Enterprise Content Management:
Developing an Enterprise Vision for Business Process Automation
By Jim Thumma, VP of Sales and Marketing, Optical Image Technology
This article is the fi rst in a fi ve-part series called Enterprise ECM: Strategies for Success, written for ECM Connection.
nterprise-wide projects require clear vision and eff ective leadership. This is especially
true if your company engages in business process management (BPM) with the goal of
maximizing effi ciency gains enterprise wide. Since your everyday processes are built
around your mission-critical content, a thorough understanding of your data, routine
processes, and the interrelationship of one business area to the next is crucial.
Establishing a grand vision isn’t necessary for a successful enterprise content management (ECM) and
BPM implementation. Developing and communicating a clear vision based on an understanding of
your company’s long-range goals, prioritization of needs, and knowledge of constraints, however, is.
Assemble the right team
Establishing a vision for BPM requires a strong team comprised of executive-level and IT leadership,
line-of-business managers, and a dedicated project leader. Since a detailed understanding of your
company’s content (data) and how it is used daily is vital, ground-level knowledge workers must also
be represented on the team. Their involvement in day-to-day information gathering and processing
brings critical knowledge and valuable insights into how your business operates, as well as potential
improvements. As your team defi nes long- and short-term goals, understanding your current
processes is as important as defi ning long-term business needs, technology capabilities, and budget
BPM requires that you view your business as a series of intertwined processes driven by people, data,
and events. The data that feeds and drives your processes may be found in legacy systems, line-of-
business software applications, paper, voice mails, and other m