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examination-related records and assists with long-term access to electronic records. The records management functions are automated so they apply existing records retention and records management policies to electronically stored records. WISDM assists with providing timely electronic records responses to discovery or congressional inquiry, allows suspension of relevant documents and records, and disposes of final records in compliance with the Records Retention Schedule.

Until now, the only option was to print and file records. For those using it, the system fills the business need for compliant electronic document and records management, and improves access to information in the system. The OCC has also used the technology to standardize and streamline supervisory business processes, effectively increase security of electronic bank and supervisory documents and records, and improve collaboration and sharing between the community of examiners and supervisors.

Why WISDM Worked

The success of the system falls under four key areas:

1. Cross-functional sponsorship and management: The OCC had sponsorship of three OCC divisions: Large Bank Supervision, Office of Management and OCIO. Constant, active senior leadership - including the agency's CIO - provided ongoing support. A close collaboration between IT, Records Management and the LBS business units continued throughout the design, development and implementation processes. Additionally dedicated resources with appropriate and necessary technical and business-oriented skill sets were assigned to WISDM and development was appropriately scoped.

2. Industry-standard software: The OCC chose an industry-standard, DoD 5015.2-compliant tool that provided full document and records management functionality with very little customization.

3. User-initiated requirements: The OCC had an active and involved user group to assist with the development and validation of requirements. Additionally end-users we offered technical change management and opportunities to provide input at certain times throughout the system's development. The OCC could not have built the system it has today without end-users' help.

4. Sustained cultural change management: Early in the project, the OCC implemented an ongoing change management effort to promote adoption and ownership of the system. It also continually analyzed barriers to change and attempted to mitigate them. The OCC worked hard to ensure user concerns were appropriately communicated. Finally it made full use of change agents (e.g., training champions) to "cascade" change through the organization.

Lessons Learned

Of course, there are many lessons to be learned. The joint team learned to collaborate and build solid relationships among key project leaders. From the project's onset, it established and agreed upon clear roles and responsibilities for key project leaders.

For a project of this scope, the OCC needed to develop and adhere to a scheduled, structured methodology for system development. This was much easier said than done; it proved to be an extremely difficult feat. It's important to not underestimate the amount of planning time required.

The OCC also learned to manage its risk appropriately, while clearly defining the procedures for escalating risks to appropriate stakeholders. It's imperative to clearly state the impact of risks on the schedule, costs and product quality. The OCC tried to catch and resolve issues before general deployment. Even though the system is now in production, risk management continues to be ongoing and important.

Scope management was another key lesson the joint team took away from this project. Technical and functional requirements must be specific, testable and measurable. The OCC built a bite-sized piece, keeping the end goal of enterprisewide use in mind. Be realistic about what can be reasonably implemented and absorbed by your target user community. Recognize that new issues will continue to arise - work them into a requirements management plan and into ongoing development.

Last but certainly not least, the OCC learned that involving stakeholders early and often is truly a key. Understand and address their needs and comfort levels long before system deployment. Provide frequent opportunities for feedback on prototypes and requirements documentation.


Donna Blankenship  |  Contributing Writer
Susan L. Sallaway  |  Contributing Writer