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The Value Added Information Chain.

Michael Porter introduced the concept of a "value chain" in the 1980s to describe the nature of buyer and supplier relationships with organizations. Porter's Production Value Chain graphically depicted the discrete activities in the process of delivering products and services where costs occurred and identified where "value" was added. This marketing model set the stage for defining opportunities for differentiation in areas such as cost, production, and product development.

Many of the concepts from Porter's model can be applied to organizations today in another area -- information management. "Value" defines usefulness or importance. "Value chain" is a model for depicting the increasing importance, or value-add, of activities in a process. An "information management value chain," therefore, focuses on the discrete activities that incur costs in order to add value to information. The value proposition is to improve the usefulness of information to the ultimate users, helping them make better decisions.

The underlying assumption for this application of the value chain model is that information management is a "process." In other words, the flow of information is a production line converting raw data into knowledge for decision making. Conversion of information into knowledge requires the input, capture, filtering, organization, sharing and use, and synthesis of many forms of information -- data and documents.

If we take a holistic view of the value-added process of information management and compare that to the breakdown of responsibilities within organizations for these functions, do they necessarily add value? Many organizations have discrete activities for records management, document management, and knowledge management. Each of the information management activities are often thought of as separate disciplines that incur costs and are addressed through different business practices and technologies. All of these activities, however, play a role in managing and utilizing the "knowledge assets" of the organization.

The set of information management activities addressed by the Information Management Value Chain include

Capture -- data and document based information and other "knowledge" is created and/or acquired

Transform -- the information captured is filtered, structured, indexed, and organized

Store -- the "information base" or "knowledge base" is maintained through a series of repositories and/or linkages

Transfer -- the dissemination and/ or presentation of the information

Apply -- the information is used to support organizational decisions and actions

This article takes an integrated look at the information management process, exploring the connection between records management, document management, integrated document management, and knowledge management. As "links" in a chain of interrelated information management activities within organizations, these activities can lay the foundation for differentiation in areas such as innovation, responsiveness, productivity, and competency. Supported by enabling technologies, these initiatives can facilitate organizational goals of process improvement and performance enhancement.

Link 1: Records Management: Strategies and Directions for the Future

Records management is a fundamental activity in the information management value chain. Records management professionals have always known that if records management practices and techniques are not integrated into electronic recordkeeping systems, the systems are doomed to eventual failure because of

* Poor quality records which are inaccurate and/or incomplete

* Records with no apparent owner and no known purpose for their existence

* Records in unreadable formats

* Too many records that are too old to be useful

Now other business disciplines have realized the value of records management. At the 1997 Managing Electronic Records Conference sponsored by Cohasset Associates, Ted Smith, Chairman of FileNET, discussed the role of records management in document management systems. He made the case for the need to manage records because of legal regulations, tax laws, business requirements, and industry standards. In his model, document management technology supplies the physical storage, document production capabilities and access control. Smith sees records management supplying the essential components of document classification and filing system infrastructure, retention policies, and a migration strategy for stored documents.

Another compelling argument for records management was presented by Bruce Silver in a recent article. (KM World, 1998) He observed that records management is coming back as a strategic issue in business and as a technological challenge. He described a recent lawsuit at Prudential Insurance where the company was socked with a $1 million fine by an irate federal judge when it could not produce internal documents in a class action suit. In fact, it appeared that some documents had been willfully destroyed by a Prudential employee, but that did not cause the fine. What made the judge angry was that the company had no policy -- not to mention a system -- for managing internal electronic documents as corporate records, the principal records on the conduct of its business. Silver concluded by identifying three key features needed for records management:

Record Selection -- is it a record or a non-record

Classification -- assigning the official category(ies) from the organizational filing system

Retention -- how long does it need to be retained?

These two examples from thought leaders in the document management industry suggest that other business disciplines now appreciate the value of the records management discipline and its focus on records retention schedules and disposition, filing and information retrieval, protection and security of records, and storage and migration strategies.

