The purpose of the case study is to examine the concepts and ideas that Anthony Ng used to somewhat develop a digital database system. “The Hong Kong architectural industry had derived enormous gains from the unparallel economic success in real estate and stock market speculation”(CABC, 2000).This new economic surge caused much stress to come in contact with the architectural profession This stress was to produce quantity instead of quality designs. This was to meet demands of the rapidly growing society, causing building to be built by the masses. This is not the way “Anthony Ng Architects Ltd” wanted to run their business, it was not the way the corporation did business.
Anthony Ng, was the managing director for “Anthony Ng Architects Ltd”. His goal for the company as managing director was to develop a highly advanced EDMS, a paperless office. This paperless office would allow the architects to spend more time on designing, and less on paperwork. His plan was to have “in place an Intranet and a web-based document management system when they moved into the new office”(CABC, 2000). Anthony main goal or primary objective was that this new paperless office will increase his corporation get back to creating quality designs as well as a quality of them. The new paperless office will allow for better communication both outside as well as inside the corporation. Also would allow for the architects to focus on designing instead of paperwork.
A) Change in Communication Patterns:
While Anthony was aware of some of the potential setbacks that are going to show up in the process of changing the style of communication, I feel that he did not cover all the essentials. A very important issue that Anthony may have overlook, called dismemberment. “Dismemberment can be described as the challenge of technological incompatibility”(Sutton, 1996). This can happen frequently in large corporations such as
Anthony Ng Architects Limited, when there are many different departments or divisions communicating together. What happens is that each division needs to make sure that they are all using to same programs to communicate.
If would have been good for Anthony to make sure that the EDMS can overcome this problem of dismemberment, with browsers that allow sharing of all documents independent of the application. This would allow some one who creates a document in “Word Perfect” to share a document with another using “Word”.
This is so important to make sure that communication and document information can be shared. “You are aiming for an enterprise document repository that would eventually include all document types under the control of the enterprise, regardless of their physical medium”(Sutton, 1996).
B) The Planning of the Digital System
It the planning of the document engineering system it is important to make a distinction from data engineering. This is due to that “data engineering methods revolve around data models and process models while document engineering revolves around the document model, processing life-cycle, and management subframeworks for managing document objects(Sutton, 1996). It is important to have a good foundation, so that the rest of the EDM system can follow correctly and smooth.
Anthony really missed out in the planning stage. Anthony focused all his efforts on the development of the system, instead of thinking of how to sell his idea to others in the corporation. In planing Anthony should have look at different scenario’s that could have taken place. This scenario’s could have helped Anthony get some support from other employees. For example finding out the cost the corporation spends on paper alone. This sunk cost that the corporation encounters could be eliminated by and EDM system. This scenario would help outsiders see the obvious advantages of an EDM system.
In the planning stage it is important to make sure that every detail is covered. This will help the overall development of the EDM system. In the planning stage it is good to make sure that all the possible problems are covered so that when encountered they don’t cause to much of a problem to is impossible to take care of because it is to late.
C Data Recovery:
In reviewing Anthony’s plan, there was no plan for data recovery. It is very important to have a plan for data recovery. When you change your whole corporations from physical paper files to electronic digital files, there are concerns that important company documents could be misplaced or destroyed. This is why it is a necessity to have a data recovery system in order and ready.
All data recovery covers is back ups to all the documents that a stored in the system. Backups are critical to protect valuable data. All thought the expertise is needed, to be sure that important data is safely backed up. This is goes back to the importance of the planning stage to make sure that this area is covered before hand.
The loss of imporatant and valuable data or records can cause huge problems to corporations. Data recovery should be one of the most important aspects of you EDM system. This is what Anthony’s plan was missing for his corporation. For example if Anthony’s plan had gone into effect with no data recovery system, what would have happen if important documents were lost to the design of a new building. This problem would have cause the corporation to question if they made the right decision to switch to an EDM system.
Anthony was correct in understanding that his Architectural firm need to move to and EDM system. For a business to be competitive in today growing economical market, it is important to focus more on the product then the documents relating to the business.