SOP Automation

Key steps in a document management lifecycle

Learn how to manage an effective document management lifecycle to deliver compliance training, with SyberWorks LMS/DMS.

In regulated industries, Document Management and Learning Management integration is essential! Organizations across the life sciences, industrial manufacturing, health care training and law enforcement sectors need a document management system (DMS) for certain purposes along with a learning management system (LMS) for other activities.

While much has been written on the value of document management, less has been written about the mechanics of effective document management. Ultimately, the goal is not to manage documents – that is not a business outcome.

Instead, it’s about what document management enables. Document management is about efficient remote collaboration, sharing to the appropriate audience, and tracking to ensure comprehension and use of the knowledge encapsulated in managed documents.

Effective collaboration in document management

A wide variety of tools enable document content collaboration. For example, Google Documents allow groups of individuals to collaborate on a document, but does not inherently support version control or approval steps essential to the particular business or unit.

In order to effectively collaborate on important documents, those approval processes need to be baked in. With SyberWorks, approval processes can be configured to meet the needs of the business.

Related Post: How to Move Your Training Business Online

Document management to delivery

Many complex systems that do not support effective collaboration ultimately support somewhat effective delivery. For example, Microsoft cloud products typically let “watchers” and others know when changes are made to them. Similarly with products such as JIRA.

However, these notifications are typically targeted at already known users and collaborators – not sent to those in the organization who must know about the knowledge contained in the document to effectively do their jobs. Usually, that process is fairly manual, and may involve export or “interfaces” between multiple systems.

From delivery to knowledge capture

Few pure document management systems provide insight to help document managers and administrators know if their documents are being consumed, and if so, how effectively. Ultimately, this is the true reason for document management and sharing – to translate information from knowledge throughout the organization.

For many informal cases, that’s not a problem. A “sure, I read that…” or “I glanced at it…” will do. Not so in highly regulated industries that depend on consistent updates and new information to do their jobs at the highest level.

Law enforcement, life sciences, health care, and manufacturing organizations need more proof. That level of testing and/or assignment tracking is not part of most systems. With SyberWorks being a native LMS solution, it is. No interfaces, no manual work. Automatic delivery of documents via course modules with attached quizzes and tracking as needed.

The 8 steps of the SyberWorks document management cycle that ensure effective collaboration, document delivery, and knowledge capture.

  1. Document check-in. 

    A document such as a standard operation procedure (SOP) is written by the document owner and checked in as a draft.  The owner also indicates which job roles are required to use this procedure.

  2. Circulate for comments. 

    The document can be circulated to a wide audience to elicit their comments.  A smaller group of collaborators can be designated to review and make changes to the document.  The DMS notifies the collaborators that their comments and changes are required.  The document owner is able to monitor this process and see if a particular person is a bottleneck.
  3. Accept comments.

     When the collaboration is completed, the document owner can accept the changes and save as new draft.

  4. Route to approvers. 

    The document is then switched to the request approval stage.  Chosen approvers review the document and indicate their approval (or disapproval) with a comment and electronic signature.

  5. Automatically create a course.

     When the document is approved, a read-and-sign course is automatically created from the document and assigned to employees with the relevant job roles.  An AI generated quiz or survey can be added to further gauge comprehension.

  6. Notify end users. 

    Users are notified of the new requirement they have been assigned as part of their job role.  Regular notifications are sent of requirements coming due and past due.

  7. Report on progress.

     Managers receive regular reports on the compliance of their subordinates in completing their training on the new document or new version of a document.

  8. Review reminders.

     Documents have a shelf-life in that policies and procedures change over time and the current version must be updated.  The system manages this review cycle (every two years, for example) reminding the document owner that the current version must be reviewed to see if changes are necessary.  If changes are needed, then the document life cycle begins anew with the creation of the draft for a new version.

“Our SyberWorks’ integrated DMS/LMS is unique in our industry!  The integration is key:  the DMS facilitates SOP/Case Study creation and formal approval processes, as well as periodic reviews and archiving.  Many of these important documents must end up within the LMS, which hosts read-and-sign courses, provides real-time visibility into completion rates and stores results.”

Dave Boggs, CEO

Similar posts

Get notified when we share e-Learning and LMS news

Be the first to know about new product and feature announcements, LMS, QMS, and DMS trends, and ways to more efficiently manage your learning and development initiatives.