The proliferation of records in electronic format is influencing the discipline of records management in at least three ways:
 Single point of access. Electronic records are stored in "knowledge silos"
 designed for specific work groups or business processes. Knowledge silos
 usually are invisible to or unreachable by other employees in the
 organization. What employees need is a single point of access at the
 desktop where all electronic documents are available in one integrated
 system. Employees have only one place in which to look for documents
 regardless of whether they are scanned images, word processing documents,
 electronic forms, e-mail messages, digital voice mail messages, or
 spreadsheets. The same system can serve as pointer or catalog to hard
 copy/analog documents and provide a method for ordering copies.

 Leveraging intranet/Internet technology. With all documents in one desktop
 system, employees need a simple, easy-to-use retrieval interface. The
 Internet provides such an interface -- the standard Web browser (i.e.,
 Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer) -- to be used on a
 corporate intranet. For employees who use the Internet, the interface is
 already familiar, and access can be controlled by individual security

 Transferring document indexing function to end users. Electronic documents
 must be indexed into the recordkeeping system so they can be retrieved at a
 later date. It is estimated that 70 percent to 80 percent of documents are
 now created electronically. Who will index the large volume of documents?
 For high value and/or vital documents, it is feasible that records
 management staff can assist in indexing. However, for the majority of
 electronic documents, the individuals who create and acquire the documents
 (end users) will be responsible for indexing them into the electronic
 recordkeeping system. End users are not thrilled with the prospect of
 indexing all their electronic records! Therefore, the indexing system must
 be simple and easy to use. Over time, it is hoped that artificial
 intelligence technology can be applied to the indexing function so that the
 system can offer the most probable indexing for the end user to edit and/or

Four issues have bubbled to the top as most critical in the management of electronic records:
 Definition of a record. "Official" records are recorded information in any
 physical form or medium which are generated or received by a business
 enterprise as evidence of business decisions and transactions. Examples of
 documents that are not records are extra copies preserved only for
 convenience of reference and journal articles. Such "non-records" have
 their own destruction schedule based on usefulness, and their life cycle
 must not exceed that of official records of the same type. Educating end
 users on the distinction between records and non-records is confusing at
 best and bewildering at worst. The distinction is important for controlling
 the growth of recorded information.

 Development of standard naming conventions. In order to classify and
 organize documents for retrieval across an organization, there needs to be
 an organizational information infrastructure that contains standard naming
 categories. Even the terminology for an infrastructure with naming
 conventions is not standardized. Dow Corning calls it "corporate taxonomy."
 Information scientists and librarians say "controlled vocabulary" or
 "thesaurus." Records managers tend to use the terms "file plan," "indexing
 system," or "uniform filing system." Information technology practitioners
 and archivists often refer to standard naming conventions as a "metadata
 system." Another popular term is "knowledge map," a directory that charts
 the existence and locations of knowledge resources. (Saffady, 1998)
 Regardless of the name, the principle of consistent and accurate naming of
 documents and their attributes is absolutely necessary for dependable
 retrieval over time.

 Enforcing compliance with retention policy. Records managers ideally would
 be involved during the development of electronic recordkeeping systems so
 that retention management is integrated when a new system is being planned
 and implemented. In this scenario, the retention period usually is linked
 to the document type. Event-driven retention is more difficult. That is, an
 event happens (say a contract expires), then the retention clock starts.
 Many electronic recordkeeping systems are already implemented without
 consideration for retention management, and documents with various
 retention periods are commingled. These systems will require that retention
 policy be retrofitted. Hopefully, document type or retention code was
 captured for each document so that documents can be copied by document type
 to new media for appropriate disposition. Otherwise, documents will have to
 be re-indexed one by one.

 Migration strategy for stored documents. Hardware and software upgrades
 occur frequently. Associated electronic documents will have to be upgraded
 along with the hardware and software to assure that documents will be
 readable for the entire retention period. It is essential that some entity
 within the organization is held accountable for the important
 responsibility of migrating records forward where retention periods exceed
 the life of the hardware, software, or storage media. The economic
 implications of migration are not insignificant. For 1 million electronic
 document images (30 gigabytes of optical disk storage) with a 50-year
 retention period, Saffady estimated that the cumulative conversion costs
 can exceed one-half million dollars if conversions are done at five year

In summary, the discipline of records management is evolving to include electronic records. Without conventional records management practices and techniques, a necessary link in the information value chain is absent and makes the feasibility of successful information capture and delivery unlikely.

