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Why is the EDBOK important to our industry? By Roberta McKee-Jackson

Note: At Xploration®14 Xplor International began a roll out of the first Electronic Document Body of Knowledge by providing conference attendees a limited edition of the document with the official First Edition released at the 2014 Graph Expo event.

Due to the significance of the publication and the impact on the industry as a whole Xplor has decided to provide a series of articles outlining what the EDBOK is, the impact it can have within your company as well as on one’s career.


Publication of A Guide to the Electronic Document Body of Knowledge (EDBOK), First Edition, represents a significant achievement for the electronic document systems industry. The industry as we know it today has changed dramatically from the one we understood 35 years ago. Innovations in technology, hardware, software, and people skills have resulted in the complexity of digital documents and data-driven communications that we utilize today.

The EDBOK represents the first compilation of the knowledge and expertise required to create and develop digital communications in today’s world – bills, statements, insurance policies, regulatory documentation, financial documents, and marketing communications. Never before has the collective knowledge of our industry been compiled into a single resource document, from the history of technology and processes to the current state of the industry.

The EDBOK serves as a brilliant resource for staff at every level within a company. For those new to the industry, it is a roadmap of the technologies and processes required to create digital communications. For more experienced staff, it is a reference source for continued development and education.

Topics covered in the EDBOK explain the technologies and processes using a standard vocabulary to describe the day-to-day production workflow and the long-term document systems development lifecycle. All forms of digital communication are created using these production job steps, from data to doorstep. The development processes covering the entire life of a document include business requirements, business/technical analysis, architecture, design, development, testing, production, and maintenance.

For those who want to pursue designation under the EDP (Electronic Document Professional®) program, EDBOK represents the body of knowledge categories required for peer review and assessment. Perusing the varied topics will help candidates determine how their expertise and knowledge map against the criteria for certification. Staff who have two years of industry experience may apply for the EDA (Electronic Document Associate) designation while those with five or more years experience may apply for EDP certification.

The EDBOK embodies the collation of knowledge of the digital communications industry at a point in time and will prove to be an extremely valuable resource for anyone in this industry. As a living document, updates to reflect further innovations in technology and processes will be added to provide the most up-to-date industry guide.

For more information on the Electronic Document Body of Knowledge please visit: www.edbok.org or call Xplor International at +1 813-949-6170.

What is an EDBOK, anyway? By Pat McGrew

Note: At Xploration®14 Xplor International began a roll out of the first Electronic Document Body of Knowledge by providing conference attendees a limited edition of the document with the official First Edition released at the 2014 Graph Expo event.

Due to the significance of the publication and the impact on the industry as a whole Xplor has decided to provide a series of articles outlining what the EDBOK is, the impact it can have within your company as well as on one’s career.


 

EDBOK

Pat McGrew, M-EDP, CMP
Print, Inkjet, and Production Mail Evangelist at Hewlett-Packard

When the project began to create A Guide to the Electronic Document Body of Knowledge (EDBOK), there were team members who had experience with other groups with similar documents. The one we used to model our talk track was the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) from the Project Management Institute. Their document forms the basis of the knowledge needed to attain one of the four PMI certification levels. We saw that as a great model for Xplor and the Xplor certification programs.

With the PMBOK as a model and years of Electronic Document Professional (EDP) certification portfolios to provide ideas, a team of Xplorers began the process of defining the knowledge they wanted to capture. The intent was to document the topics that form the basis of the EDP certification matrix so that prospective EDP candidates could map their knowledge to the certification criteria. Along the way as the contents were defined, and subject matter experts stepped up to write about the things they knew we found that the EDBOK was more than a path to EDP certification. It became the documentation of our industry.

We call it the guide to the Electronic Document Body of Knowledge because Xplor has always been the user association where professionals involved in generating bills, statements, regulatory material, proxy statements, insurance policies, and the rest of the documents that authenticate relationships between consumers and businesses gather.  It is a tall order! And over the years Xplor expanded to touch all types of data-driven communication, including marketing communication. So think of Electronic Documents as the shorthand for all of those mail pieces that begin deep in a computer and end up in your mail box or inbox.

