ERM Link to Business Process Improvement

Stephen Goodfellow, CRM

A “business process is the end–to–end coordinated set of collaborative and transactional work activities carried out by both automated systems and people to produce a desired result or achieve a goal.”1 While this is just one of many possible definitions of a business process, often many may simply think of a business process as “what we do as part of our normal job.” Certain work–related tasks have to be done in order to meet a stated goal or objective given by a supervisor or senior level executive.

When trying to improve the management of electronic records or implementing an electronic records management (ERM) system, business processes will need to be redesigned. Since electronic records, whether an e–mail, spreadsheet, presentation, scanned image or other electronic file, are ingrained into the daily activities of knowledge workers, business processes associated with better managed e–records also benefit. So, in order to understand how to improve the management of electronic records, one must understand how electronic records are used within a process. That is where business process improvement (BPI) analysis skills are required.

The previous scenario could lead to asking the question, Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Do we improve the overall business process and see how that affects the e–records or do we focus on the records and see how the business process improves? The answer depends ...

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