Link 2: Document Management: Departmental and Enterprise Approaches

Successful document management is the ability to organize, access, and control document-based information -- paper and electronic. Successful document management improves business performance. The improvements can be measured in terms of quality, customer service, productivity, and profitability. Managing documents, however, can be very complicated once an organization examines the complete process including authors, collaborators, editors, and consumers.

Documents are scattered throughout organizations on PCs, servers, mainframes, and in file rooms. Businesses manage the documents by maintaining arrays of hard drives, stacks of CD-ROMs, rows of filing cabinets, and vaults of paper. As a result, people must search for information and often end up making business decisions based on outdated and incomplete information.

Groups of workers and work teams generally resort to paper documents to transfer and share information even though they have access to sophisticated electronic communication tools such as e-mail. Often different departments throughout the organization who need to collaborate on business projects are slowed down by ineffective document storage, retrieval, and processing. As a result, productivity suffers, work quality suffers, and customer service suffers.

The document management challenge is characterized by common elements that are consistent across all organizations: (Strong, 1997)

* Variety of document types -- organizations must define documents and understand their content, value, and use within the organization.

* Variety of life cycle requirements -- organizations must understand the creation, use, storage, and disposition requirements of documents including legal and regulatory compliance.

* Business process integration -- organizations must develop a model for describing document-based tasks and activities within business processes.

* Access requirements -- organizations must define the access requirements for documents at the individual, work group, departmental, and organization-wide level.

* Integration within the computing environment -- organizations must understand the technical implications of deploying the document information resource in the computing infrastructure.

Businesses that aggressively address the problem of managing documents can have a healthier bottom line and will continue to succeed in the years ahead. The historical view of documents as paper-based facts and figures used to support business recordkeeping must be expanded. Documents are collections of information -- data, text, graphics, images, voice, and video -- brought together for the purpose of communicating and supporting business decisions and transactions.

Most organizations face the challenge of accurately defining the value and use of documents within the business environment and utilizing the appropriate technologies and applications to leverage the corporate information asset of documents. Organizations that solve these problems typically experience increased lead time to market new products and services, improved customer satisfaction, increased worker productivity, and lower operating costs. Organizations with solutions to the document management problem create a competitive advantage.

Successful document management depends on two components: (1) an information management business discipline and (2) a set of information technology products and services. (Strong, 1997)

The first component, the business discipline, involves defining business needs for the assembly, control, reuse, distribution, and management of documents throughout their life cycle. To manage documents, it is critical to understand why documents are created, who uses them, and how they relate to a specific business process or decision activity. This process involves the management of the document content in addition to the media and location.

The second component -- document information technologies -- includes hardware, software, services, and applications to improve the ability to create, store, retrieve, and control document-based information. A broad range of information technologies fall into the document management arena, each with specific features and benefits designed to accomplish different business objectives. Document information technologies should become an integral part of the overall computing environment and should leverage investments made in PCs, servers, networks, communications, and other infrastructure technologies.

The business discipline and the document technologies to solve the document management challenge are available today. Addressing the challenge is not an issue of knowledge or technological capabilities, it is an issue of the complexity of the document information resource. Documents are tied to multiple business processes with many points of creation and many points of access. Documents are authored by employees with different work styles and processing requirements. Implementing document technologies will bring changes to employees and the work environment that must be properly defined and anticipated.

Successful document management requires a structured approach to defining and then solving the business problems. The five major elements in the structured approach are as follows: (Strong, 1997)

1. Develop a document management strategy. The strategy will determine the actions necessary to achieve business goals; it will lay the foundation for success. Create a detailed list of activities to achieve the desired results and overcome any project obstacles.

2. Define the document environment -- the real world of work. Model and analyze the relationships between data, documents, processes and people and look for opportunities to use document technologies to enable business process redesign. Evaluate the documents in a document collection including location, users, access, format, and content. Develop a set of criteria for evaluating the value and usefulness of the documents within the collection.

3. Evaluate the document technologies. The document technologies are tools for automating business processes to achieve the desired business results. Some of the key document technologies include document imaging, document management, workflow, text retrieval, and computer output to laser disk (COLD). Each of these technologies offers specific features and functions designed to solve different types of document management problems.

