Business Forms Management Association Symposium 2004 Writing Your Symposium Report Sunday, May 23, 2004 Reno, Nevada Presented by: Judi McClellan Fairview-University Medical Center Minneapolis, Minnesota Phone: (612) 273-3112 Fax: (612) 273-1142 E-mail: email@example.com Home: 9533 Inver Grove Trail Inver Grove Hts., MN 55076 (651) 455-8185 OVERALL OBJECTIVE Ensure management knows the value of your symposium attendance PREPARING YOUR SYMPOSIUM REPORT Include 1. Lead paragraph 2. General statement 3. Classes attended 4. Networking contacts 5. Product displays 6. Potential cost savings 7. Overall value 8. Budget 1. Lead Paragraph - Should express a statement of appreciation for the opportunity to attend the symposium. Examples: I found this seminar to be informative and thought provoking. Thank you for allowing me to attend. It was a pleasure to be a participant at BFMA's Symposium 2004 in Reno, Nevada. This year’s symposium theme was “Dynamic Forms, the Silver Lining of Your Enterprise”. I'm grateful to (your company name) for allowing me to participate in BFMA's Symposium 2004 in Reno, Nevada. Thank you for allowing me to participate in BFMA's Symposium 2004 in Reno, Nevada. 2. General Statement - Should include an overall purpose of Business Forms Management Association. Examples: Business Forms Management Association's purpose is to provide quality forms-systems education and to enhance individual competency and professionalism, which will enable its members to help their employers achieve organizational goals of increased competitiveness, productivity and economic success. Business Forms Management Association's purpose is to promote good management of forms-systems integration, throughout all industries and governments. It does this through education of the business public and its own members in the principles and techniques of forms management and related areas. Business Forms Management Association was formed 45 years ago. It is the association for forms and information systems professionals. Their slogan is “We capture the information that makes business run!” BFMA is an International, nonprofit organization of professionals committed to the improvement of productivity through forms-systems integration. They provide the best and most current forms-systems education possible and have found new technologies, new tools, and new methods to challenge forms professionals. BFMA is a global network of form and information systems professionals who use and develop the technologies driving the document systems industry. Their mission is to provide immersive learning, training and networking opportunities that advance the sound, innovative use of forms and documents – both print and electronic – needed for businesses to succeed. BFMA is a resource, which further educates us. It seeks to raise professionalism in the forms and information systems fields and realizes the need for working in the broader systems scope in its short and long term planning and education efforts. BFMA is an association that educates and empowers us with the knowledge, skills and resources needed to make informed decisions to improve business processes. BFMA’s symposium structure of track (skill set) and field (subject manner) allowed me to focus on the design and development sessions, which better utilized my time. 2. General Statement Continued - Primary reason for attending. Areas you can address are: educational classes, committee participation, networking (camaraderie), Special Interest Groups (SIGS), Product User Groups, and product displays. Technologies are changing constantly. Every year companies have different priorities. These two areas alone can be the primary reasons for attending every year. Examples: The BFMA Symposium 2004 was educational and an opportunity for individuals in the same profession to meet and exchange ideas. It was well organized and implemented. Attendees came from around the world to exchange ideas on ways to improve forms design, data capture, information systems and workflow. BFMA Symposium 2004 offered a learning environment with hundreds of educational opportunities to enhance my present knowledge, expand career horizons and improve the understanding of the work relations with peers. BFMA Symposium 2004 provided access to the knowledge, technology and resources that will enable me to take advantage of new opportunities and offer (name your company here) solutions to our complex challenges that confront our businesses today. BFMA‘s educational focus provides training in how to effectively use forms and documents to better manage business processes and present new opportunities for improved efficiencies as business operations accelerate in the digital age. BFMA’s 35th annual international symposium was a learning and networking event that offered the most dynamic venue in the industry for tapping the networked community of forms and information systems professional worldwide. 3. Identify Classes Attended State: Relative value to attendee and work How this value can be applied to current and future projects. Specific education received regarding management edict goals, projects assigned, or areas of challenges assigned. Quality of instruction and content Examples: All but one and one half-hours of my class time were in specific skills development. The topics that were best presented and more informative were techniques for better analysis and procedure flow-charting. Dr. Ben Graham’s course was excellent. He lectured and provided hands on experience for business process improvement benefits as a tool for system analysis. This has taught me the logic behind calculating benefits to determine the bottom line effectiveness of an improvement. Dr. Ben Graham, Jr.’s session on Time Management covered the psychology and techniques of time management. This session has shown me how to “polish my skills” for making the most of my time. Gary Stephens from ConocoPhillips presented a