Frappaolo, Carl: The Document is the Process, Delphi Group 1994.

THEMES: Frappaolo, Carl
YEAR: 1994
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LABEL: Process | White Paper
PEOPLE: Frappaolo, Carl
TIME: 1994

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The Document is the Process (8 p.)
The Delphi Group Symposium

  • Frappaolo from Delphi: "The document has become a live entity with an active responsibility to the organisation, in many ways equal to that of the employee. - "Documents ... have come to embody the (business) process itself".

  • The majority of organizations is still struggling with the migration to the electronic document.
Dyer of XSoft: Three main categories of technology need to be addressed:
  1. Objects: ranging form tabular data to text, graphics, image, voice and video.
  2. Linking technology and intelligent document processing that make sense of the objects and there interrelationsships.
  3. Indices and attributes about documents

  • Beginning of user understanding in order to strategically deploy the Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) ... Myriad issues, from conversion of paper in electronic documents (image scan, OCR) to information agents for analysis and decision making ... These will mature rapidly in the next five years.

Key among emerging technologies are "concept aware" documents: Heuristics, statistical analysis, lexical analysis, and morphological tools are being used to create documents that can determine the nature of their content, and then use that knowledge to make decisions, spot trends, make entries in databases, automatically route themselves to individuals that should be aware of the information, or trigger another business process. Structural and semantic recognition as well as linguistic recognition in documents.

  • Conceptual change from: "... it's an EDI transaction" to "this is a business transaction". By embedding process logic and rules within the document object, workflow cements the idea that the document is the process" ... Wide experience shows that image archiving is not the issue rather than operational process re-engineering for workflow purposes.

  • Document management is very different from other technologies such as traditional DB-applications because users are dealing with documents (rich content, information, knowledge) not data. Thus one issue is, documents are authored and owned by users.

  • Eriksson of InText: We have to move users beyond the acceptance of a word processor and "everything is on a C-drive". At the PC level the single biggest problem is just finding something. But the real beneft is not to get organizations just finding documents but get them execute or monitor tasks. A key area of benefit is the self-creating document, a concept with absolutely no precedent in the paper-based office. The document needs to be thought of as a stream or string of events.Thus a series of EMail messages and memos may be retrieved as one single virtual document (-> Notes 5).

  • When a knowledge worker asks a question about a client he not only wants the letter of complaint from the client but get the whole context area ... phone calls, support actions, invoices, credit history, etc.

  • Users are often blinded by old paradigms ... such as to view the document as a static information resource, with limited ability for change, and no inherent intelligence ... But the electronic document is dynamic, allowing image, text, voice, and video to be added and deleted at will.

  • Electronic documents let users communicate in an asynchronous fashion, to seize control of process flows, and shift the burden of knowing from the author to the reader.

  • Reengineering spans a wide range of approaches ... In a more production process-oriented world such as an insurance claim application probably an image-type solution with pre-defined workflow routing is appropriate. In an information access type of application typically a text retrieval / hypertext approach, challenging how and when people should be made aware is the right answer.

  • Following improved document processing fewer people will be in process-oriented roles with knowledge workers handling the exceptions.

  • Putting the "I" back into MIS: The role of MIS is challenged by systems based on the new intelligent document based metaphor. MIS which has all the time been more a DP-oriented approach finally changes from data-cebtric to information and knowledge.

  • Document technology is currenty well ahead of systems implementation.