4. Build the business case, which is a decision making process. It addresses how to define the opportunity for improvement to ensure top management support.

5. Implement a course of action. The course of action for implementing a document management solution includes the use of document technologies within the work environment.

At the work group or departmental level, each of these elements can be analyzed within a specific target group of users and applications. "Enterprise-wide" means taking into consideration an entire organization's needs rather than the needs of a single application or business unit. At the enterprise-wide level, each of these elements takes on additional complexity as the focus becomes all users, processes, applications, and documents in the organization. The benefits of an enterprise-wide approach to document management are clear and include:

* Searching multiple repositories

* Sharing documents across the organization

* Reusing document information from other work groups

* Controlling organizationwide document information

The goal is to achieve the benefits of enterprise-wide document while designing the project initiative so that it can be managed and successfully implemented. A core project team must be formed to drive the enterprise-wide initiative. The team will address the two components of successful document management described above: the information management business discipline and the information technology products and services. The focus of the core team's efforts in each area is shown above: (Strong, 1997)

Successful enterprise-wide document management depends on defining the shared elements in each of these components; in other words, addressing only the factors common to all document management solutions at the enterprise level. Examples of shared elements include standard naming conventions, analysis methodologies, and computing infrastructures.

In today's work environment, however, the enterprise-wide document management initiative should go beyond the enterprise. Document creation and delivery options go beyond in-house networks and systems to the World Wide Web for global access and mass distribution. Document information delivery and exchange should be expanded to include customers, suppliers, and business. The opportunity to leverage the potential of the electronic document in the intranet/Internet environment opens up new opportunities for improving business performance and adding value to customers. Each of the policies, standards, and guidelines developed using the enterprise-wide document management framework can be extended to include the intranet/Internet.

The benefits of improved document management at both the departmental and enterprise level include strategic and operational benefits. These initiatives can -- and should -- move an organization closer to its overall business goals and objectives.

Link 3: Integrated Document Management: Desktop Access and Control

Integrated document management (IDM) is an extension of document management technology to every desktop. IDM solutions are designed to become core enterprise technologies offering universal client software and a "suite" of desktop document management functions. IDM overcomes many of the problems associated with process/application or departmental solutions approaches such as:

* Different vendors

* High integration costs

* Multiple procurement processes

* Different release dates

* Training difficulties

* No common support

The IDM infrastructure is generally messaging-driven, leveraging current investments in groupware (i.e., Lotus Notes, Microsoft Exchange, Novell GroupWise) and Intranet solutions currently in place or under development. A baseline comparison of characteristics of document management and integrated document management are shown below. (Puccinelli 1998)

Deployment of IDM tools raises many of the challenges addressed earlier regarding enterprise-wide implementations including the definition of standard naming conventions, development of a shared document access model, and development of a data/document repository strategy. In addition, successful deployment requires an organizationwide strategy for awareness and education to ensure the product suite is leveraged in each of the various business applications/ departments where it is deployed.

IDM links underlying business processes to the many types of documents required to perform production, collaboration, and desktop work activities. Fully implemented, IDM provides desktop access and control for virtually any document in the organization.

IDM supports business models such as integrated work management whereby organizations can define the business rules and policies of an application or process and invoke them using the most suitable document management tools and technologies. In this work model, it is possible to automate the delivery of tasks to the right people with the right information to complete the tasks. An integrated "work packet" can contain scanned images, PC application files (i.e., word processing, spreadsheets), data information, or other forms of digital information. Workflows can be defined using visual tools to specify the delivery of work packets based on decision requirements.

Some of the strategic benefits realized by organizations that have deployed IDM on an enterprise level include productivity improvements, enhanced management and control of work activities, and improved customer service. In order to realize these benefits, it is critical to know the business processes and design/ redesign processes to produce the desired end result.

Link 4: Knowledge Management: Strategic Applications and Experiences

Knowledge management refers to the practice and technologies that facilitate the efficient creation and exchange of knowledge on an organizationwide level to enhance the quality of decision making. (The Delphi Group, 1998) In order to understand the concept of "knowledge management," the authors surveyed three organizations, in diverse industries, that have already implemented or are planning to implement a knowledge management system: Booz-Allen and Hamilton (Booz-Allen), a consulting firm; PeopleSoft, a producer of business software; and Dow Corning, a world leader in silicon technology. At each organization, the person interviewed was an individual who was closely involved with the knowledge management system. They were all asked the following open-ended questions:
 How do you define knowledge management?

