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Achieving Your 2020 Vision

By: Todd Brown

Achieving Your 2020 Vision


Are you ready to achieve 20/20 vision for your Information Governance Program? This interactive session will share information governance project planning and execution lessons learned through various case studies (Engineering & Construction Industry, Financial Services Industry, Military, and State Government.) We will provide practitioner and consulting partner perspectives and by attending you will learn some best practices to improve Executive Leadership support and engagement.

You will learn how to develop and foster partnerships with IT, Legal, and your Business Partners that will help you succeed. Learn how to effectively integrate change management, communication, and ongoing support plans to improve adoption and program engagement.

Presentation Transcript

Achieving Your 2020 Vision

Presented By Todd Brown


Thank you for tuning into our webinar; Achieving Your 2020 Vision. We hope you’ll take away some practical nuggets today and recommendations that you can use to move your information governance program forward. My name’s Todd Brown, managing director with Access Sciences. Joining me are a couple of friends who just happen to be subject matter experts in information governance. A good thing for an IG webinar. Both Sarah and Bob are with the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, which we’re going to call TRS to make it easy. First off, I’ll introduce Sarah. Sarah Holleman is a records analyst with TRS and has successfully guided information governance programs from smaller municipalities to large state agencies. Sarah is wrapping up her CRM and has a Master’s of Information Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Hook ‘Em, right?




Is that how you do it, Sarah?


That’s how you do it.


Okay. I didn’t mess it up. Bob. What can I say about Bob that hasn’t been said? Bob O’Connor is a CRM with 20 years of experience. He has established information governance programs in several industries, including military, construction, financial services, and his projects include designing and deploying SharePoint solutions with information governance at two Fortune 500 corporations. Bob’s currently the records management officer at TRS. Both Bob and Sarah are managing an ongoing electronic records initiative with Microsoft Office 365 at TRS. To give you some additional context behind our presentation. TRS began its current information governance journey about five years ago with an internal audit of its records and information governance program.

Early on in its journey, they made the decision to use SharePoint for its document and records management solution. Some of you listening may have made the same decision and you may be able to relate, or even if you haven’t, you may have heard about it, that using SharePoint to manage records in place is a significant undertaking. It’s not an easy project, especially in a complex and highly regulated organization like TRS. To my knowledge, disclaimer, so to my knowledge, TRS has the only operational system of its kind in Texas State government. Our presentation today is going to cover three essential elements of an information governance program; build your business case, develop and foster your program and drive program adoption and engagement. So, prior to diving into our presentation, we’re going to pause for a minute and ask you to reflect on why you’re watching this presentation today.

So, what’s driving the importance of information governance in your organization? Audit results, regulatory findings, maybe it’s been a legal event, FOIA request, inefficiency. If you guys want to be more productive, new leadership, new agendas, right? Or is it something else? What we’d like to do is encourage you to reflect on what brought you here and also keep an open mind and take the perspective, pivot a little bit and consider these other perspectives of folks who may be watching as well. You may be able to take away some additional nuggets that you can apply to your IG program. So, kind of a what if mindset, if you will.

So, since we’re going to be talking about information governance, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. In addition to the Gartner definition that you see here, IG also includes the policies, processes, roles, standards, metrics that ensure effective and efficient use of information. So enabling an organization to basically achieve its goals, right? This is a lot to think about and can be intimidating when establishing or growing a program. And the definition we’d like to highlight the word framework. Let’s focus on it because it’s easy to get carried away with a governance program. I like to use a metaphor, rules of the road. I think it applies very nicely to governance. So, for example, if I decide to drive from Houston to visit Sarah and Bob in Austin, although it’s only a two hour drive without traffic, I can easily get there because I know the rules of the road.

