Intersection of Forms Management and Information Management

Intersection of Forms Management and Information Management

Document Management  |  Business Process Management (BPM)

Recently, the Association for Intelligent Information Management and Business Forms Management Association announced that they have joined forces. BFMA is now a part of AIIM! Read the full press release here.  As a longtime board member of BFMA and a new member of AIIM, I wanted to share why forms management matters to information management.

Forms: Vital Part of the Information Lifecycle

Within the information lifecycle, forms are a vital part of the lifecycle because forms collect and present information. Forms are the primary source to capture data, which is the first step in the lifecycle. Forms are not developed unless the delivery and archival channels are understood. Forms strategists must know these things (e.g., delivery, archive, etc.) so that the form can be created with the right tool.

When information management is managing electronic and physical information, where does the data in company databases come from?

Most of it originates on forms: websites (electronic interface for forms), apps (forms connected by codes), paper forms with manual data entry, paper forms with data retrieval through bar codes and scanning. Virtually all data collected by organizations regarding customers, transactions, billing, personnel management, and more originates with forms. 

When information is communicated to customers, most of it is on forms such as bank statements, bills of lading, beneficiary designations, driver’s license and on and on – both paper and electronic. So if the source of IM data is forms AND a prime method of communicating that data is forms.


Forms Design

One function of forms management is forms design. It is through careful understanding of the data, the intended delivery and archive channel, and the application of good design and language principles that you can collect accurate, good, clean data in the right format. This can be on a paper form, a proprietary forms design system, a web page, an app – it doesn’t matter.

All forms are data collection, data presentation, and communication tools. We are all about the data and working to ensure that we are asking for information in the right way to get accurate information and to present information correctly so that it can be understood and acted upon properly.


Forms: A Vital Part of Business Processes

Forms, whether paper or electronic, structure information requirements to operate core business processes. Forms management manages the forms and has many processes associated with them. There are 34 different processes within a forms management program.

Forms management is a key business partner to all departments within a company such as Legal services and/or Policy, Privacy and Security areas, Communications and Marketing, Information Technology, Procurement and Contracting, Inventory Management and warehousing, Manufacturing, Sales, and Records Management and Information Management (either of which may include document management). Forms management helps those areas achieve their goals of compliance, legality, security, information collection/presentation, etc.


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About Margaret Tassin, CDC, CFSP, FMS

Margaret Olson Tassin, CFSP, CFC, FMS, is president of Forms Doc, LLC. She was previously the manager of forms, records and information management for Pennzoil-Quaker State Company, where she initiated its forms automation project. She is a co-developer of Form Center, the only commercially available forms management database, and Forms Training Online. She served on the accreditation board for the Certified Forms Consultant (CFC) program sponsored by the National Business Forms Association (now Print Services and Distribution Association) and was a founding member and later chair of the accreditation board for Certified Forms System Professional (CFSP) sponsored by Business Forms Management Association (BFMA). She is a frequent speaker at BFMA conferences and webinars as well as those of other associations. She was an active member of BFMA since 1982. She is the original chair of BFMA’s Forms Management Education Development Board.