Digital Transformation for Business is inextricably linked with the digitization of documents; this concept covers activities such as archiving, the possibility of transferring documents in the electronic form to appropriate people in the company and monitoring the progress of each activity leading, for example, obtaining a signature. DMS may also be supplemented with electronic signature and many other, minor functionalities that facilitate the prosperity of departments involved in document processing in the company. TT PSC Atlassian team has recently published a description of the EOD process implemented in the Jira system. Below we present its shortened version.

Atlassian changes, Jira migration, important information

Traditional document management system in a company – disadvantages:

Tuesday (or any other day of the week) 10:00 a.m. – Mary from the front office picks up the mail addressed to various people in the company, including one to the Marketing Manager, and leaves it in the front office where every employee (under her watchful eye, of course) can pick up the mail. Mary knows that she should inform the Marketing Manager about the correspondence to be collected and she intends to do it. However, just as she was picking up the mail, she heard at least two phone attempts. As soon as she puts the packages away, three people attending a training session at the company headquarters ask for directions to the conference room, followed by two others who report running out of coffee, and right after that one of the managers asks to prepare the office to welcome business partners. Ms Wiola takes care of anything that requires her immediate attention, and a document sent by mail is forgotten. After two days the Marketing Manager came to the front office worried about the long time of waiting for the documents. As you can guess, the matter is urgent, and he feels increasing stress and dissatisfaction because of the delay. In the package, there is a contract, which he has to hand over to the accounting department to be completed with the relevant data, and then to the CEO for his signature. In the accounting department, the document is also not given priority as there is a pile of other contracts on the desk. The Marketing Manager asked the Accounting Department to pass the document directly to the CEO, but Jack from Accounting could not do it personally, he was in a hurry to watch his son’s match and asked the front office to do it. The document got lost somewhere along the way and everyone forgot about it. All except the Marketing Manager, who two days later asked the CEO whether he could collect the agreement. Of course, the document never reached him… At this point, we can already stop our hypothetical story, because thanks to this small sample we know the pains of the traditional model related to the execution of documents.

Documents in traditional document management system:

  1. They get lost. Paper, like anything, can just get lost, fall and slide under a cabinet, or be mistakenly thrown in the trash.
  2. They do not remind us that they exist. They lie in a pile of other printouts, while documents entered into the system can be given high priority. What is important is that those documents will never be overlooked as the system will send a notification about the document entry and the upcoming deadline.
  3. It is not always clear who has them – documents circulate physically between company employees and it is difficult to track exactly where they are.
  4. You never know at what stage of implementation the document is – did it reach the right person? Has it been approved, rejected, or maybe requires amendments? In the traditional document management system, we are not able to check it easily.
  5. It’s difficult to generate document summaries – of course, you can collect them manually into a single collection, but this is much more difficult than with a document management system.

To sum up, a paper document has to be handed over manually “from hand to hand”, which in case of working in different locations (including remote work) is particularly cumbersome and may cause confusion. DMS assumes making a digital reflection of paper documents, their circulation and handling the process in an electronic form while preserving paper forms in the archive.

Important!

Examples of documents that are part of the traditional document management system in any company, even small ones, and could be successfully covered by DMS:

    • invoice for posters/marketing materials,
    • information from the building owner about rent increases,
    • a speeding ticket while driving a company car,
    • an annex to the contract with the subcontractor performing work for a specific department of the organization.

Document Management System – benefits:

Investing in a DMS system (it is worth noting that DMS can include electronic invoice management as well) will solve the above problems and bring additional benefits. All documents will be located in a space to which access will be given to relevant departments involved in the implementation process. And the document flow process itself will be mapped in the system.

Important!

When transferring business processes to Jira, we always adapt the functionalities, names, and the whole model of the program’s functioning to the client company’s needs. Jira is a system so flexible that we can map multi-level document approval paths in it. Our experience in advanced configuration and customization is confirmed by certificates and customers’ references.

The DMS system provides:

  • Clear and transparent insight into every stage related to document execution.
  • Automation that will relieve employees of repetitive tasks.
  • Notifications so that no document is ignored, lost, or overdue.
  • Better communication between the teams involved in the execution of documents – because the status and stage of the process will be easy to check; it will also be known who is overdue for approval or other necessary actions.
  • Digitization of paper documents – saving space and reducing paper consumption, as well as easier access.
  • Combine related documents and create statements.
  • Document organization with multi-level file organization.
  • Full data archiving.