In this image, you see the lines on the road. Solid white line tells me to stay to the left. If there were a shoulder on this road, I’d know that I can cross the white line to stop in case of an emergency. The double yellow line tells me to stay to the right and it’s a no passing zone, although there aren’t that many hills between here and Austin. The guard rail to the left provides additional security. Along the way to Austin, I’m going to pass signs and tell me where I am, the speed limit. There are going to be signs up ahead that tell me where I’m going and notify me of exits. And I know how to drive it, and here are the rules of the road because I went through driver’s ed many, many, many years ago.

So, I could easily get to Austin from Houston by following the framework that the rules of the road provide me. So like the rules of the road, with information governance, we recommend only what is needed and nothing more, so that it’s not a burden and more readily adopted. If you establish your governance framework and then allow your people to operate within that framework, you can always make adjustments as needed with focus, and Bob has to remind me of this all the time, progress over perfection.

So, the value of information governance, just like we level set with the IG definition, we’d like to emphasize that it’s critical to create a common understanding around the value IG delivers to an organization. I think it’s safe to say that without understanding the value of information governance and having stakeholder alignment toward a common goal, it’s highly unlikely that governance will be a priority for your organization. When creating momentum for an IG program, we suggest that you spend less time talking about program policy and more time focusing on the value an IG program delivers to individuals and the organization. So, just as a starter kit, if you will, we put together eight example value statements.

You can use these or create your own. When you create value statements, make sure that they align with your organization’s priorities, so you have to have context around them, resonate with your audience and include terms that are understood by your culture, not your secret IG speak, right? So, use language that people can understand. It’s also important to make sure you have talking points behind each of your value statements. Since security is a top priority nowadays for most organizations, let’s look at number one up there on the left to get your creative juices going.

So, reduces the risk of information breaches and enables a coordinated response. If I’m speaking to a chief information security officer or a CIO about IG, I might say something like this; security is more important than ever Mr. or Ms. CIO, and a successful security solution requires much more than just purchasing software. There is no silver bullet. At the foundation of a security solution is knowing what information we have. This requires completing an inventory. Next is the classification of information, and then getting it in the right location. These critical first steps help support a strategy, a security strategy, and a solution, and that we know what we have, where it should be kept, managed and protected.

So, without this, the solution isn’t going to meet its objectives. With them however, if there is a security breach, the organization knows what information was compromised and can act accordingly. Coordinating with content owners, IT, and other affected stakeholders across the organization. Again, we strongly recommend that you take some time to think about how you can best communicate and explain the value of IG and your program. What is it delivering to your organization? So take the perspective of the folks that you’re serving within the organization. Sarah, I know you spent a great deal of time creating and refining value statements to drive awareness and buy-in. Could you share another example?


Yeah, definitely. So, before coming into my current position with TRS, I worked for a mid-sized municipality in Central Texas, and there was one department that was responsible for all of the HUD applications that came from the federal government to funding for low-income housing. So the department shared their ability with an adult transitional and treatment center. Outside of the security concern turns around that, the file room that held all the HUD applications was below a restroom that had a tendency to leak. And the only person who was able to turn off the water in the event of a leak was the maintenance guy. So, I recommended that they pretty quickly begin the process of digitizing those records. So, they got a volunteer who happened to be a retired legal assistant to start a digitization project. About six months into that, they did experience a leak.

And since it was on a weekend, it was a few hours before they could get to it and get the water turned off. Fortunately, nothing was lost and they were very thankful that they had started the digitization project. So, by applying these information governance principles, they were able to reduce the risk of records being lost, reduce the cost to store the records by taking them out of physical storage, which is more expensive than digital. They could maintain compliance with both federal and local guidelines in regards to maintaining these records, they were able to continue to do business despite having a disaster, while at the same time, leading to an ability to more efficiently work with the records and have better discoveries since they were now on a digital format.


I think that’s a really good example. Thanks for sharing. So, a quick side story, or what my daughter would call a dad story. My daughter loves to bake and when I help her create one of her masterpieces, also known really as watching her, she reminds me that although the recipe’s important, so are the ingredients. And the ingredients must come together in a certain order. So just like a recipe and the right ingredients, if we follow a proven approach, we’re going to end up with macarons just like these.

