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.



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.