Making formal decisions quickly and transparently in large systems is one of the bigger business challenges. The full range of external and internal regulatory requirements must be met, respecting defined decision-making processes.
Start from managing processes and large volumes of documents
Technologies that enable defined, structured documentation management, its digitalization and collaboration, have long been present in the market. The key factors for success in the corporate environment have been:
- technologies that will, on the one hand, ensure high functional standards when approving various materials, documents, acts, procedures, etc.
- and, on the other hand, a scalable platform that will be able to store a large amount of documentation, but also provide fast and efficient access to certain documents by clearly defined indexes, that is, metadata.
The aforementioned technology should also be able to provide a large number of specialized “must have” functionalities, primarily at sessions, but also at other committees, thus standardizing and digitizing the approval or decision-making process itself.
Quality security is also required to ensure that sensitive information and documents are managed successfully. Consequently, a web enterprise solution is logically imposed, which would include business process modelling (BPM) and document storage (DMS), among others.
Search and manage documentation
How to find the document you want in a large system and how to manage huge amounts of documents is a challenge that many companies have solved by using multi-collaboration platforms from major producers, one of which is the most well-known Microsoft Sharepoint.
Banks as a good practice example
Sharepoint enables, among other things, the implementation of a system for the digitalization of sessions and the formal decision-making process, which is a logical next step in the process of business digitization.
Due to the large number of regulatory requirements they have to comply with, banks were among the first to recognize the benefits of such technology and set standards that can serve as guidelines.
The standard that is currently most sought after and has proven to be optimal, is to make decisions at sessions and to archive them in a separate decision register, that is, archives, which will later be made available to authorized persons in accordance with defined rules.
Optimal session management
For optimal session management, the process is divided into 5 cycles:
- sessions in preparation,
- published sessions,
- holding a session,
- archived sessions
- and managing tasks according to decisions made.
In the digital session preparation, it is necessary to define the points of the session – manually at the session level or automatically create through the workflow the process of approving decisions and materials prior to the sessions. After defining the points and sub-points of the sessions and the related documentation, it is necessary to identify the participants and publish the session. The agenda of the session is sent to those responsible and able for comment and amend it as appropriate. In preparation, classic CRUD operations on points and session participants, as well as other facilities, are possible.
Session publishing itself includes, among other things, the following functionalities:
- email notifications,
- the ability to automatically store documentation in the participants’ schedule
- and a link to the session points to be discussed.
At this stage through the PC, tablet or cell phone, electronic voting (essential for remote session attendees) and counting of votes and creation of documents based on templates of which the most common – Generated Decisions and MoM documents, as well as other documents according to the business specifics, are enabled.
Closing and archiving
Upon publication of the session’s decisions and activities completed, the session closes with the possibility of archiving, after which no subsequent changes are allowed.
Decision distribution and task management
The decisions and tasks made are assigned as a follow up to the responsible person who receives a notification with a link to the task in the mail. There is also the ability to define escalation mails as a deadline warning to make decisions in a timely manner.
There are several other functionalities that are often used throughout the process, such as:
- defining secret and public points of the session,
- dynamically adding and deleting/changing session participants as well as distribution list participants.
Upon approval of the documents, they are forwarded to a separate register where they are stored and published to authorized persons. Of course, the above can be integrated so that published decisions through the web service are forwarded to other DMSs that the corporation uses. There is also the possibility of quality reporting using MS SSRS that provides a large range of required reports.
Business digitalization upgrade that pays off
The digitalization of formal decision-making sessions processes comes as an ideal upgrade to the digitalisation document management strategy within large and complex systems, thus contributing to centralization and transparency. Ultimately, work optimization and better collaboration between departments is ensured.