So, I didn’t hear a moan from Bob over my bad dad joke, but in all seriousness, if you follow a proven approach, you can achieve your desired outcome of a right size, sustainable information governance program. So, the right approach. When we talk about that, we refer to our proven approach as a holistic approach. And using a holistic approach, you can achieve user adoption, compliance, sustainability and program growth, right, progress. So remember, just like baking macarons, the right approach matters. So, let’s talk about the first of our three IG elements. Building your business case. Sarah.


So, in order to have a solid business case, you need to conduct an inventory to get an idea of what you have. And the principles are a great place to start. ARMA created these eight principles that you see on the left-hand side of your screen for which to rate your organization. The principles are the standards by which to judge your program’s IG practices. How transparent is your record keeping? Are you a compliance with industry standards? Does your program have integrity? Is the information that you’re maintaining truthful and reliable? And then each principle has a five-point scale on which to rate, and this is the maturity model.

Beginning with rating your program in your organization, can give you an idea of where you fall on the maturity model. The key and maybe the hardest part is to remain objective when doing the ratings. In order to not overwhelm yourself or your team, and to get the inventory done in a reasonable amount of time, it helps to have a finite scope. So you could focus on a particular department or a process like employee onboarding that might touch several departments, or maybe a single repository like your shared drives.

A valuable tool for developing your inventory and understanding your business requirements is a data map. We have some examples of data maps here on the screen. They show how everything in the organization relates to each other and can show where the gaps and the overlaps are. As you can see, they can get pretty complicated, but they’re good for assisting with the identification of data relationships. So how are different organizations using different applications and how do those relate to each other? You may discover that there are five different content management systems being used by ten different departments, and two more that are no longer being used but you still have them for some reason.

You can also discover that there’s sensitive data that may be hidden elsewhere, like using the last four digits of a social security number as part of your user ID, that might be in an unsecure repository. Reach out to your enterprise architecture team in your IT department. They may already have something like this, or it could be an initiative that you’re working on, and you can become part of that project. As you can see, it can get very large and complex and having a partnership with IT will make creating these data maps a lot less intimidating.

So, now that you understand what you have, thanks to your inventory and drew data maps, you now need to understand your business requirements. They should be considered as you begin to design your program. So, asking your colleagues, what are your records, may not get you the answers that you’re looking for. So instead of getting in the weeds about the definition of a record, we talk about what their job is and how they work with the information that they create. Some of these questions will be answered by the data map in the inventory and then confirmed by the business. So what do they do? How do they organize their stuff? Who are they working with? Are they an internal support department or are they part of a line of business function and work with groups outside of the organization?

What do they do with the information that is generated, and how do they search for it? This allows records management to be pushed into the background and the focus needs to be on making it easier for the business to do its job, and records management can help with that. We’re still transparent about what we’re doing. If you remember from the last slide, transparency is one of the eight principles and remaining transparent while still not making records, the focus is an interesting fence that records analysts sit on. In the end, you may feel more like a business analyst, but understanding how your business operates will ultimately make you a stronger records manager.

Okay, so now that you know what you have and where it is and how it relates to each other, you now need to ensure that you have a strong enterprise foundation. Understanding your existing enterprise foundation in relation to these five elements and identify where the gaps for enhancement. Rating in your program and the organization on the maturity model will help highlight where some of these gaps might exist. So the first one, IT strategy and information landscape. What objectives does IT have for their current solution and any potential future solutions? If you’re a Mac-based operation, you don’t want to research a PC solution. Are you going to go for something cloud-based, or something that will be housed on premise?

What is the common language and share classification across your organization? Does your organization even have something like this? For us, we’ve utilized the retention schedule as the key that reaches across the entire agency. We all know the life cycle of a record is creation, maintenance, use and disposition. So, how is this been enforced in your organization? Is that through policy or something else? Your security model will help guide how your program is set up, and… one recommended way to do that is role-based instead of individual-based. You can easily add and remove somebody from a role and they get all the necessary permissions that they need.

