Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Process definition to initiate document management

It seems that processes are a key component of taxonomy construction and enablement. Generally speaking, we have four different types of processes: operating processes, support processes, management processes, and control processes.

Porter explored these issues in "Competitive advantage" under the general rubric of "value chain".

There are a few different standard process models including: APQC-PCF, SCC-SCOR, Canadian Municipal Reference Model, Exploration and Mining Business Process Reference Model, VCG-VRM, eTOM, and ACORD. In reviewing processes, one can identify a variety of different facets:


  • does it exist with the enterprise?
  • who is the owner (person or department)?
  • what are the support systems?

Lehmann introduces some other categories (slide 29), including:

  • value (core, secondary, low, outsourced, NA)
  • asset type (operating, support, management, exception control, resolution control)
  • use (routine, periodic, occasional, not used, unknown, new)
  • complexity (simple, low, moderate, complex, highly complex)
  • discipline (formal, informal, rely on 3rd party)
  • automation (manual, semi-automated, fully-automated, rely on third party)
  • documentation (detailed, satisfactory, unsatisfactory, undocumented, rely on third party)
  • training (sufficient, insufficient, not available, not necessary, rely on third party)
  • effectiveness (very effective, effective, adequate, not very effective, not at all effective)
  • efficiency (very efficient, efficient, adequate, not very efficient, not at all efficient)
  • ACTION (improve, consolidate, eliminate, benchmark, re-evaluate, design, outsource, insource, none)
  • TIMING (immediately, near-term, long-term, unspecified)
This kind of exercise could be valuable during an early phase of a document management initiative. For example, IT could review these processes while enabling document management as a service. It would also be a valuable exercise when engaging with new business units.

With each business unit we could expand the discussion. Lambe suggests a variety of different facets that could be amenable to knowledge management, for example:

From Ranganathan:
  • People and organizations (a controlled schedule)
  • Things and parts of things
  • Activity cycles
  • Locations
  • Time or sequence
  • Subject matter (generally for a well defined discipline)
From Rosenfeld and Morville:
  • Topic
  • Product
  • Document type
  • Audience
  • Geography
  • Price
From Tiwana's Knowledge management toolkit:
  • Activities
  • Domain/subject matter
  • Form (document, file, tacit, etc.)
  • Type (document type)
  • Products and services
  • Time
  • Location
Personally, I like to understand a few things from key business units:
  • Document types they use
  • Materials they use
  • Activities or business processes
  • How they describe locations (often linked to processes)
  • How they describe times (also linked to processes)
So I guess I'm actually pretty close to Lambe on this one!

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