 How do you distinguish it from records management and document management?

 Describe the system your company has for knowledge management including
 equipment and staff.

 Does your knowledge management system contribute to your strategic business
 objectives? If yes, how?

 What lessons did you learn in implementing your knowledge management system
 that you could pass to other organizations thinking of establishing one?

 What are your organization's future plans for knowledge management?

Booz-Allen and Hamilton

Management consulting firms were among the first organizations to realize the value of knowledge management and address its capture using Web-based information technologies. For Booz-Allen, one of the world's largest management and technology consulting firms, knowledge management is a strategic point of view and includes the company's best thinking, frameworks, tools, and approaches. (Remeikis, 1998) First implemented in 1994 as a simple bulletin board application, the knowledge management system was switched in late 1995 to a corporate intranet using Netscape as the Web browser and Oracle as the database. (Tristram 1998)

At Booz-Allen, records management and document management are considered tools and techniques to be used with confidential work done for clients. Knowledge management tools maintain reusable knowledge such as training material, marketing documents, best practices, case studies, and Booz-Allen resumes.

Fourteen Booz-Allen & Hamilton knowledge managers are authorized to enter knowledge into the system. Half of the knowledge managers have master's degrees in library and information science while the other half have master's degrees in other varied areas. Certain clerical employees may also enter knowledge into the system. There are between 30 and 40 employees globally who can refine, edit, structure content, and enter knowledge into the system. However, any Booz-Allen employee can retrieve knowledge.

Booz-Allen used "controlled vocabularies" to maintain consistency in capturing knowledge. Under development since 1994, the abstracting and indexing team (two employees) maintains the controlled vocabularies. As of February 1998, approximately 3,500 pieces of intellectual capital had been captured, amounting to 1.5 gigabytes of text-only data. (Tristram, 1998)

Some of the lessons learned by Booz-Allen from implementing this system are as follows: (Remeikis, 1998)

1. The knowledge management system must be part of an overall strategic plan for the company, and it must have strong leadership from the top. If knowledge management is not treated as a strategic effort, it is a waste of resources to attempt deployment.

2. "If you just build it, they won't come." End users will use a knowledge management system because they believe it has a purpose for them, both contributing value and receiving value from the system.

3. A knowledge management system must be able to demonstrate bottom line impact, that is measurable.

4. There has to be real content in the system that is relevant and timely. It is the responsibility of the knowledge managers to keep the information on the system current and accurate.


PeopleSoft builds enterprise-wide software solutions for the following applications: human resources, financial, distribution, materials management, manufacturing, supply chain management, and student administration. Tracy Leighton, Manager of Knowledge Development at PeopleSoft, defined knowledge management as providing an answer to an end user's question without his/her knowing exactly what piece of information is needed or where it is located. She distinguished it from records management and document management because they take lots of bits of data and put them in order so people can scroll through them. End users usually need to know exactly what they are looking for to extract useful information from a records or document management system.

PeopleSoft's knowledge management system is geared toward help desk applications -- troubleshooting and solving problems that employees experience with their computers and telephones. The backbone of the system is a CasePoint Web server (Inference in Novato, Calif.) deployed over Peoplesoft's network to internal help desk call center representatives. "Eureka" is a scaled down version of CasePoint and is accessed by PeopleSoft employees via a corporate intranet. CasePoint/Eureka is a collection of databases organized with a question hierarchy and a natural language front end. This means that end users can type in a query in their own words and enter it into the system. The system asks additional questions and eventually leads them to a solution.

Implemented in 1996, CasePoint/ Eureka structures knowledge into cases; as of February 1998, the system contained about 2,500 cases. A case is defined as a problem solution set where multiple problems may have the same solution and there may be multiple solutions to the same problem. Leighton and a staff of five employees are responsible for the creation, development, and maintenance of all databases as well as acquisition of new information.