This is opposed to an ad hoc model where you randomly add a person here or there. This can create confusion when someone new starts. If you want to give Bob all the same permissions that I have, it’s a lot easier to add Bob to the records analyst group than to try and remember all of the random groups that I was added to over the years. The last one is awareness and education, and we’ll cover this a little bit more in the presentation, but how are you going to communicate these initiatives to the organization, and make sure that everyone understands what’s expected of them, because we all know, information governance is everyone’s responsibility. Bob, you’re muted.


Now that you know where you are, where do you want to go? What is your desired future state? Where and what can you accomplish this year? What can you accomplish in the next three to five years? And what is your overall end state? What is your Nirvana? As you work to understand where you want to go, you want to develop your business requirements with the focus on identifying, classifying and managing records and their impact on the organizational core processes, the operations and the revenue generating parts of your organization. The RIM team includes everyone.

It means we need to keep it simple for everyone to use. We also need to remember, and keep in mind, the consumable nature of our information and ensure that the information is available to the right people at the right time to do their jobs. We need to consider the organization’s priorities and take a risk-based approach to identify gaps. Something that we’ve done at our current agency is look at the three to five-year plan and map it out with our executive directors overall organizational strategy. It’s very important.

So, how do you know when you’ve succeeded? Really, what are the success criteria for your initiatives? Because as you look and defining that criteria, you’re setting the executive expectations, you’re also setting your own expectations. What is actually possible with the available resources? One time during a project and initiative, I had a product manager work up a project plan and assign resources. And we figured out that I, as the records manager and program manager, was three to 500% over allocated. It’s hard to do your job and take care of a project or your initiatives if you don’t have the time or ability to do so.

It stretches out your schedule or simply makes it an impossible task. Are you able to get new hires, third-party contractors or consultants, collaboration with IT? Do they have other priorities that they need to work on? Do you have the right technology? Do you have the time? What are your deliverables for your initiatives? What does success look like? And don’t focus on perfection, kind of mentioned that earlier with Todd. It’s okay if adoption’s not 100%, it’s a moving target anyways. Instead, you’re always going to have ongoing assessments that lead to continuous improvement.

So, you know what you have, right? You figured out where you want to end up. Now, you can build your business case. The information governance reference model, the IGRM, calls out groups of stakeholders, business operations, legal, RIM, security, IT. You have to have collaboration with those groups for your initiative to be successful. And don’t forget, that’s why I like this particular graph, that the information life cycle includes the need for discovery and production. When organizations attempt to create an information governance program, they often fail because of a lack of proper coordination with these folks. At some point, the project is going to end, however, laws change, leadership changes, technology changes, the business requirements and needs of the overall organization might change. And you’ll find that projects lead to program evolution, and program evolution will lead to future projects. You always want to keep that in mind and plan the eventual transition of critical elements from projects to your overall program management.

So, how are you going to get there? How do you actually achieve your desired future state? There are some critical elements that are really essential to making it happen. You need to have a project plan, and if possible, a dedicated project manager. I tell you, in all of my past organizations as well as here at TRS, we’ve been very successful and far more successful when we had a dedicated project manager; somebody that understood how to work through the nuances of keeping a project on track and not spread thin by also trying to take a various, technical or business requirements for the project. Do you have a communication plan, a change management plan? Do you have the budget? What do you need to do to get the budget?

Do you have a pilot group? Lead adopters, folks that can help you champion the success and cheerlead others as they go through the initiative milestones. And do you have an implementation schedule? Now, keep in mind, not only do you need one that plans on everything being perfect, but you also want to be able to adjust and easily plan for expected and potential delays. So, you also need to develop and foster your program.

Who are your champions? Legal, business? You want to involve the right people. They bring different perspectives and expertise together, and it’s important to build a long lasting solution. We’ll talk about it a little bit more, but the cross-functional team that we established actually in the last couple of organizations have always included folks to give those different perspectives but, and they also give you the cheerleaders for the various areas throughout the organization.

