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Managing Electronic Records: Methods, Best Practices, and Technologies by Robert F. Williams, Robert F. Smallwood

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CHAPTER 10

Workflow and Business Process Management Software

Jon Pyke and Robert Smallwood

The processes deployed in all organizations define the culture of that entity, they are what differentiate it from other seemingly similar entities—they define the corporate backbone and are, quite simply, “the way things get done around here.” Needless to say then, they are pretty important and need to be managed and exploited just like any other corporate asset. Therefore, to maximize the true efficiencies that are gained in implementing an electronic records management (ERM) program, improvements in redesigned business processes must be supported by information technology (IT) that automates and speeds processing, reduces errors and manual intervention, and improves auditability. (For more information on how to redesign and improve business processes, see Chapter 9.)

This much–needed technology can be defined under the banner of process–enabled technology. Process–enabled technology is often divided into two categories: workflow automation or business process management. The two technologies have a significant amount in common. Indeed it is fair to say that a good deal of the technology that underpins business process management concepts has its roots in the late 1980s and early 1990s and stems from the early efforts of the workflow community. The need to automate and manage processes is not new. Business software has long supported major business processes. What has changed is the realization ...

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