S D R Vo l 5 N o 2 2 0 0 6 C a s e S t u d y
lectronic Document and Records
Management (EDRM) refers to the
practice of securely managing con-
Enterprise Content Management
(ECM) system provides structure, con-
trolled access and electronic routing to
tent (electronic and physical documents, individuals that need to act on the infor-
faxes, voice and video) that is generated mation as it is managed in a single
and received by an institution in the organisation-wide repository.
course of delivering service according to The other reason is with regard to
applicable records management stan- compliance to legislation. Legislation
dards and procedures. was promulgated in an effort. The
Lebogang Matjila of The first reason why organisations are National Archives of South Africa Act,
Waymark Infotech outlines considering EDRM is to ensure Promotions of Access to Information
the value of Electronic enhanced service delivery. Research has Act and Public Finance Management
shown that in excess of 75% of informa- Act were promulgated by government
Document and Records
tion that organisations deal with is in the to improve accountability, quality and
Management by examining form unstructured content such as accessibility of services.
its implementation at the emails, faxes, documents and slide pre- Good practices in managing docu-
Eastern Cape Department of sentations, spreadsheets, physical letters, ments and records form the foundation
etc. for compliance to the legislation as listed
Economic Affairs, Environment
This information is required within above. Implementation of an ECM will
and Tourism minutes if not seconds to be able to support compliance to legislation in this
deliver prompt service to clients. regard.
Examples of such information are appli-
cation forms and associated attachments Application areas
submitted for service, notifications for of ECM solutions
change of details, letters and faxes
requesting information, contracts, etc. Content touches all aspects of an institu-
As such, capturing this content into an tion so an ECM solution can be applied
C a s e S t u d y S D R Vo l 5 N o 2 2 0 0 6
to virtually all business areas. However, resources to find or refer to organisa-
there are application areas where higher tional records.
business benefit can be realised. This solution An EDMS project was initiated by the
These are typically characterised by department as it required an integrated
large volumes of content to be processed approach to managing documents.
such as applications for social grants, has enabled Documents were stored in the four reg-
housing subsidies, water licenses, com- istries but also in offices where limited
pany registrations, compensation claims, access control could be exercised.
and so forth. the department This typically led to difficulty in locat-
They are also characterised by inter- ing documents, which often resulted in
nal administrative functions with well- delays in responding to internal or exter-
defined processes and procedures such to easily nal enquiries and service requests.
as recruitment and appointment, expen- The department’s vision was to imple-
diture approval, quotation evaluation, ment a system that will first and fore-
contracting, invoice processing, leave provide most enable the auditor general to per-
application and resignation processing. form a paperless audit. It was recognised
One can also add collaborative
processes that have turnaround times
information that this would be an involved exercise,
which would require a phased approach
that are defined or generally understood in order to ensure success.
such as responding to parliamentary
questions and written enquiries from
upon request The first part of the implementation
involved compiling and implementing a
interested parties. document management policy and pro-
Lastly, they are characterised by reg-
istry management function where all
to stakeholders cedures manual. This provided a frame-
work on how to manage the operational
records of the institution are registered. documents of the department.
An ECM solution will typically provide
the capability to index and do advanced
and it is able to The project was also charged with
compiling a file plan for the department
118 searches of records in the repository
with the inherent ability to find specific
documents and records in seconds.
to facilitate the standardisation of docu-
ment management practices.
The solution was built upon EMC
Documentum. Papers received by the
Implementation and taken on department are scanned, indexed and
critical success factors stored in the Documentum repository
according to the fileplan at the main
Successful implementations of an ECM written requests registry.
solution have been achieved in organisa- The scanned documents are then
tions that have a clear understanding of routed to the designated users, for them
their objectives and challenges. to take action. Reminders are sent to
Ultimately, the success of any system hand-hold (assist) users for a reasonable users to act on documents for which no
depends on its adoption for day-to-day period. action has been taken.
operations. Eastern Cape Department of Phase two of the initiative involved
This requires that serious effort be put Economic Affairs, Environment and back-scanning with documents that
into ensuring acceptance of the system Tourism Case Study were created before the implementation
by staff members through early involve- The Department of Economic of the solution and are of material value
ment of users in the requirements defi- Affairs, Environment and Tourism to the department being identified.
nition and demonstration of a pre-built (DEAET) was faced with the challenge They were then digitised and made
configurable solution to users which of managing documentation pertaining available electronically for retrieval.
allows them to easily relate to how it can to the administration and management The total number of pages in the
be applied in an institution’s operations. interaction of its internal and external finance registry was in excess of 500 000
It can also be realised through com- stakeholders. pages. The main aim of the back-scan-
mitment and communication driven The department was utilising a man- ning exercise was to digitise the docu-
from the highest level. ual system of managing its documents ments and have them readily available
Such commitment must be reinforced which led to the ineffective and ineffi- for auditing purposes.
with individuals that will be on site to cient application of scarce departmental The total number of pages in the
S D R Vo l 5 N o 2 2 0 0 6 C a s e S t u d y
human resource registry is in excess of department to produce relevant docu- ECM application in the public sector. A
600 000 pages. In order to ensure com- mentation supporting the transactions it specific configuration is available for
pliance with DPSA requirements the undertakes. deployment in national, provincial and
department started with a process to local government departments for inter-
ensure all files contain the minimum Conclusion nal administrative processes (HR,
information required. finance and procurement), registry
Documents are then digitised to make Based on the experience gained in management, and collaboration process-
them accessible to authorised users from engagements similar to the DEAET, es for parliamentary questions and
their desktops. Waymark Infotech has pre-configured a enquiry response.
This solution has enabled the depart- solution called eContentWorks which is Procuring eContentWorks reduces
ment to easily provide information upon based on EMC Documentum to offer a implementation time and risk as it has
request to stakeholders and it is able to solution that meets public sector docu- public sector processes and procedures
track actions taken on written requests. ment and records management require- embedded in the solution. Furthermore,
The department is also compliant to ments. institution-specific configuration for
good records management practice as a The solution has interfaces to most your business requirements can be easily
result of this solution. leading ERP solutions and legacy sys- done via eContentWorks configuration
Lastly, the solution has enabled the tems. eContentWorks is intended for workbench. •