So what is the EDBOK? It is the definition of the key facets of the electronic document industry. It covers every step in the lifecycle of a document, from the idea to create it to the requirement to archive it. It covers the history of the industry through the changes in technology, file formats, and delivery techniques. It looks at details like image and font formats, and big ideas like Critical Communication recovery.

We consider it a living book. This is just the first edition to get us started. Our hope is that in the coming years there will be updates to keep the book current with technology and processes, and to add any missing pieces from the history gathered so far.

For more information on the Electronic Document Body of Knowledge please visit: www.edbok.org or call Xplor International at +1-813-949-6170.

Do You Wanna BOK?

Submitted by Skip Henk, EDP, President/CEO of Xplor International
March 17, 2015

When you read the title, what was the first thought that came to your mind? I am hoping some of you were asking yourselves “What is he talking about? What is a BOK?” That was my dilemma.

Although I have been active and involved in the industry for many years, I did not know what a BOK was or why it was important to our members and the industry in general.

According to our friends at Wikipedia:

a body of knowledge (BOK) is the complete set of concepts, terms and activities that make up a professional domain, as defined by the relevant learned society or professional association.

EDBOKMaking It Relevant
I must admit I was a bit slow to come around to the whole idea of having a BOK for the association. The idea that a document could or would contain the “complete set of concepts, terms and activities” for our industry was difficult to conceive. Looking at the “complete document lifecycle” and all of the inherent components, the different technologies, methodologies and disciplines that put end to end defines our industry would be a monumental task.

Climbing The Mountain
At Xploration® 13, a group of Xplor EDP members got together and determined that it was time our industry had a Body of Knowledge for the Electronic Document Industry. The “Limited Edition” was presented at Xploration® 14 with the first edition being published and released last year at Graph Expo. In all, almost forty people contributed in one way or another to the creation and delivery of our industry BOK. The scope of the book is impressive and includes:

  • Document Development Lifecycle, requirements gathering, business analysis, technical analysis, stakeholder agreement, architecture, information design, project design, development, critical communications recovery(disaster recovery), test and QA, production launch, maintenance
  • Document Production Workflow, data, data objects, composition, print streams, transformations, print management, electronic presentation, web and mobile delivery, archiving, print technology, inserting technology, delivery process.

The end product has become the basis for our industries knowledge and the platform that now drives Xplor’s educational mission.

Who Cares? You Should.
Anyone in our industry, no matter what role you play, will benefit from reading it. If you are in a technical or operations role, this book pulls it all together, filling in the blanks and expanding your overall understanding of the electronic document industry. If you are in sales or marketing, it will give you an end to end view of the industry, the various components and the knowledge will certainly differentiate you from your peers.

Special thanks to all those responsible for bringing this ground breaking document to fruition.

The project team: Matt Riley edp, Project Chair, Neil Merchant m-edp, Project Manager, Pat McGrew m-edp, Editor, Scott Baker, Roberta McKee-Jackson edp, Chad Henk eda

The technology contributors: Paul Abdool edp, William Broddy m-edp , Franklin Campbell edp, Tim Ciceran, Brett Dashwood edp, Christine Durfee, Carol Fiore, Franklin Friedmann edp, Neal Gottsacker , Chris Halicki edp, Cheryl Kay, Kevin Lantaff edp, Robert Linsky, Wendy MacMillan m-edp, William McCalpin m-edp, Linda McDaniel edp, Roberta McKee-Jackson edp, Neil Merchant m-edp, Denise Miano edp, Tim Nelms, Stephen Poe edp, Rebecca Rodgers m-edp, Kevin Tondreau edp

So, Do You Wanna BOK?
For more information on the Electronic Document Body of Knowledge (EDBOK) visit the EDBOK information page under Career Development.


 

skip_Henk_Photo_2011
Skip Henk, EDP
President/CEO
Xplor International