Selecting Forms to Digitize

By Brian Lincoln  |  Posted 2010-09-07 Print this article Print

Selecting forms to digitize

Next, select a form or group of forms to be among the first to go digital. A phased approach may help to ease the transition. For example, you can begin with several low-volume, easily converted forms such as office supply order forms with just a few fields. After that, you can move to more complex forms with higher demand.

Consider two scenarios. In the first scenario, a newly-introduced student admissions e-form has been designed from scratch. But before it can be launched for users, it may have to be reviewed and approved by the admissions, housing, financial aid, student life and other departments to obtain input from all affected parties.

But in the second scenario, a student major declaration form only requires input from one department and provides the e-forms conversion project with an easy lead-off win. Tulane University followed the second scenario, benefiting from initially introducing e-forms that did not cross departments. Because of this, they required fewer stakeholders to review and agree upon what the form would look like.

Making it easily accessible to users

Once the selected form has been re-created in its digital form, it will need to be made available somewhere easily accessible for users. Before making the form available, consider privacy, anonymity and legal issues. You may wish to add access permissions to particular forms so that only certain individuals can fill them out. Some forms may require a specialized, secure location. In most cases, a Website or a place on the company intranet is a convenient solution.

Brian Lincoln is a Senior Product Line Manager at Xerox. Brian has over 14 years of experience as a content management professional including previous positions at Documentum and EMC, where he specialized in launching vertical applications into government and related regulated industries. Brian has performed roles spanning the entire product development life cycle, evolving from engineering and consulting leadership positions to senior product management, where he also managed OEM relationships. Brian holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics from California State University, Sacramento. He can be reached at

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