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CHAPTER II Building Support Implementing a multi-activity information management system is a complex and time- consuming proposition. Without appropriate support and leadership, it can be a potentially expensive exercise in futility and frustration. To avoid this experience and ensure that you achieve your goals, you should start the process by: · Identifying the person or persons who can effectively market and promote the concept both inside and outside the agency · Obtaining support and leadership from agency management · Putting together a working group with representatives from the different stakeholders · Demonstrating how the system can assist the agency with meeting its performance measures and goals · Researching similar efforts to identify the state of the practice, lessons learned, and an under- standing of anticipated costs, time, and resources. Recruiting a Champion Identifying the person who is enthusiastic about implementing a new and/or expanded information management system and who has the necessary influence to promote the idea to the level of management that writes the check is critical to this process. Without that support, the resources necessary to plan, design, build, and implement the system will not be realized. If at all possible, a second person should also be identified, because individuals with these char- acteristics are often promoted or leave the organization for more challenging opportunities. When agencies are asked for lessons learned from going through a system design and implementation process, having a champion is mentioned without exception. Obtaining Leadership, Stewardship, and Management Support Because of the complexities involved in developing an enterprise-level information management system, this effort must have leadership from someone who has the ability to allocate or obtain the necessary financial, technical, and staff resources. This person may or may not be the same as the champion. One of the important activities of this individual is to articulate the importance and value of the system to upper management, primarily those that allocate your budget, and other stakeholders across and outside the agency. Support from management should extend over the time required to operationalize the system. If the total effort will take a substantial time commitment, phasing the implementation 13