Information Management Blog

The AIIM Blog

Join AIIM in conversations about ECM, InfoChaos, SharePoint and all things content.

Blog Feature

automation  |  bpm  |  business process management  |  process automation  |  robotic process automation  |  rpa  |  training

RPA - Is it the Answer to Our Dreams of Easier Business Automation?

I’ve been involved in some way or another in the world of business process automation (BPM) for over twenty years. I was the author of AIIM’s first BPM training course back in 2006. I’m a big fan of the idea of reengineering business processes, but there is no getting away from the fact that BPM projects are complex and scary – they require buy-in from the top (which is always difficult) and are seldom inexpensive undertakings.

Read More

Blog Feature

automation  |  data capture  |  process automation

Document Capture Automation Tools to Improve the Way You Work With Data

Your business deals with documents on a constant basis. Without technology in place, organizing the different types of files and contact points for written communication can be intense. You might have paper contracts, email and attachments, faxes, and web forms all integral to the same client or customer file. This is where capture automation becomes effective in streamlining your productivity and organizational ability.

Read More

14 Steps to a Successful ECM Implementation

Making an ECM implementation successful requires planning and attention to detail. The best way to create the right solution is to identify organizational goals and priorities. Learn how to manage a successful implementation in our free guide.

Blog Feature

business process  |  digital transformation,  |  information management  |  process automation

Applying Lean and Six Sigma Principles to Drive Digital Transformation

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

Read More

Blog Feature

bpm  |  business process  |  business process management  |  digital transformation,  |  process automation

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

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!   12 Key Process Improvement and Automation Recommendations: 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.” 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. 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. 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. 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.   Business Process Management: The Secret Ingredient of Digital Transformation from AIIM

Read More

Blog Feature

bpm  |  business process  |  business process management  |  digital transformation,  |  process automation

Why is Getting Rid of Paper Critical to Digital Transformation?

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. This continued evidence that business organizations have begun to seriously embrace the idea that their operations can survive without paper, and in fact function more effectively when paper is eliminated from their business critical processes. Getting rid of paper is a critical first step dealing with a broader question -- What is the role of content in Digital Transformation?  What we are seeing is Digital Transformation taking hold, not only between the Fortune 500, but also across all business types and sizes.   New AIIM Process Improvement and Automation survey results released A few key data points from our new survey (executive summary downloads free -- Process Improvement and Automation 2016): The majority of respondents see BPM as the combination of a systematic approach to improving business processes (97%) and workflow or BPM technology (79%). 66% see these technologies as "change management." Forty-eight percent of respondents say they are vaguely familiar or have no clear understanding of BPM. 18% say it is well understood and embraced in their organizations. [Note:  For newbies, you might want to check out our "What is Business Process Management?" page.] Nearly a third of respondents say there is no one directly responsible for ownership of their processes. 58% say they have process owners. Fifty-five percent of respondents say BPM is significant (38%) or imperative (17%) for their business. For 14% these technologies have little to no importance.   There is a growing realization that information once born digital, should remain digital and can in fact bring about greater value to the organization when managed and processed quickly and efficiently. There is also a growing realization that designing, automating, and refining operational processes enables business organizations to explore new types of innovation and instill creativity in relation to business process options, rather simply trying to enhance and support their current ways-of-working. Where once the limitation was based on media type or restricted to confinement within the corporate walls, businesses today can extend their processes and interactions beyond the corporate walls – securely. Process improvement and automation are 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. ----- 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.   Business Process Management: The Secret Ingredient of Digital Transformation from AIIM

Read More

Blog Feature

ecm  |  paper free day  |  paperless processes  |  process automation  |  world paper free day

Report from the Field -- #WPFD -- Cool Images -- Part 1

Some fun Twitter images -- Part 1 -- on World Paper Free Day.  Keep them coming!

Read More