Development of new practices for managing documents in their electronic form in public administration requires extensive knowledge about the domain, its processes, documents, and the needs of both organisations and individual people. The paper introduces two cases where the needs concerning electronic document management are studied. The first case concerns the creation of the state budget in Finland, and the second one concerns the Finnish participation in EU legislative work. In both of the cases the study revealed many needs related to different aspects of electronic document management: documents, information technology, and work with documents. The study is part of the research related to SGML standardisation in the Finnish Parliament and ministries.