According to Leighton, "Eureka allows our employees to be more productive instead of spending time trying to solve problems by asking a person down the hall. Necessary information is at their fingertips. There are immeasurable savings in employee productivity."

Eureka gets an average of 2,700 user sessions per month. In addition, the knowledge management system provides PeopleSoft with an approach for showing customers that knowledge management systems do work internally. Leighton added, "We've become an example for how this works in our industry, which gives us competitive advantage."

Lessons learned from the implementation include

1. The system must have end user buy-in. While it may seem that getting top management support is the biggest challenge, getting user buy-in is more important.

2. Marketing and promotional campaigns can encourage knowledge contributions. Locating experts from whom to get knowledge is also challenging. PeopleSoft designed t-shirts to give employees who made knowledge contributions. Whenever an employee shared knowledge, he/she received a shirt. When others saw the shirt, they wanted one, too.

3. Continuing commitment from senior management is critical. It takes from one to five years to be successful with a knowledge management system. Continued buy-in from top management is essential for long-term success.

4. The design and implementation of a knowledge management system requires a creative, innovative, and dedicated team.

Leighton indicated that PeopleSoft plans to expand its knowledge management system to informational cases such as reserving conference rooms, ordering office supplies, human resources, and a "Yellow Pages" of in-house experts, they also plan to use the newest Web-based technologies to make the system even more user friendly.

Dow Corning

According to Karen Biskup, Dow Corning's Information Assets Specialist, knowledge management is a combination of expertise, document management technology, and information asset management (formerly records management). Many of Dow Coming's most valued employees are retiring and the company wants to capture their knowledge before they leave.

Biskup defined records management as the function that sets and enforces policies such as the records retention schedule. Document management enables the implementation of policies through technology; knowledge management is more of a business practice than a technology.

Dow Corning started planning for enterprise-wide information and knowledge management by developing a corporate taxonomy, which provides a path for classifying any document for retrieval consistently across the organization.

Biskup offered the following insight to organizations considering a knowledge management system:

1. People think they have to keep all records to preserve knowledge. What is needed is an approach for extracting valuable information in a meaningful way.

2. Manage the politics. Some people will think they will lose part of their power by sharing knowledge. That is, "if you take my knowledge, you won't need me anymore."

3. Find ways to capture knowledge. One of Dow Corning's ideas was to turn veteran employees into mentors for newer employees who harvest the veteran's knowledge.

Dow Corning expects that the knowledge management system will be embedded in office technology tools that have already been selected as organization standards (i.e., SAP and Documentum). Implementation is expected to begin as early as 2000.

The Common Thread

As defined by the three organizations in the study, knowledge is mostly in people's heads (usually called "tacit" information as distinguished from "explicit" information, which is recorded). At Booz-Allen and Hamilton, knowledge is their employees' best thinking, frameworks, tools, and approaches. At PeopleSoft, knowledge is defined as best practices based upon experience. And at Dow Corning it is the experience and expertise that resides in employees who will retire; there is a need to capture the valuable information before people leave.

Knowledge management needs cooperation to work most effectively, and yet employees tend to be reluctant to share their knowledge. Recent trends of downsizing in organizations nationwide has resulted in a loss of organizational loyalty among employees. Thus employees have to trust that their donations will not undermine their jobs or competitiveness. In some organizations, financial incentives may be necessary.

Organizations need a system for classifying knowledge into the system (usually a database). Booz-Allen called the classification system "controlled vocabularies." PeopleSoft structures knowledge into cases, and Dow Corning established a "corporate taxonomy." Each approach allows for consistent classification and organization of documents for retrieval across the organization over time.

Knowledge management does not come in a box. As yet, there is no end-to-end knowledge management solution. There are many tool sets that apply, including records management software, document management software, document imaging systems, search engines, and data mining tools.

It is unclear whether the concept of knowledge management is the latest business management trend or a critical link in the information management value chain. Certainly, the information stored in employees' heads about business processes and customers, employees' experience and skills, and their intuition has value. Capturing and maintaining this valuable information is what knowledge management is all about.

Defining Your Role in the Value Chain

Each of these disciplines -- records management, document management, integrated document management, and knowledge management -- can be addressed as discrete activities within an organization. This perspective, however, limits the potential benefits of viewing them as interrelated information management activities that build on each other and add value throughout the information management value chain.

