OHS - Occupational Health and Safety for Management
TAA - Training And Assessment for Management

Document
Management




Our Document Management Expertise

TMDI is a specialist consultancy in document management systems (DMS), generally a set of computer programs used to track and store electronic documents. We are vendor independent and specialise in ensuring existing systems are used effectively – we do not implement document management systems. They are usually also capable of keeping track of the different versions modified by different users (history tracking). The term has some overlap with the concepts of content management systems. It is often viewed as a component of enterprise content management (ECM) systems and related to digital asset management, document imaging, workflow systems and records management systems.

While many EDM systems store documents in their native file format (Microsoft Word or Excel, PDF), some web-based document management systems are beginning to store content in the form of html. These policy management systems require content to be imported into the system. However, once content is imported, the software acts like a search engine so users can find what they are looking for faster. The html format allows for better application of search capabilities such as full-text searching and stemming.

Document management systems commonly provide storage, versioning, metadata, security, as well as indexing and retrieval capabilities. A brief description of these components follows:  

Metadata

Metadata is typically stored for each document. Metadata may, for example, include the date the document was stored and the identity of the user storing it. The DMS may also extract metadata from the document automatically or prompt the user to add metadata. Some systems also use optical character recognition on scanned images, or perform text extraction on electronic documents. The resulting extracted text can be used to assist users in locating documents by identifying probable keywords or providing for full text search capability, or can be used on its own.  

Integration

Many document management systems attempt to integrate document management directly into other applications, so that users may retrieve existing documents directly from the document management system repository, make changes, and save the changed document back to the repository as a new version, all without leaving the application. Such integration is commonly available for office suites and e-mail or collaboration/groupware software. Integration often uses open standards such as ODMA, LDAP, WebDAV and SOAP to allow integration with other software and compliance with internal controls.  

Capture

Capture Capture primarily involves accepting and processing images of paper documents from scanners or multifunction printers. Optical character recognition (OCR) software is often used, whether integrated into the hardware or as stand-alone software, in order to convert digital images into machine readable text. Optical mark recognition (OMR) software is sometimes used to extract values of check-boxes or bubbles. Capture may also involve accepting electronic documents and other computer-based files.  

Validation

Visual validation registration system and important data. E.g. document failures, lack of bells, missing signatures, misspelled names, this can be printed on paper documents or images on paper.  

Indexing

Indexing tracks electronic documents. Indexing may be as simple as keeping track of unique document identifiers; but often it takes a more complex form, providing classification through the documents' metadata or even through ord indexes extracted from the documents' contents. Indexing exists mainly to support retrieval. One area of critical importance for rapid retrieval is the creation of an index topology.  

Storage

Storage of electronic documents often includes management of those same documents; where they are stored, for how long, migration of the documents from one storage media to another (hierarchical storage management) and eventual document destruction.  

Retrieval

Retrieve the electronic documents from the storage. Although the notion of retrieving a particular document is simple, retrieval in the electronic context can be quite complex and powerful. Simple retrieval of individual documents can be supported by allowing the user to specify the unique document identifier, and having the system use the basic index (or a non-indexed query on its data store) to retrieve the document. More flexible retrieval allows the user to specify partial search terms involving the document identifier and/or parts of the expected metadata. This would typically return a list of documents which match the user's search terms.  

Distribution

A published document for distribution has to be in a format that can not be easily altered. As a common practice in law regulated industries, an original master copy of the document is usually never used for distribution other than archiving. If a document is to be distributed electronically in a regulatory environment, then the equipment tasking the job has to be quality endorsed AND validated. Similarly quality endorsed electronic distribution carriers have to be used.  

Security

Document security is vital in many document management applications. Compliance requirements for certain documents can be quite complex depending on the type of documents. For instance, in the United States, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements dictate that medical documents have certain security requirements. Some document management systems have a rights management module that allows an administrator to give access to documents based on type to only certain people or groups of people. Document marking at the time of printing or PDF-creation is an essential element to preclude alteration or unintended use.  

Workflow

Workflow is a complex process and some document management systems have a built-in workflow module. There are different types of workflow. Usage depends on the environment to which the electronic document management system (EDMS) is applied. Manual workflow requires a user to view the document and decide whom to send it to. Rules-based workflow allows an administrator to create a rule that dictates the flow of the document through an organization: for instance, an invoice passes through an approval process and then is routed to the accounts-payable department.
 

Collaboration

Collaboration should be inherent in an EDMS. In its basic form, a collaborative EDMS should allow documents to be retrieved and worked on by an authorized user. Access should be blocked to other users while work is being performed on the document. Other advanced forms of collaboration allow multiple users to view and modify (or markup) a document at the same time in a collaboration session.  

Versioning

Versioning is a process by which documents are checked in or out of the document management system, allowing users to retrieve previous versions and to continue work from a selected point. Versioning is useful for documents that change over time and require updating, but it may be necessary to go back to or reference a previous copy.  

Searching

Searching finds documents and folders using template attributes or full text search. Documents can be searched using various attributes and document content.  

Publishing

Publishing a document involves the procedures of proofreading, peer or public reviewing, authorizing, printing and approving etc. Those steps ensure prudence and logical thinking. Any careless handling may result in the inaccuracy of the document and therefore mislead or upset its users and readers. In law regulated industries, some of the procedures have to be completed as evidenced by their corresponding signatures and the date(s) on which the document was signed. The published document should be in a format that is not easily altered without a specific knowledge or tools, and yet it is read-only or portable.  

Reproduction

Document/image reproduction is key when thinking about implementing a system. It's great to be able to put things in, but how are you going to get them out? An example of this is building plans. How will plans be scanned and scale be retained when printed?  

Document control

Documents stored in a document management system - documents such as procedures, work instructions, and policy statements - provide evidence of documents under control. Failing to comply could cause fines, the loss of business, or damage to a business's reputation.
When working in an environment that requires document control, the following procedures are useful to document:

• Reviewing and approving documents prior to release
• Reviews and approvals
• Ensuring changes and revisions are clearly identified
• Ensuring that relevant versions of applicable documents are available at their “points of use”
• Ensuring that documents remain legible and identifiable
• Ensuring that external documents like customer supplied documents or supplier manuals are identified and controlled
• Preventing “unintended” use of obsolete documents

Integrated document management is the technologies, tools, and methods used to capture, manage, store, preserve, deliver and dispose of 'documents' across an enterprise. In this context 'documents' are any of a myriad of information assets including images, office documents, graphics, and drawings as well as the new electronic objects such as Web pages, email, instant messages, and video. Note: Some of this content was drawn from Wikipedia.

TMDI Home | About TMDI | Technical Communication | Australian Nationally Recognised Training | Accelerated Advanced Diploma of Management | Business Communication Training | Contact TMDI | Site Map

© 2014 TMDI.  All Rights Reserved. Powered by TMDI Technology