This chapter looks at one way information systems can bring competitive advantage through their effect on business processes. As you read, think about the previous chapter on competitive advantage. How are the two concepts related?
Managing Business Process Documentation
As organizations begin to document their processes, it becomes an administrative responsibility to keep track of them. As processes change and improve, it is important to know which processes are the most recent. It is also important to manage the process so that it can be easily updated. The requirement to manage process documentation has been one of the driving forces behind the creation of the document management system. A document management system stores and tracks documents and supports the following functions.
- Versions and timestamps. The document management system will keep multiple versions of documents. The most recent version of a document is easy to identify and will be considered the default.
- Approvals and workflows. When a process needs to be changed, the system will manage both access to the documents for editing and the routing of the document for approval.
- Communication. When a process changes, those who implement the process need to be made aware of the changes. The document management system will notify the appropriate people when a change to a document has been approved.
Of course, document management systems are not only used for managing business process documentation. Many other types of documents are managed in these systems, such as legal documents or design documents.