So, you’re watching the webinar and you almost have to wonder, wouldn’t it be great if you had the magic tool? If all we needed was a slide like this, look into my slide. Now you’ll support the program, right? You’ll give me all the money needed to make this thing work, all the resources necessary. It doesn’t really work… a sponsorship that you need. Once you’ve developed that plan, it’s time to get the support. Really good and easy to have a nice elevator speech prepared by the way, because you never know when you’re going to run into the executives that might actually become a good sponsor or cheerleader even of your programming initiatives. Keep it simple, keep it short. You only have maybe a floor or two on that elevator with that executive. How can we help you and your organization?

I heard that your part of the organization is struggling with certain information needs. Did you know that’s actually what our project and our initiative is meant to do? Can we set up a time to talk? That is a perfect, easy elevator speech; simple and ties into their particular needs. Having an active and visible executive sponsor is absolutely a critical key component to project success, including ongoing adoption. We have found multiple times that different parts of an organization absolutely will move forward with your initiatives and successfully implement and adopt it if the leader has done so. Now the executive sponsor, your executive sponsor should also be creating alliances with their peers, promoting a project at regular intervals at other executive meetings.

Of course, that means that you need to meet with and brief your executive sponsors on a regular basis. If they don’t know what to talk about, they’re not going to talk about it. I like to call that the executive roadshow, keep talking and expect and set the expectations that they’re going to hear from you on an ongoing basis. Of course, they’re going to help you refine your plan. Often, you’ll end up with a little more work, and they’ll lead or help you become a success with your initiatives. The ongoing engagement can also assist with competing initiatives by helping it maintain a level of priority that helps them. It helps them explain or helps you work to explain on how this initiative is important or interesting to them, to those executives. It also helps drive and improve their understanding of the value to their particular stakeholders.

It gives you an opportunity to set an expectation on reporting. How are they going to be able to easily see the progress for your initiative? We actually did a really cool thing here at TRS, where we used a baseball diamond because our executive director loved baseball, and so we demonstrated progress through the basics. When you start it off, you run the batting box, and when you’re finished, you hit a home run. Finally, you need to have backup. Have multiple executives preferably in your back pocket, so that when one moves on or becomes extra busy, you’ve got another to take their place as your executive sponsor. It just makes it a lot easier, and if they never move on, that’s fine, it just means you have a much higher level of cheerleaders for your particular initiatives.

So, in order to properly develop partnerships across the organization, you need someone from all of these areas. Business operations is going to be your average employee. You’ll need input from them, so who are you going to bring it? Is there someone from each area of the organization that already supports what you do? If not, what can you do about that? Bob just mentioned doing an executive roadshow, and this can help you determine where your support lies. When the business is not engaged, there’s a high risk of failure. As I mentioned earlier, business requirements must be identified and defined, but they also must be supported. User adoption does not happen if they don’t understand how their daily operations are impacted. Unless the business is included, it will be hard for there to be true business value. Legal is a key partner in the program, and you need their support in order to achieve success.


They give your program team, they help emphasize where the risks are to the organization, and understand what the impact will be, if your organization is not in compliance with various laws and regulations. Whatever solution is chosen, it will most likely need to be supported by IT, so having them on your team is crucial. When IT is not engaged, there’s no visibility into the IT strategy. And without that, you’re going to have a hard time knowing what’s going on, and it can lead to point solutions. These are solutions that only solve one problem; the technological equivalent of a band-aid. The IT and records relationship is an interesting one. As technology progresses, records management gets more and more into the IT territory. That’s just the nature of the evolution of records. The problem is that records is not IT, and IT is not records and records doesn’t want to be IT.

So, it’s important for these two groups to find a way to interact and coexist while still being separate. So having clearly defined roles and responsibilities can help keep those boundaries while maintaining a strong working relationship. The business, IT and legal represent unique perspectives and different areas of expertise. And so we recommend that you establish a cross functional strategic team or a CFT with representation from each of these groups. The higher the level your representation is, the better off you’ll be. Bob talked about having a strong, dedicated project manager to help keep you on track, and then having a third party consultant can help provide expertise and manpower that you may not have in-house. All of these relationships are key to making your initiatives successful. Todd, you’re muted.


