed by different people/departments for a reason. So it’s only sensible that each department would want to use the tool that best meets the needs of the job. With this approach they can. (You’ll find in other posts here that I’m not a believer in the “mother of all databases/systems”, but prefer a “horses for courses” approach for this reason)
Don’t be fooled by the fact that eB Insight is frequently referenced as part of the “AssetWise” brand and doesn’t have “ProjectWise” in its name. The pair work well together and you’ll find them paired this way in the field.
The NET?…the way I see it, Bentley just shipped a DoD 5015.02 certified add-on to ProjectWise.