We have covered a lot of information over the last few weeks and I would like to take this opportunity to summarise some of the main points discussed. For this I have drawn up the 10 point plan to successful e-business.
1. Start at the beginning of the process. Despite the temptations, do not begin by looking at the paper already archived. Find the beginning of the process, this could be inside or outside of your organisation.
2. Find the source of the information and particularly the paper. Although you may receive paper documents from many different places, it is guaranteed that this paper was once in electronic form, this includes reports, documents and even reference material such as magazines and newspapers. Find the electronic copy and bring it into your business in its original electronic format.
3. Electronic forms (e-forms) will be THE most useful tool for you to deliver e-business. Remember electronic forms can be delivered through many devices, internet, users desktop, mobile phones. E-Forms can be very powerful and contain many rules as well as information from many sources, making them replace every thing from the local Holiday Request Form to a complex case folder.
4. Remember that e-forms will have to be used by ALL members of staff, from the Chief Executive to the labours. The system implemented will have to be flexible and cost effective.
5. Select the security strategy that will give you the required protection without interfering with the operations and working practices.
6. Much of the information will have a defined life cycle and will have to be available for many years. Knowing the rules relating to each document type will ensure that information that your staff is using is always using the correct versions.
7. Your staff will have very different working patterns, some people will use a computer in order to carry out their duties other peoples jobs will be to use the computer. When looking at Workflow solutions there is enough emphasis placed on the “work” part and not just the “flow” part.
8. Much of the work in an office is repetitive, look at automating these tasks, leaving your staff free to use the skills they are paid for. Provide your users with “in-context” help and instructions.
9. Make all the information needed by your staff to do their job easy to find. Make everything accessible from a single transaction or search.
10. When removing the old and existing paper from your organisation consider alternatives to batch scanning. Often “scanning on demand” can be much more beneficial.