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The Value of an Information Management Assessment

By: Lisa Cromwell

The Value of an Information Management Assessment

I have a confession to make…I love coloring with crayons or pencils.  I have gone back to coloring a lot, and taking such pleasure out of adding color and annotations to my notes and analysis.  It’s extremely soothing, and somehow helps me both internalize the words and think better.  At home, no one sees my desk filled with colors and crayons!  It feeds my creative spirit, and helps me to pause sometimes so I can keep moving forward.  This is what I want to talk to you about…  Thinking creatively to help your organization through this pandemic and becoming more resilient.  Because I want you to keep moving forward, to survive.

Now is the Time for Organizations to Embrace Creative Thinking

The company I work for has been in business for 35 years. So you could say we know something about resiliency. Organizations engage us to help them chart a path for improving their information management practices. That typically starts with an assessment of the current state of the world and understanding that organization’s vision for the future. Now, COVID-19 is causing organizations to reassess business operations and the future of work. To rethink, re-do, create, and innovate, to uncover what it takes to move forward with strategic transformation. This should include an assessment of information management strategies as well. Productive, virtual teams are a differentiator. Organizations that can securely retain vital records and knowledge will outperform those that cannot. In this post, we’ll explain why conducting an information management assessment improves your organization’s ability to make strategic transformation a success.

What is an Assessment Really?

An assessment of your information management practices should analyze risks and identify bright spots.  It should deliver actionable information and a roadmap for the future.  In its simplest terms, an assessment can be performed for almost any activity by asking the same three questions:

      1. How are you doing?
      2. What are your benchmarks?
      3. What future state do you consider success?

Resilient Organizations Have a Plan for Improving Performance

This is not business as usual. This is disruption on a large scale (and sadly, destruction, too) with the potential for significant impacts to record-keeping practices and business continuity. That influences business performance, because knowledge and information that businesses, institutions, or local governments rely on may not be captured or available when needed. Thinking creatively and having a plan to support strategic transformation of business models is not an option anymore.

As noted recently by ARMA International, “In these current circumstances, records may be at risk as new ways of working are rapidly adopted without the usual processes and infrastructure,” the release says.

Resilient Organizations Have a Plan for Improving Performance

This is not business as usual. This is disruption on a large scale (and sadly, destruction, too) with the potential for significant impacts to record-keeping practices and business continuity. That influences business performance, because knowledge and information that businesses, institutions, or local governments rely on may not be captured or available when needed. Thinking creatively and having a plan to support strategic transformation of business models is not an option anymore.

As noted recently by ARMA International, “In these current circumstances, records may be at risk as new ways of working are rapidly adopted without the usual processes and infrastructure,” the release says.

“In the digital age, when companies need to reinvent the way they work on the fly, an inability to connect all parts of the organisation to share data, expertise, and talent can be crippling”

UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization also notes that: “Several countries have already issued orders for meticulous preservation of official records related to the pandemic. This not only underlines the gravity of the current situation, but also highlights the importance of memory institutions in providing the records or information management resources necessary for understanding, contextualizing and overcoming such crises in the future. At the same time, records of humanity’s artistic and creative expressions, which form a vital part of our documentary heritage, are a source of social connectivity and resilience for communities worldwide.”

And “The sharing of knowledge and information, particularly through Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) has the power to transform economies and societies.”

UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization also notes that: “Several countries have already issued orders for meticulous preservation of official records related to the pandemic. This not only underlines the gravity of the current situation, but also highlights the importance of memory institutions in providing the records or information management resources necessary for understanding, contextualizing and overcoming such crises in the future. At the same time, records of humanity’s artistic and creative expressions, which form a vital part of our documentary heritage, are a source of social connectivity and resilience for communities worldwide.”

And “The sharing of knowledge and information, particularly through Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) has the power to transform economies and societies.”

3 KEYS TO INFORMATION MANAGEMENT ASSESSMENT VALUE

1. The Assessment is the Starting Point for your Plan

An assessment, when done right, gets at the root cause of information management problems. To enable real improvement, you have to know what to improve.

2. Strategic Transformation is a Journey that Must Have a Goal

An assessment, when done right, builds consensus for the future state and positions you to have a plan that is endorsed by senior leadership and realistic for your organization.

3. Strategic Transformation Requires a Holistic View of How People Work

An assessment, when done right, incorporates users in the process instead of mandating solutions. Employees feel like they are being heard, and feel safe in contributing their creative ideas or solutions.

3 KEYS TO INFORMATION MANAGEMENT ASSESSMENT VALUE

1. The Assessment is the Starting Point for your Plan

An assessment, when done right, gets at the root cause of information management problems. To enable real improvement, you have to know what to improve.

2. Strategic Transformation is a Journey that Must Have a Goal

An assessment, when done right, builds consensus for the future state and positions you to have a plan that is endorsed by senior leadership and realistic for your organization.

3. Strategic Transformation Requires a Holistic View of How People Work

An assessment, when done right, incorporates users in the process instead of mandating solutions. Employees feel like they are being heard, and feel safe in contributing their creative ideas or solutions.

Where to start?

Start by asking yourself, “How do you think you’re doing,” then I invite you to watch our webinar to get started. It will cover:

    • The value of assessing where you are today and understanding where you want to be
    • How to define a path toward effective and sustainable information lifecycle management
    • The importance of a collaborative approach and executive sponsorship

“The CEO cannot simply sanction a digital transformation; he or she must communicate a vision of what needs to be achieved, and why, in order to demonstrate that digital is an unquestionable priority.”

“Poor communication can be the undoing of even the strongest convictions, and still lead to digital transformation failures. Firms must identify key milestones and targets for the organisation to aim for”

“It’s vital for every employee to understand why things are the way they are; why changes are happening within the business”

Where to start?

Start by asking yourself, “How do you think you’re doing,” then I invite you to watch our webinar to get started. It will cover:

    • The value of assessing where you are today and understanding where you want to be
    • How to define a path toward effective and sustainable information lifecycle management
    • The importance of a collaborative approach and executive sponsorship
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