Who moved my letters?

The common problem we confront nearly at every document lifecycle implementations is the issue of handling incoming and outgoing letters and documents. It does not matter in which format they are digital format or hard copy, they consume huge amount of time and effort, and are assumed as an unresolvable area. Moreover, the size of the organization may have a negative effect in most cases.

What makes handling incoming and outgoing documents difficult is that it is a simple flow that requires the fundamental aspects of a proper document management system involving most of the people in the organization. Excluding complex incoming and outgoing document management processes, generic flows will be as follows;


  • Document/letter arrives
  • The person receiving the document sends the document to the person classifying the document
  • The person in charge for classification classifies the document
  • The document may require action or just distribution. Depending on the requirements, distribution list and action list are prepared.
  • The document then distributed to corresponding people for action or for information
  • The people in the distribution and/or action list receives the letter – either one by one or at once depending on the case
  • The people in the action list completes their assigned work and responds to person classifying the document
  • The person receiving the replies closes the action and archives the document


  • The document/letter is prepared
  • The document sent to person for approval and signature
  • The document is approved and signed
  • The signed and approved document is received by the person responsible for send the document
  • The document is sent to other party

Initiating the document lifecycle management implementation with handling incoming and outgoing documents, significantly helps to build the healthy relation between the implementation team and the organization. Listing a few;

  • Each party starts a process they know
  • The organization will experience on a real case how a process is analysed, documented and implemented
  • The implementation team will learn how each person in the organization will respond during analysis, documentation and implementation
  • The organization will learn how to 'iterate' in order to achieve the best implementation
  • On completion, confidence and trust is established

We enforce starting our implementations with a document type or a flow that both parties feel comfortable with. We see the choice of first step as the sign of successful implementations.