As discussed earlier, the set of information management activities addressed by the Information Management Value Chain include capture, transform, store, transfer, and apply. In each of these discrete activities, costs are incurred in order to add value throughout the process. Sound business practices from each of the major information management disciplines, and an integrated approach to technology use is required to succeed. Improving the usefulness of information to the ultimate users helping them make better decisions is derived from added value in two major areas -- leveraging shared access and leveraging shared learning.

People with various skills and responsibilities must come together to design, develop, and deliver fully integrated information management systems based on the value chain concept presented here. The above matrix highlights the key skills required for information management professionals in each of the value chain activities.

The shared role of information management experts in the initiatives is required in three major areas:

* Developing assessments regarding the "value" of information

* Addressing risk management (protection, security, controls, and legality)

* Understanding the relationships between people, processes, information, and technology

Successful initiatives in each of these areas require top management commitment of resources to support and direct the activities ensuring alignment with the organization's vision, strategy, and business objectives. To be successful they also must be based on a thorough understanding of business processes, apply "best" practices from all information management disciplines, integrate the appropriate technologies, and measure the results.

For many organizations, the result is that information management systems become valuable -- even vital -- to the functioning of the organization.

Information Management Business Discipline

FOCUS: Information Technology Products and Services

Process and Operational Improvement

FOCUS: Data and Document Resources Management
Document Management Integrated Document Management

Application specific Business specific
Address specific problems Address organization
Enterprise = issue of scalability Enterprise = issue of
Focus: Application Focus: Tool
Value Chain Activity Records Management Document Management/IDM

Capture provide service acquire
 control costs create
 select sources production process

Transform filter for value work management
 classify/index profile
 organize summarize

Store inventory control/security
 media/protection metadata
 retain/dispose infrastructure

Transfer access/navigate share/collaborate
 push/pull delivery

Value Chain Activity Knowledge Management

Capture tacit to explicit
 integrated process

Transform categorization

Store meta "levels"

Transfer presentation
 modeling tools
 decision tools

Apply human and automated decisions and actions
 integrated feedback process


Biskup, Karen, Information Assets Specialist, Dow Corning. Telephone interview. February 26, 1998.

Leighton, Tracy, Manager of Knowledge Development, PeopleSoft. Telephone interview. February 27, 1998.

Porter, Michael. Competitive Advantage. 1985.

Puccinelli, Bob. "Messaging is the Medium," Inform. January 1998.

Remeikis, Lois. Booz-Allen & Hamilton. Telephone interview. February 27, 1998.

Saffady, William. The Document Life Cycle: A White Paper. 1996.

Saffady, William. Knowledge Management: A Manager's Briefing. 1998

Silver, Bruce. "Records Management Rides Again." KM World. February 23, 1998 < newestlibrary/1998/february_23/recmgmtridesagain.cfm>

Smith, Ted. Presentation at Managing Electronic Records. Cohasset Associates. November 1997.

Strong, Karen. "Enterprise Document Management: Fact or Fiction." AIIM White Paper. 1997 <>

Strong, Karen. "Successful Document Management: A Structured Approach." Volume 1 of the Clarity DMI Video Consulting Series. 1997 <>

The Delphi Group. Home page. July 26, 1998. <>

Tristram, Claire. "Common Knowledge." CIO Web Business. September 1, 1998.

Susan L. Cisco, PhD, CRM, is the Assistant Director of information Management Services, Oil and Gas Division for the Railroad Commission of Texas. She is also a lecturer at The University of Texas Graduate School of Library and Information Science, where she teaches courses in records management and documenting imaging. Dr. Cisco has also authored articles and books primarily on the topic of document indexing. She has also presented widely on the subject at conferences.

Karen V. Strong is President of Clarity Inc. and the Clarity Document Management Institute, a consulting and education firm based in Austin, Texas. Strong has 15 years of experience in the document management industry and consults businesses and government agencies on strategies and tactics for addressing document management challenges. She has also written and presented on the topic of document management.
COPYRIGHT 1999 Association of Records Managers & Administrators (ARMA)
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Information Management Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 1999
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