Okay, that’s good. That would be better if you could hear me, huh? So we have made it all the way to element three. When driving program adoption engagement, remind yourself that organizations don’t change, people within organizations change. Change management operates in parallel with project management and focuses on the people aspects of projects with the aim of getting a critical mass of people to commit to the change, learn new behaviors and willingly sustain those behaviors. So an important first consideration when thinking about driving program adoption is cultural readiness and we can’t stress this enough.

As strategic approach to change that takes your organization’s culture into consideration is essential to underpin the change you’re seeking. An organization’s culture is basically the patterns of beliefs and behaviors that influence the education, I’m sorry, the execution of your business strategy. So, if you ask yourself these questions, might be helpful and understanding your culture, what barriers and opportunities may exist for successful change?

What competing initiatives exist? Is there project fatigue? Which is common. How does the organization historically respond to change? Which is a big one. What are some examples within my organization of projects that were successfully deployed with high user adoption? This is important. So if it works and it works well, why not leverage it, right? And what lessons can I take from those projects? How do communications flow within the organization? And as Bob previously mentioned, is there executive buy-in for the initiative?

A critical, critical component. And is there an executive commitment for ongoing and visible, active support? Which is absolutely essential. So keep these questions in mind to reassess as you move forward, because you can always count on things changing. Bob, TRS is a complex organization and makes I think a great case study for examining change. Would you mind sharing a bit about what you’ve seen over the past five years with your program?


Sure. One of the things that I absolutely have seen multiple times is that, if folks aren’t ready, it’s difficult to move forward with your initiatives. And it’s been weird. There’s one part of the organization that actually had a terrible experience with some technology rollout 10 years ago, even longer actually. And what happened is that when we started talking about a technology solution for records management, they became very unhappy with the idea. They became disengaged and they simply were not interested in moving forward. And it was solely because of a poor experience that they had with a platform back in 2007.

And that’s difficult to overcome, and it takes a lot of work to communicate the changes, the differences, and help the organization, very specific part of the organization move forward with your initiatives and get past any of those objections and challenges, as you go forward. And keep in mind that the cause and effect of that change obstruction in one area, maybe completely different in another who simply, I’ve had other areas where it was a business process or really the time of year and concerns about being able to do their job was more of the obstruction. And so you have to be cautious and you have to really work to have very specific change management plans for different parts of the organization.

Thanks, Bob. I think that’s a perfect example for folks as they’re listening in. So let’s dive in a little bit into change management strategy. I love this stuff. This is my favorite part. So for those of you with some background in change or those that you do that don’t have a background in change, a strategy really has three phases. Preparing for change, managing the change and reinforcing the change. That makes sense, right? So we recommend that your strategy include five essential plans to help individuals move through the change process. In every case I don’t necessarily see an incredibly formalized plan, but I am encouraging you guys to make these as distinct and strategic as possible. So a communications plan, a sponsor plan, training plan, a mentoring and coaching plan is key and then resistance management, because we all know that folks are going to resist change.

And when developing your change management strategy, make sure it’s in direct alignment with the projects business case. So when you think about what is essential to this strategy, I’d like to circle back to the value statements from earlier. What role does the perceived value of the change play in the change? If you think about change, there isn’t really any change without action and people don’t act without being motivated to do so. So motivation is always going to proceed that committed action and it’s underpinned by the importance of the goal, the competence people have in their ability to accomplish the goal and readiness to achieve that goal. So when we’re going through a change event, we want to address resistance to change by building motivation, resolving ambivalence about making that change and then increasing readiness for the change. And those plans really help guide you through it.

