AIIM - The Global Community of Information Professionals

How I Learned to Love the Robot: Getting Started with Document Automation

Jun 2, 2017 1:00:00 PM by Thomas LaMonte

Management had a chat and the robots start next week: Do you…

  1. Fortify the office to defend against the Robot Uprising–You won’t go down without a fight, right?
  2. Repress your inner cave dweller, and find a way to leverage this new tool to more effectively manage digital documents throughout their lifecycle and delegate manual tasks?

If you chose A: Best of luck!

If you chose B: You are lightyears ahead of the people choosing A— feel good about that. You are also absolutely right:

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Topics: business process, automation

5 Ways to Improve Mortgage Banking with Automation

Dec 14, 2016 7:52:19 PM by John Mancini

The mortgage banking industry is plagued by time-consuming and error-prone, paper and labor-intensive processes, front-end systems that do not communicate efficiently with back-end systems, and third-parties that are often not integrated into the process electronically. These problems are exacerbated by the huge volume of loans that are generated each year (nearly 5 million new consumer mortgages alone). Content management is a key enabling technology in solving these problems.

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Topics: content management, business process, Banking, mortgage, mortgage banking

The Journey to Simpler Information Management Begins With Going Paperless

Nov 4, 2016 9:00:00 AM by John Mancini

In pursuit of the paperless enterprise it is often easy to lose our way. Projects stall, months pass and ROI is nowhere on the horizon, and all the while paper continues to rifle through our processes like stubborn weeds. Paper overwhelms the enterprise, and the difficult task to remove it all can cause a crisis of motivation.

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Topics: business process, world paper free day, wpfd, paperless

Applying Lean and Six Sigma Principles to Drive Digital Transformation

Oct 24, 2016 9:30:00 AM by John Mancini

Is "information chaos" in your core business process processes slowing your organization down? Making you less competitive? Frustrating your employees, suppliers, and customers?

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Topics: process automation, information management, business process, digital transformation,

A quiz -- Among these 20 processes, where are the key paperless digital transformation opportunities?

Oct 18, 2016 11:47:21 AM by Thomas LaMonte

Where are the key paperless digital transformation opportunities?

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Topics: invoice processing, business process, process improvement

Information overload: It affects MACHINES as well as people

Sep 19, 2016 3:01:31 PM by Paul Cleverley

This is a guest post by Paul Cleverley, a geoscientist and practitioner by background and is now an information scientist and researcher in the Department of Information Management with Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen.

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Topics: enterprise content management, business process, enterprise search, machine learning

Learn About Process Automation at Local Information@Work Seminars

Aug 31, 2016 8:24:23 PM by John Mancini

In today's business world, customers expect organizations to be able to adjust, respond, and deliver products and services effectively, efficiently -- and on their schedules.

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Topics: business process, process improvement, automation

8 Things You Must Know to Automate Human Resource Processes

Aug 23, 2016 12:10:58 PM by John Mancini

It is the best of times and the worst of times for HR professionals.

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Topics: document management, business process, bpm, human resources

This Just In -- Charles Dickens (Really?) and 7 Key Data Points About SharePoint

Aug 2, 2016 9:50:32 AM by John Mancini


“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”  (A Tale of Two Cities)

As I read through the results of our latest SharePoint survey, a kind of Dickensian déjà vu washes over me relative to surveys of past years.

Yes, SharePoint is ubiquitous in most large scale enterprises.  Yes, those pesky users, frustrated by usability and mobility issues, are still end-running the IT uber-lords and using consumer technologies to get their jobs done.  Yes, SharePoint sophistication varies widely, ranging from those still using it only for basic project file sharing (really? why would you do this?) to those running complicated and mission critical workflows upon it. Yes, folks are far too often still faking it when it comes to actually operationalizing those elegant governance policies in their SharePoint environment. And yes, enterprises at scale typically lag at least one – and often more than one – version behind the latest version.

It seems like I’ve written this post before.  I can anticipate the comments.

"AIIM, you aren’t critical enough about SharePoint!"

"AIIM, you are too critical about SharePoint!"

"We can’t wait to port everything to the cloud!"

"We can’t let anything go to cloud!"

"We love SharePoint!"

"We hate SharePoint!"

Oh, and BTW the comment from most organizations at scale, "We’re still committed to it."

I think this kind of bipolarity is what one should expect when you ask questions about a platform.  As I’ve said many times before, SharePoint has said from the start that it was a platform, not an application.  But far too often, when IT folks over the years said “platform, platform, platform” with regards to SharePoint, many of us on the business side heard “application, application, application.”

A couple of points to consider about platforms.

  1. Satisfaction with platforms depend a lot on what and how people build upon the platform. 
  2. Platforms are only optimized when organizations have the internal resources to support the platform and understand how to do so. 
  3. Platforms are optimized when the business realizes that purchasing the platform is just the beginning.  Third-party add-ons and expertise are critical to maximizing value.
  4. There is a significant knowledge gap at the enterprise level between usage of SharePoint (see below -- for 28%, it's their only or main ECM system) and understanding of where the platform is going (only 23% understand what SharePoint 2016 offers). This gap is a recipe for an unsatisfying project experience.