DMS in Jira

Document management (including invoices) in a company can be successfully implemented in Jira because it is an environment designed to manage tasks that make up the entire business process. The Jira system can be adapted to various business activities, including DMS, and for different industries; each of them has a different specificity of activity and different needs, which is not an obstacle for us because Jira is a flexible tool that can be adapted to each business client individually.

For whom?

Therefore, we can implement the document management system (including electronic invoice management) e.g. in an office (municipality, city, for one of the departments or for the entire organization), for accounting, administration, purchasing, front office, or HR, finance and/or payroll departments in any company, regardless of the industry.

What document types does it support?

These may include, for example:

  • purchase invoices,
  • contracts,
  • NDA’s,
  • incoming offerings,
  • official letters,
  • administrative letters,
  • fines.

What does it enable?

Above all: efficient and transparent document management in the company and broadly understood document digitization. This means easy access to files, defined paths for handling different types of documents, data security provided by the vendor (security related to maintaining the instance e.g. in the cloud), and internal security provided by restrictions imposed on access to documents. We list the specific functionalities that can be implemented as part of DMS in Jira later in the text.

How is DMS in Jira implemented in the client company?

Transferring business processes to the IT environment requires close cooperation with the client and defining all the components and scenarios related to the flow of information within the company. We divide our work into several stages, of which the most important activities are:

  1. Determining workflows for each type of document that is executed in the company – what activities occur in sequence.
  2. Designating who should receive the document at each stage of execution (typically for DMS, Jira supports 6 levels of access for users: administrator, reporter, executor, approver, observer, and archiver).
  3. Discussing all functionalities that the company wants to have – the team of TT PSC analysts advises on the best solutions based on previous experience; thanks to this we can determine the amount of work related to customisation so that the DMS meets all requirements (e.g. it has a module for affixing electronic signatures, multi-level approval paths or additional fields for entering detailed information about the document).
  4. Creating a test version and validating it before real implementation.

EOD in Jira – what does it look like?

Jira makes it possible to model the flow of information and documents, i.e. to configure workflows to map the processes occurring in a company. Each document goes to the system as a task to be performed, along with its:

      • status (for example: to do, in progress, done)
      • priority (high/medium/low)
      • the person assigned to the document (at each stage it may be someone else, according to the document management in the company e.g. a different person will be responsible for approving the document and another for entering it into the accounting system. In the case of people approving documents, it is good to specify substitutes, so that in case of days off, appropriate people take care of the documents)
      • the date the task was created (in the case of DMS, the same as the date of entry of the document into the system),
      • the date by which the document must be executed (e.g. in the case of an invoice the date of execution will be the date of transfer, i.e. if the payment must be made by the last day of the month, it must be made at least 2 days in advance and this will be the cut-off date for the document).

as well as other necessary information, e.g:

      • specifying the type of document (purchase/NDA/invoice),
      • a summary and a description to help people understand what the document is about,
      • the sender of the document,
      • the digital form of the document (attachments),
      • a list of departments to choose from – so that it is possible to determine to which department the document is to be assigned,
      • recipient – a field where you can enter it:

Important!

The fields displayed above are customized for the company and can be named according to the nomenclature adopted by the organization. Therefore, there will be as many of them as the company needs and they will be named as the customer specifies. They will also be different for people with different roles in the process – slightly different information must be filled in by the person entering the document into the system and different by e.g. a superior or a person responsible for archiving the document

The document in the form of a task is sent to subsequent people, according to the path and conditions given by the organization.

For example, the person registering a document, having filled in all the information in the form, selects the “SEND” command, thanks to which the task (document) is sent to the next stage, i.e. to the person executing it. The latter, in turn, supplements everything with more data and selects the “VERIFY” command. The document goes further, and finally, after passing all the stages, is archived in the system

Important!

      • The number of people involved in the document management system in the company and the levels necessary for document implementation are determined at the initial stage of cooperation with the customer.
      • The document status changes automatically as the document moves to the next step (e.g. from document entry to approval, from approval to posting, or data completion, etc.). On the other hand, the priority is assigned by the users and may be changed during the workflow.

The Jira system also allows, among other things, to track the history of each task, so we can check what exactly has happened so far with a given document, e.g:

      • who entered the document into the system and when,
      • who changed the sender,
      • who approved or rejected the document (and why).

Important and useful functionality is a view (dashboard) gathering statistics related to document management in the company.

Important!
Only authorized company personnel will have access to the statistics.

In addition, each employee who has a role in the company’s EOD process has a board on which they can see, for example :

 

  • The list of documents that are assigned to them.
  • The list of rejected documents.
  • The list of documents is “In progress” and not assigned to anyone.
  • Activity history, i.e. all activities performed in the system related to documents.

