SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, William Schmarzo, Dana Gardner

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Process Management Suites and Document Management

A Document and Digital Content Management independent from the entity’s Processes is difficult to conceive. 

This is not just a question of Document Management having a workflow. On the contrary, the complete management of documents must be incorporated within the Process Management Suite (BPMS). If the Processes of an entity make up the entity’s total activity, and a BPMS manages, automates and controls these processes, how can the activities that involve documents and web content be left out? 

Handling documents forms part of the daily activity in an entity, and therefore must not be isolated from the entity’s Business Processes. By including Documental Management in a BPM Suite, the Processes that are responsible for controlling the activities performed in an entity will therefore manage the documents that intervene in these activities, thus achieving their optimal management. 

Any carrier of information is considered documentation: letters, regulations, invoices, delivery notes, forms, tables, spreadsheets, lists, drawings, images, photographs, animations, audio, video, URL addresses, or any other information such as web pages or databases. 

Document Management in Processes

 To be truly effective, a BPMS must include a complete system to manage Documents and digital Contents (archives, approvals, versioning, digital signature, notification of change subscriptions, content searches, discussions, surveillance, audit trail, content publishing, etc.). 

A next generation BPMS such as AuraPortal can manage all the corporate documentation with great efficiency, no matter how complex it may be: creation, modification, storage, conversion, search, location, reading, printing, interpretation, analysis, tracking, sending, linking, elimination management and other more complex actions with every type of document. 

In general, document handling is carried out in the context of an activity that is running. For this reason, when designing the entity’s operative processes, the actions to be performed with documents are included within these processes: capture from the exterior, creation, approval, report, consultation, elimination, etc. 

For example, when designing in the BPM suite a Personal Task (a task performed by a person) that belongs to a specific process, in which a department manager must approve a request, the designer of the task can integrate any documents (or even whole libraries) that the manager may need to be able to perform the task, i.e., to approve or refuse the request. This means that, as the entity’s activities are supported by BPM processes, most of the documents will not need to be searched for, because they will be available to be consulted by the task performer without having to leave the task. This optimizes any work that the company performs involving documents.

More interesting still is the capacity of the BPMS to automate activities with System Tasks (tasks that are performed by the system automatically, without human intervention). For example, document creation can be fully automated by the BPMS, which will fill in a template with data from the Process. Most documents can be created automatically, thus saving time and cost, eliminating the possibility of error and making it easier to standardize corporate documents.

Automation of the Document Life Cycle 

As explained above, the BPMS automates the whole document life cycle: Capture and Creation, Storage, Flow, Access and Elimination. 

Capture 

These documents come from External Users (customers, providers, etc.), who maintain digital relationships with the entity and therefore participate in the flow of the BPM Processes. The documents are introduced by External Users from a Start Message or Task, and are integrated in the system with no effort from the entity. Documents in paper form can be digitalized to then introduce into the system. 

Creation 

Most of the documents that are generated internally in the entity, as they are created in the context of a specific activity (and therefore their data is included in the process), will be created automatically by the system itself (via sophisticated templates that collect the data from the actual process), thus achieving an enormous saving in time and cost

This is not just limited to simple form type documents, but any type of document, no matter how complex it may be. 

Storage

 The documents and contents, whether Captured or Created, are placed in the actual Processes (electronic files) and/or in the Libraries. They can be personalized and are structured in the Tree of Libraries by being lodged in the desired levels. They boast any type of metadata and advanced search options. Their placement is automatic, in response to the Rules stipulated for this class of process. 

Furthermore, both individual documents and libraries can be integrated with the elements that are managed by a next generation BPMS: Employees, Accounts (customers, distributors, providers, subcontractors, etc.), Projects and Areas of the entity or with any other type of element that the entity wishes to control. 

Flow, Access and Elimination 

When designing the tasks of a process in which some performers may need to carry out actions involving documentation (consultations, modifications, approvals, elimination, etc.), all the necessary documents or libraries will be included in these tasks. This way, the system makes sure that the actions conform to certain Rules (which may include exceptions and possibilities of adaption to unforeseen situations), ensuring their compliance and control. 

This means that most documents will not need to be searched for, because they will already be available to the task performer, to be consulted, modified, approved or deleted. 

Digital Content Management 

Regarding any special characteristics in the Content, the BPMS allows for the automation of Processes for the elaboration and reviewal of digital content, automatic publication in corporate portals and, in general, the optimization of the use of corporate knowledge. 

The system automates all the stages of the content life cycle: creation and/or capture, storage, security, flow, access, publication, version control, recuperation, distribution, conservation, expiration and destruction of the content. Furthermore, these actions will not be carried out independently; they will be conducted within the context of the rest of the entity’s daily activity. 

Analysis and Control Tools 

Another great benefit of managing documents within the BPMS is that the powerful Business Intelligence tools (System Controls, Dashboard, etc.) can be put to use, allowing for the observation, control and analysis of the actions and Documents to be automated. The information will not have to be searched for; instead the system will provide those concerned, punctually, with their documents and personalized reports.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Nina Moon

AuraPortal, BPM, BPMS, CRM, CRM automation, CAASPRE Consulting, Gartner, Business Process Management, Rules Engine, Process Engine, Document Management, Portals, Intranet/Extranet, Supply Chain, Process Models, Summit, Business Users, Consultants, Independent IT Companies, Sales Agents, Partners.

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