Information professionals have quite a tendency to deal only with 'their' documents, records, content, data, video or any other form of information. However, information professionals cannot close themselves off from the processes in the organisation.
All information in an organisation - also called 'enterprise' information - is linked to some organisational process. Enterprise information without a process should never exist. And if it exists, it is not long-lived. Information without process is like a fish without water. That information dies very quickly for lack of oxygen.
Information is a process and is connected to a process
Approaching information management process-wise and consciously connecting it to organisational processes gives information the attention and value it deserves. It also gives information professionals the mandate and role to deploy information and thereby realise the organisation's digital ambitions.
All phases in the EIM lifecycle are centred on the organisational process. After all, in an organisational process, information is deployed to achieve a goal. Consequently, organisational processes work more effectively and efficiently if the management of enterprise information runs smoothly.
Organisations that deploy their enterprise information process-wise are more likely to achieve their goals. By setting up information management according to the EIM life cycle, organisations get a better grip on the information and thus the organisational process.
What is EIM?
Enterprise information management (EIM) is the systematic planning, development, management, distribution, evaluation and retention of all enterprise information in an organisation.
Organisations are struggling with large volumes of ever-growing collections of information and increasingly struggling to get a grip on it.
Enterprise information management (EIM) helps to curb this enormous growth by deploying information effectively and process-driven.
At the centre of the lifecycle, you already see the organisational process. This is not without reason.
What is your process?
Every time you create, collect, process or analyse information, you have to ask yourself this question: "Which process does this belong to?"
Whether I am preparing a tool selection or conducting an information analysis, in my interviews I always ask this question: "What is your process?" Often, people find it very difficult to answer that question. In fact, often people cannot even answer that question. This is really a problem that needs to be solved before you can move on.
A process can be a 'classic' organisational process like 'procure to pay' or an internal process like 'reimburse expenses'. It can also be a customer process like 'attending a concert'.
What is BPM?
Business process management (BPM) is a framework for identifying, discovering, analysing, optimising, simulating and observing customer and organisational processes.
BPM has a life cycle, running from process identification through discovery and analysis to optimisation, simulation, implementation and observation and back again to discovery.
Business process management assumes that every process has an outcome. And the value of that outcome is determined by the customer.
BPM aims to improve the outcome of the process so that it has more value. In doing so, it contributes to the operational excellence of the organisation, but also to the customer experience or 'customer experience' (CX) and the employee experience or 'employeer experience' (EX).
Why connect EIM with BPM?
Processes help achieve organisational goals and information is supportive in this.
In my opinion, no initiative in information management can be successful if no process analysis has been carried out. The beauty of the discipline BPM is that it helps to recognise, communicate and continuously optimise processes.
Enterprise information management (EIM) thus goes beyond information processes. Those are important too, of course, but the 'primary' organisational processes - including the customer processes - are the hub of the organisation.
Any information professional who manages to connect both worlds of EIM and BPM will have a bright future ahead.