Many companies can boast of having an Enterprise Content and Records Management (ECRM) program, but can they boast that it is truly successful? Is yours?
An ECRM program is successful only if it enables the information assets of a company to be managed and effectively used by the organization, throughout the entire information lifecycle and throughout the organization, to meet the organization’s strategic objectives.
· A creator or receiver of information must be able to easily capture, classify, and tag the content.
· The information must be securely stored in a manner that allows it to be retrieved and shared with ease across the organization.
· Assurance must be provided that the information is authentic, the content is reliable, the integrity of the information is intact, and the version is correct.
· The retention of information must be monitored and controlled to ensure regulatory and business requirements for retention are met, while conversely ensuring that information no longer needed is disposed of as soon as possible.
To these ends, several components of the ECRM program must all work in concert. These include information governance, supporting technology, people, program operations, discovery management, and change management. I’ll start by addressing governance, and tackle the other components in subsequent posts.
Governance provides the rules and guidelines about how information is to be used and managed, and is derived from the perspective of the business user. This includes:
· The content and records policies that provide the guiding framework for information management. The objective of the policies is to support the creation and management of authentic, reliable, and reusable records, capable of supporting business functions as long as they are required.
· The processes and business work flows that provide the instructions on information usage, flow, and control.
· The taxonomies and metadata models that help structure and tag information for ease of access.
· The security models that define and control who has the ability to create, retrieve, change, or destroy information.
· The file plans that assist individual users and work groups to manage information within their scope.
· The retention schedules that define, monitor, and manage the durations records are to be kept.
· The archiving practices for making rarely-accessed information readily available as needed.
Successful governance of your information assets isn’t achieved until each of these items is in place and integrated into a seamless governance model. Can you boast that you have a complete and operational governance model?
In my next post I’ll address the Technology component of a successful ECRM program.