So check out all of the details in our new Industry Watch survey.  There’s some great stuff it in. 

Here are just 7 of my favorite data points:

  1. SharePoint is the only or main ECM/DM system for 28% of organizations. Thirteen percent see SharePoint as important for their overall ECM/DM environment.
  2. Eleven percent of organizations have reached a plateau in terms of SharePoint adoption. 22% say their SharePoint adoption is facing challenges from the user community.
  3. More than a quarter of respondents say they are still using SharePoint 2010 with 41% citing they are using SharePoint 2013 as their live primary version. At this time, only 2% say they are live with SharePoint 2016 and 19% with SharePoint Office 365.
  4. When it comes to the enhancements found in SharePoint 2016, 43% say they are somewhat aware of what SharePoint 2016 offers, while 29% indicate they have no awareness at all.
  5. Only 23% of respondents indicate they understand what SharePoint 2016 offers.
  6. Forty percent of organizations say their SharePoint implementation was not a success.  Inadequate user training (67%), hard to use (65%), and lack of senior management support (64%) are cited as reasons for SharePoint projects stalling or failing. 
  7. When looking at SharePoint as an ECM/DM solution, 43% prefer using their file-share application for everyday content. Looking at SharePoint from a process and enterprise connectivity perspective, 72% of organizations show no support for mobile device use.

Get the Executive Summary of the new SharePoint Industry Watch -- FREE.

The Impact of SharePoint 2016

 Also, check out my "5 Faces of Information Chaos" tip sheet.

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Topics: content management, ecm, sharepoint, business process

12 Things You Can Do NOW to Use BPM to Drive Digital Transformation

Jun 6, 2016 5:15:39 PM by Bob Larrivee

Process improvement and workflow are not new; in fact they have been around since the late 1980s.  Yes, they have evolved and continue to do so but as was true of ECM, Business Process Management -- once seen as a nice to have -- is now considered a critical part of business operations.

Process improvement and automation using BPM as the framework is an essential part of the Digital Transformation of businesses. The more paper is eliminated from processes and digitally born information is created, the greater the dependence upon and need for efficient, effective, and secure digital workflows. When assessing process improvement and automation opportunities, include the identification of and ways various information sets are integrated with the process and remember to look at the end-to-end process rather than just the departmental workflow. What gets changed in the department could have negative impact on other departments feeding this process or that this process feeds.

Our new survey (executive summary downloads free -- Process Improvement and Automation 2016) is available!

business process and automation 

12 Key Process Improvement and Automation Recommendations:

  1. Begin with existing process maps if they exist and if they do not; create at minimum, high level maps to document the steps in the process.
  2. Identify areas of opportunity for process improvement. Look for bottlenecks in the process and ways these bottlenecks can be eliminated. Perhaps use of parallel processing would be the approach.
  3. Improve the existing process before introducing automation or extending the automation capabilities you have in place. Automating an inherently bad process will not resolve the underlying issues.
  4. Uncover the real business problem you are trying to solve. When you are told that the issue is slow processing times or too many exceptions, look deeper into the root cause. Ask the question of why there are too many exceptions.
  5. Assess how paper can be eliminated from the process. If the reason for paper is one of acquiring signatures, explore how esignature can be incorporated to enhance the process and eliminate the paper.
  6. Take time to design the process. The best question to ask is why things are done the way they are and then explore how it could be different.
  7. Take inventory of your current BPM capabilities, using this as the foundation of reference when developing a set of requirements. In this way you can maximize your current investment and only purchase those technologies that are missing.
  8. Document the business requirements first. “I need capture capabilities of 500 pages-per-minute,” is not a business requirement. The business requirement is, “to process 10,000 applications per day, in 50 locations around the globe.”
  9. Build your functional requirement based on the business requirements. Map the current process of capturing applications from each location, including volumes and all activities to bring this information into your systems.
  10. Develop technical requirements based on the functional requirements and map these against your current technology sets. In other words, do a gap analysis to determine what is missing then seek to purchase the missing elements.
  11. Consider how cloud and mobile device use, along with mobile apps, can help address your current needs and support remote workers and stakeholder of your processes. At the same time, assess how these would be synchronized across the enterprise and the line-of-business applications. Remember that BPM can serve as the integrating mechanism.
  12. Establish a continuous improvement program that will periodically review and refine those changes you make now. BPM is not a one-stop project; it should be a cross-functional team sport that is ongoing across the enterprise.


Some related resources on Business Process Management best practices worth checking out:

Download the FREE Process Improvement and Automation 2016 Executive Summary.

Check out this article on the survey -- AIIM research: more than half of businesses now view Process Management as imperative or significant

FREE white paper -- Business Process Management:  User Perceptions and Expectations

FREE webinar on June 15 with me -- No Longer a Luxury, BPM Is Imperative to Business Operations:  5 Steps to Learn How It Can Work for You.

Sign Me Up 

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Topics: process automation, business process management, business process, bpm, digital transformation,

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