session on “How to Put Together a Request for Proposal.” This session has provided me the tools to accurately compare vendor information as (your company name) moves forward with our RFP. One of (your company name) goals this next year is to migrate to electronic forms. Russ Gould, Sr. Product Marketing Manager for FileNET Corporation explained the importance of simple forms routing to complex multiplex workflow processes. This session will definitely help us in our transition. The seminar pointed out numerous elements important to a cost-effective forms management program. (Your company name) areas of strength are adequate master files and record keeping, a consistent forms numbering system, strong coordination between forms management and reprographics and purchasing, and management support. William Hill’s basic “Forms Analysis and Redesign” session has reinforced my abilities to continue to meet the needs of (your company name) in future analysis and redesign assignments. One of my goals this year is to help select an E-forms system. The session presented by Paul Wernet, President of Formatta Corporation, provided a walkthrough of the basic steps and timelines to manage the procurement process in an organized manner. He also emphasized the importance of developing an appropriate RFI/RFP for our organization. One of (your company name) goal is to decentralize a portion of our forms while maintaining control. At the Special Industry Group Session, (the other company name) has just completed this task. My first step is to organize, implement and be responsible for a Forms Task Committee. This will keep us in the "driver's seat." Workshops were structured to provide how-to-do-it techniques. Ideas that can immediately be applied to benefit (your company name) - Ensure good design & construction of every form for efficiency - Originate and maintain specifications - Educate and assist operating personnel - Stop creation of useless forms - Understand procedures - Create a competitive edge by properly managing the information processing at (your company name). Speaker Paragraphs: Top rated instructors conducted the formal session covering all facets of information resource management. Four of BFMA's course instructors, Dr. Ben Graham, Robert Barnett, Ray Killam, and Frank J. Garner, III were among the leading instructors and recognized authorities that conducted one or more of the 75 plus scheduled sessions. I was very impressed with the quality of courses offered and with the professional manner of the speakers. Joyce Hamlett, Manager of the Forms Management group and the On-Line Production group at Westinghouse Savannah River is a member of the Department of Energy Forms Solution Exchange Team and a speaker at the Nuclear Information and Records Management Association (NIRMA). She is also a member of Westinghouse First Line Supervisor Advisory Council, a team designed to promote communication between upper management, middle management and non-exempt employees. Her session on “Basis of Developing a High-Performance Team with the People Skills Technique” will certainly benefit (your company name). Speakers throughout the United States, Australia, and Switzerland presented lectures and workshops targeting some of the most complex topics in the industry today. Their level of professionalism and knowledge has provided comprehensive aid for the myriad challenges facing us today. The e-forms panel forum (composed of Symposium sponsors who offered e-forms products) was an exchange of information that enhanced my understanding of the capabilities of e-forms now and in the near future. The end user panel consisted of representatives from companies that have implemented enterprise-wide forms solutions. They addressed implementation strategy, IT support (or lack of), level of e-forms implemented, issues/problems encountered, features they particularly liked or wish they had. This information will be extremely valuable as we proceed to implement our own e-forms solution. 4. Networking Contacts - State specific contacts made along with any ideas gleaned through networking. Examples: I have been able to get the names of seven other companies that use (name the product) for forms design. I know I will be able to learn new techniques from the other companies that have our system in place. The symposium was the perfect opportunity to meet colleagues in related professional fields from the U.S., Canada, and other parts of the world to share innovative ideas, get answers to individual problems and avoid potential problems by talking to people who have "been there." Symposium 2004 offered other learning opportunities that are as valuable as the formal sessions. Fellow attendees, from around the globe, shared insights, frustrations and know-how. Networking with several attendees who have established electronic forms have broadened my perspective and will definitely be a resource for me to utilize as we look at establishing our own electronic forms systems at (your company name). The networking at the symposium gave me the resources to help us develop our forms into an electronic format. Networking with fellow form systems professionals has provided me with contacts and resources that will help me throughout my own personal growth and development. 