This book is about Electronic Handbooks (EHBs) which are Internet-based tools that support the paperless documentation and management of complex distributed processes over multiple organizations. One example of a complex distributed process over multiple organizations is Contracts/Grants Management in which Contracts/Grants are managed along the subprocesses: solicitation development, proposal/application submission, review and selection, contract/award negotiation, contract/award administration, contract/award closeout, and post-closeout processes. Other examples of complex distributed processes over multiple organizations include the management of health episodes, automobile sales and service, legal cases, insurance policies, publications, credit cards, loans, public school enrollments, university enrollments, etc.
Our basic approach is to wrap an organization's subprocesses in a common envelope to facilitate learning, plus intra- and inter-organization communication. The Description provides an overview of the subprocess. The Play describes the temporal flow of the subprocess with the actors. Documents describe the data used in the subprocess. Guidelines describe the roles used in the subprocess. In all four cases, there are also provided the organization's specific examples as well as links to other organization's specific examples. In addition, process libraries maintain organization's envelopes or views of the subprocesses.
Electronic Handbooks is where Shakespeare meets Freud. Subprocesses are represented as "plays" where "actors" communicate thru the Internet. Each organization puts on its own "productions". For each role, individual User EHBs guide actors thru their parts. [Shakespearean] Organizations are represented as "teams" having "multiple personalities". Subprocesses "plays" provide communication vehicles between the same team, different teams, and teams from different processes. [Freudian]. We also believe that to truly understand one's universe, one must see it thru multiple "eyes".
Subprocesses and their EHBs are demonstrated, organized, outlined, specified, designed, built, used, revised, and improved using several web-based tools. In Chapter 1, we will see an overview of EHBs. In Chapter 2, we will see how to demonstrate EHBs using Demonstration Tools. In Chapter 3, we will see how to organize subprocesses and their EHBs using a Process Library. In Chapter 4, we will see how to outline/playwright subprocesses and their EHBs using Requirements Capture Tools. In Chapter 5, we will see how organizations specify requirements using View Tools. In Chapter 6, we will see how to design, build, use, and revise subprocesses and their EHBs using Requirements Capture Tools, Document Libraries, and Checkoff Tools. In Chapter 7, we will see how to improve processes using Improvement Tools. The subprocesses described in Chapters 2 - 7 strongly interact and iterate with one another. In Chapter 8, we will examine sample subprocesses. In Chapter 9, we will conclude the book by summarizing the development process, examining assembly line processes, and reviewing the benefits of EHBs.
We will cite numerous examples of EHBs applications. One of these are the EHBs for managing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contracts. NASA's SBIR has two contract programs which constitute roughly 50% of all of NASA's annual contracts. These are the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Both deal with the management of technology development contracts to small businesses and/or research institutions. Throughout this book, readers are pointed to Appendices A1-A7 where there are libraries of samples.