Automate your content-intensive processes and unclog your business

By Bob Larrivee posted 12-16-2011 11:43


I'll be speaking about this topic at AIIM 2012 (San Francisco. March 20 - 22). My session will be on March 22 at noon; Automate Your Content-Intensive Processes and Unclog Your Business.

For more information and to register, visit the AIIM Conference 2012 pages.

Look forward to seeing you there; on to the sneak peek of my presentation.

Content creation is not a problem for any organization. Spreadsheets, correspondence, digital photographs, and many more types and formats of content are created at an astounding rate given the technology available to us today. As a result, organizations are finding that their processes are becoming clogged with this glut of information. So, like a plumber trying to unclog the pipes at your house, you must become the plumber to unclog the processes in your organization.

First you have to understand the flow of your process throughout the organization. How does content move from person to person and department to department. One of the best approaches to this is to develop a process map and document not only the flow but each step within the process and the content and information related to that step. Here is where you will look at the inter-relationship between the content and the process to understand the role of content and the purpose or value that step plays in moving content through the process.

Next, you begin analyzing the process and related content. Are the steps in the process required or are they just there because someone wanted to be part of it? Is there value in each step or redundancy? What is the purpose of the content and should content be flowing through the process or would it make more sense and decrease clog if you were to utilize a central repository and provide pointers back to the relevant content? Another question to ask is whether or not this is an opportunity to repurpose your content and use it not in just this instance but other areas as well. For instance, if your content is forms based like those we find in healthcare, could the information being captured for one department be reused by others? If the content and information is the same, the next step would be to identify the source and targets for the content. Now you can begin developing standardized formats and templates to reuse the content while targeting process improvement and automation.

In my view, clogged processes due to content-intensive processes can and should be addressed in a timely yet proper manner. Simply mandating less content will not work and neither will automating a process without carefully documenting the process and inter-relationship between the content and the process. Not only do you need to understand how content enters and exits the process, you must identify what happens to it, why it happens and develop ways to maximize content use while at the same time, minimizing process clog due to content glut. This is a huge cultural shift in many cases as you will change the way your organization works, but in the end, you will find it all worth the effort.

If you are ready to move forward and are finding yourself stuck or unfocused and are not sure where to begin or what to do next, seek professional assistance and/or training to get you started. This will also be the focus of my session at the AIIM 2012 Conference in San Francisco.

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

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I will be speaking at and look forward to meeting you at the following events:

  • January 17-10, 2012 AIIM ECM Masters in San Francisco, CA
  • January 31-February 3, 2012 AIIM ECM Masters in London, UK
  • February 5-7, 2012 Capture 2012 in San Antonio, TX
  • February 14-17, 2012 AIIM BPM Masters in San Diego, CA
  • February 26-28, 2012 Share Conference, Johannesburg, SA
  • March 13-16, 2012 AIIM ECM Masters in Seattle, WA
  • March 20-23, 2012 AIIM 2012 Conference in San Francisco, CA

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