Integrate EDM software with a Workflow software. What are the risks ? Part 2

In the previous article, we noticed the risks connected to the integration of a EDM brick (electronic management of document) with a workflow brick (business process management). In this second article, we are going to emphasis on the risk of inadequacy.


2nd risk : inadequacy

Inadequacy, is what is not adequate, not adapted to the purpose to be reached. And in this case, it is not rare that EDM + workflow projects are affected by this rick.

This risk is bound to the mutual misunderstanding of :

  • The CIO
  • The business managing team

The CIO does not know the specificities of the business and often has a macro vision of their needs. From his side, the business managing team is not competent on the computing domain and has difficulty “guiding” the CIO towards the solution which meets their needs.

This idea is collectively admitted and the phrase is: “business does not speak the language of the CIO and vice versa”. Furthermore, it is is not rare to hear the CIO claiming the importance to ” fit ” the business need.

Despite it all, it is usual to meet IT Project managers who proposes a technical solution before having really understood the functional need. Why?


Never change a winning team

To answer a need across the organization, it happens that the IT Project manager proposes, with good reasons, two transverse bricks: a EDM software solution and a workflow engine.

Indeed, an EDM is a very useful tool to manage files of all kinds. Also, a workflow management tool (BPMS actually) is adequate to shape a business process according to the BPMNv2 standard and, on a macro scale, offering an interface to pilot this process is practical.

But for a business-specific application, the importance lies on the files content, the specificity of this content is the real difference maker between, for example, HR jobs and Quality jobs. Especially, passing on the right piece of information to the person who has to make the action, at the exact moment to improve productivity, is the real gain of performance. And I can assure you that business teams do not only rely on macro scales, they also need a micro scale. Because HR or Quality teams have already optimized on macro scales, from now on the gains of performance happen on the micro scale and this is what should be automated via the application.

If the EDM + workflow engine integration does nothing else than store, publish online and make the connection from a person to the other, what is the capital gain for business?

Yes, for those who do not know about the possible techniques, it can seem like an innovation. But as a computing professional, this solution is not the optimum stage of what can be realized today. In 2016, while we spoke about artificial intelligence and self-driving cars, we only propose a file storage, improved with a 4 stage linear workflow?

This risk, of inadequacy with the business need is often met for a good reason, when the IT Project manager made a successful project with bricks A+B, why would he do it otherwise? Why would he put itself in danger while his role is exactly to limit risks?


No. Bread, No. Earnings!

If you read this article, it is because you try to reduce the risks on a current project, soon to happen or hypothetical. Why would you go against this IT Project manager who, not to take any risk, has chosen as a solution to your business need the same EDM and workflow bricks he knows and with whom he has already made successful projects?

You should go against this IT Project manager, only if :

  • Your project is a specific business-specific application and you try to reach precise goals : conformity, productivity, quality, traceability, …
  • You wish to structure the information contained in your files because you are aware that it is the only way of valuing your business data, and creating requests to build your reports;
  • You have already experimented the integration of an EDM brick and a workflow brick and you know their limits.

In another scenario, the risk to take the IT Project manager out of his comfort is difficult to justify. You either did not focus enough on your business need, or you simply need a cross EDM + workflow solution that does not take into account your business specificities.

On the contrary, if you are in one of the previously quoted cases, you should rather take the risk. Sure, it is a risk to take, but it is certainly the only risk which is worth it.

We will soon come back with other risks which can occur during an EDM project with a workflow engine and if you already want to know more about it, do not hesitate to contact us.

If you are looking for a solution, where the business data specificity is safe and where business processes allows a real gain of performance, then do not hesitate to have a look at Anakeen Plateform solution.