This is a statement I have heard over and over again when discussing an ECM environment. All too often folks look at process as being a series of events that can be documented on a flow chart, without consideration for the content associated with the process. As a result, ECM is put into play and now they face changes in the way work gets done. Where once there was a manual process, now there is automation which is good for that department but what impact did it have on how others interact with them.
As an example, if finance changes the way procurement is handled, using ECM technologies to automate and “go digital” with all content, what impact does it have for the rest of the company? What processes change when it is time to place internal order requests? Are those still in paper form or will they be digital as well and if so, how does the approval process work? Is there a web based form to complete or is it a word document that will pass from hand to hand via email. (Yes this is still a very common practice.)
In my view, when you assess the need for an ECM environment and begin to plan for the future, process should be part of your discussions. Most processes happen out of need, serendipitously, rather than through design. If you really want to maximize your investments, look at the process and consider the impact ECM will have on the way your organization will work. This is a great time to design your processes in relation to how you capture and manage your content.
If as an organization, you are ready to move forward and are not sure where to begin or what to do next, seek professional assistance and/or training to get you started.
What say you? Do you have a story to tell? What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you have a topic of interest you would like discussed in this forum? Let me know.
Bob Larrivee, Director and Industry Advisor – AIIM
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow me on Twitter – BobLarrivee
Look for my session at NIRMA 2011 in Las Vegas this August and on Mobile Devices in the upcoming AIIM sbcon11 event this September.
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