5. Product Displays - On specific technologies you may want management to review. Attach materials received, which reflect pictures, specifications, cost, etc. or mention you have them available upon request. Examples: Many of the forms industry’s leading vendors and manufactures were in attendance at the Symposium 2004. I was able to have hands-on demonstrations of the latest products and technologies that are shaping our profession. I have detailed information of products and programs that might suit (your company name). The product displays gave me an opportunity to view and learn about new technologies. I had the opportunity to visit product displays to evaluate their forms management software. Reading literature on a product is no substitute for a live demonstration. There were personalized demonstrations that showcased the latest technology and applications evolving within the forms systems environment. Private showings were available for small groups or on a one-on-one basis. I have more information (brochures) available upon request. The vendor exhibits were interesting and they heightened my awareness of changes and advancements taking place in the forms-systems integration business. The networking luncheon on Wednesday with my peers was outstanding. I’ve made contacts with people who will become invaluable to me as (your company name) transitions from paper to electronic forms. 6. Identify Potential Cost Savings Identify any potential cost savings you can generate resulting from ideas or new skills learned. Make sure to implement these ideas and make them visible to management as they occur. Whenever reporting savings, tie them to symposium. Examples: If you cannot identify a specific cost saving, a general statement of how you are working smarter by not reinventing the wheel, and the networking resources you have to find out information are absolute cost savings. BFMA professionals have used a basic standard for evaluating forms savings that hold true in most cost benefit analysis we perform. For every dollar spent on printing a form, another $150-$200 is spent in the processing of that form. It is critical that forms professionals not only look at printing costs but also the work flow and processing requirements of a form to evaluate and determine cost savings. We will apply the above to all of our forms analysis and reports. On a quarterly basis, we will show the improved savings. One of the areas (your company name) is investigating is moving from paper based forms to automate capturing of information on our forms. There were several sessions that talked about companies saving up front capturing information electronically but did not consider the people costs dealing with problems relating to inaccurate information captured. Before we implement our system, these sessions will help me to calculate our overall costs and what happens to them when we introduce an automated capture system. 7. Overall Value - Should indicate overall value of the symposium and that you are looking forward to attending next year. Examples: Five tracks (basic, management, workflow, information systems, and vendor product tutorials and panel discussions) were presented in a concise, understandable fashion so you could absorb the techniques and knowledge. These tracks also corresponded directly with the fields of knowledge (design and development; forms management; information systems; and workflow) covered in examinations for BFMA’s certification program, Certified Forms Systems Professional. BFMA provided over 75 formal sessions, special interest groups, keynote and panel speakers, special events, and vendor demonstrations/exhibits. It was truly a premiere instructional and networking symposium. The annual symposium sponsored by BFMA provided the primary opportunity for information resources management professionals to learn about the latest technological developments in this multi disciplined field. This year’s symposium featured industry leaders who are changing the face of business operations with new forms models, documents, systems and technologies. They addressed all aspects of the contemporary forms and document profession along with some of the most complex topics in the industry today. For over 35 years, BFMA symposiums have helped thousands of professionals build careers in every facet of information resources management. Today, an explosion of information is processed via computers, micro graphics, and optical media expands. Designed for all systems and analytical professionals, Symposium 2004 truly integrated forms and information systems functions. Overall Value - Continued The well-rounded program was designed to reach every level of experience, novice to expert, and to provide new and exciting insights into business management and into the constantly evolving fields of information sciences. Digestion and implementation of all this information will take several months, but our electronic forms program has received a good foundation of constructive ideas and information sources thanks to the speakers, sponsors and interesting people I met. BFMA’s 2004 Symposium enabled me to achieve the knowledge and ability to help (your organization’s name) become more competitive, functional, and economically successful. BFMA’s 2004 Symposium course curriculum featured an entire spectrum of forms expertise, from the most fundamental to the cutting-edge, including many classes focused on the industry’s web-driven systems. You may want to add this sentence to your overall statement: “I have brought back the complete proceedings of all sessions presented at the symposium for the other analysts/employees to share.” The following sentence can be added at the end of each above paragraph: “I look forward to attending the 2005 Symposium in Orlando, Florida.” “I look forward to one of the analysts attending the 2005 Symposium in Orlando, Florida.” 8. Prepare a Budget Prepare cost figures for next year. Do not include in your report. Submit in normal budgeting cycle. Attach copy of the report to your budget proposal. Throughout the year, any savings resulting from your attendance at Symposium should be included. Proposed Budget for 2005 BFMA Symposium Airfare $ 700 Hotel Room 1,100 Registration 1,000 Meals/Misc. 300 Expense Estimated Total $3,100 Your report is now finished Be sure to set up a meeting with your supervisor Don’t just hand it in. Set up a time to meet with your supervisor. Discuss areas of particular interest to him or her. Highlight your supervisor's "hot button" areas. Close by saying you look forward to attending next year’s symposium.