The supervisor’s board, due to other tasks to be performed, must have:

  • List of documents for approval.
  • A graph showing the number of documents by status.
  • A chart showing the number of documents by type.
  • The number of documents per department to which they are assigned.

The person archiving, in turn, can see:

  • List of completed and resolved documents
  • Activity history.

Important!

The system automatically generates the so-called incoming correspondence log, thanks to which the administrative employees do not have to enter all the data manually into a notebook or spreadsheet.

DMS in Jira – specific capabilities and improvements:

Below we present a list of the most important functionalities that can be implemented within the Document Management System in a company in an environment built with Jira or Jira Work Management (the same system in the cloud version) enhanced with appropriate add-ons.

BASIC DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT:

  • registering a document and determining its sender (from a predefined base), manual or automatic registration of documents incoming via e-mail,
  • entering a scan of a document,
  • adding attachments,
  • document sorting,
  • automatic numbering of documents,
  • reviewing documents and searching e.g. by the sender, type, number, and stage in the process,
  • commenting on the document,
  • specifying the end date for the activity on the document,
  • approval/rejection or complete withdrawal of a document from the system,
  • exporting data to Excel for further analysis,
  • document archiving – the system enables recording archiving of the document,
  • marking duplicate documents, maintaining data transparency and order,
  • categorization by document and by predefined types,
  • marking related documents in the system,
  • creating document summaries.

Important!

  • The system generates a list of documents both in circulation in terms of quantity and quality. Moreover, it presents the history of a document and the history.
  • At any given time, a document can only be assigned to one department and one employee. The system does not allow to enter the document entry date later than the current day.

PRIORITIZATION:

  • The system supports entering a priority (e.g., low/medium/high) that can be changed during document workflow.

DOCUMENT APPROVAL

The system supports:

    • sending the document for approval with the possibility of including justification,
    • selecting a user who can approve the document,
    • Forcing approval of documents that require it.

Important!

    • Approval of a document is possible by a designated, authorized employee or by any user with appropriate rights if no specific person approving the document is indicated.
    • After approval, the document must be returned to the user responsible for the entire process related to the document and its archiving.

Additionally:

      • The employee has their dashboard, where they can see a list of documents waiting for approval. When a new document appears, the employee receives a system-generated notification.
      • The system enables sending a notification to the employee executing the document e.g. 2 days before the approval deadline.
      • It is possible to automatically highlight overdue documents.
      • The system does not allow a document to be sent for approval if the document does not require it. In the case of a document that is routed for execution and not sent for approval, the user can note that “The document does not require approval”.

REJECTION OF DOCUMENTS:

      • The system informs the user who submitted the document for approval that the document has been rejected.
      • A rejected document cannot be executed.

Important!

Rejection of a document is possible by authorized employees or by any user with privileges if no approver is indicated.

EXECUTION OF DOCUMENTS:

      • The person registering the document selects the user who will execute the task (document). The system can do this automatically, if always the same person will be responsible for executing the document; it can also assign the document to a group of people and only later the team supervisor will assign specific people to specific tasks.
      • In the case of DMS, we usually introduce 6 levels of access for users: administrator, reporter, executor, approver, observer, and archiver.
      • The system enables noting who is currently in possession of the document.

DOCUMENT SENDERS (EXTERNAL):

      • The system allows the reporter to create a database of senders so that later on it will be possible to select the appropriate sender from a quick selection list, e.g. using the first letters of the name. The database contains name, and address (street, number, apartment number, postal code, city, VAT ID, National Business Registry Number, phone number, and contact person).
      • It is possible to add new items and edit existing ones in the senders’ database.
      • When registering a document, the user selects the sender by indicating it in the sender’s database.

SECURITY MEASURES:

      • The system allows selected users to access documents in a “read-only” mode.
      • Only persons who are assigned to a given stage (activity) participate in the document workflow; no unauthorized person will gain access to the DMS.

ADDITIONAL:

The system supports, among other things:

      • automatic numbering of documents,
      • defining comment/response templates ready to use,
      • highlighting documents from are registered by e-mail,
      • automatic sending of cyclical quality lists of documents to specified e-mail addresses,
      • generating an internal document based on collected data about a document/task in PDF and DOCX format.

Important!

The Jira system (in the context of DMS) allows documents to be registered manually, via email box, or thanks to integration with the OCR system the company uses.

Interested in seeing Jira in action? Do you have additional questions that are holding you back from the implementation? Contact us – we will dispel your doubts and help you set an action plan.

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