There is an old saying in Chicago politics, "Vote early, vote often." We should take a page from the old school politicians of Cook County and apply it, with a twist, to enterprise content management (ECM) policies and procedures.

The primary rule of ECM policies and procedures is: Begin work on them when you begin work on the ECM project. Do not wait until you have defined the system architecture, selected applications and tools or, worst of all, deployed a system. Policies and procedures that define how an ECM system is used are as essential to the application as the servers on which it runs. Also, remember to review and revise these policies and procedures prior to significant changes, such as introducing an enterprise portal, deploying a new channel that uses or generates content, or undergoing a major organizational change.

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