If people are not motivated to change, it’s just not going to happen. So you can elevate motivation by addressing the ambivalence to an initiative or a project through their creation of awareness and understanding of its value. So we keep talking about value. And if you put yourself in the shoes of your target audience with a, what’s in it for me mindset, which some of you probably heard before, value statements that resonate with them are going to be easier for you to develop, and you’re going to see more and quicker buy-in when you deliver your message. So just for the sake of throwing this in there, a 2016 ProSites study found that projects with excellent change management coordinated with project management increase the likelihood of meeting project objectives by six times. So right around 15% to well over 90% success in meeting objectives. That’s huge, right? So how many projects have you seen with a solution deployment, but no user adoption, right? A lot. So this is critical.

So, tailoring your communication plan. Communication is critical in day to day business operations. So imagine how important it is when you’re asking workers to change their behaviors, how will you let the organization know what changes are coming, and when? A solid communication plan is going to take stakeholders and end users from a state of knowing little to nothing about the project, proposed solution to a state of at least a minimum understanding of what’s going to be expected from them, activities that are going to change, behaviors that need to be changed on a day to day basis, and a good communication plan really should move your stakeholders, your end-users, your four stages. Some of you guys are familiar with ADKAR, so awareness, what are the project objectives? What’s the project timeline? Understanding, what are the business benefits and value?

There’s that word again, we’re using it over and over. What’s the scope of the effort? Acceptance. How will the project and associated change impact me as an individual? Remember what’s in it for me, and what skills do they need to have in order to be successful? Finally, commitment. So, awareness, understanding, acceptance and then commitment. How will their work be enhanced with the solution or program? What are they going to get out of it? How will they be able to provide continuous improvement feedback for the solution? So, you have to have a mechanism because, as Bob always reminds me and Sarah is laughing in the background, things aren’t perfect, right? So continuous feedback loop is needed because your solution or your communication plan isn’t going to be perfect. Sarah, when thinking about the communication plan, share a little bit if you don’t mind, about what has worked at TRS.


Yeah. So, at TRS, we’ve employed like a tiered communication plan. So we first reach out to the executive level, let them know, hey, this is what is coming. Then we reach out to our leadership management level that’s right below that. So our department heads team leads that level. And then finally we have mass communication that’s for everybody. And so that tiered communication method allows us to provide the appropriate level of detail depending on the audience.

And then also allow for there to be, just keeping your executives and your management in the loop so that when something does come out, they’re aware of it and their people can ask some questions and they’re not caught off guard. So that’s what’s worked for us. We’ve really seen lately that your soft skills, your people skills are actually what is really valuable when it comes to implementing information governance, being able to communicate to people and talk to people and relate to them in a way that’s affective, is going to go a lot further. You get more flies with honey than vinegar, as they say.


Great example and insight. From direct experience, right, of what works and what doesn’t work.


Yeah. So whatever solution you go with, you will need to train your organization on how to use it. And that training is never going to end. I am training somebody at least once a week, if not more. Even after you train initially, people are going to forget what you taught them. It’s going to go in one ear and out the other, especially if you do it on a Friday before a three-day weekend. And you’re also going to have updates to your system. And so there’s going to be improvements, tips and tricks, stuff like that, that you may want to communicate as your system grows and matures. My training, like I said, at least once a week, sometimes more, it could be through formal schedule trainings, but a lot of times it’s ad hoc one-on-one. Somebody reaches out to me, they don’t remember how to do a certain step or are trying to figure out how to use the system to their advantage and help them get their job done.

So, we generally conduct all training in person and then have them follow along and do the steps with us. With the current quarantine work from home situation, we’ve been able to adapt that to have virtual trainings. And so, we’re pleased to still be offering the same level of training and service that we were offering before the work at home started. We also have job aides that cover everything that we go over in training, and we have a dedicated help site. So, it’s at the top of every single page. They can always get to it really easily and it’s got the information that they might need. We do hold office hours on Fridays from nine to 11 where we will walk our calendars and are available for any questions or help with issues or concerns. But it’s also important to remember that everybody learns differently.

And so, having resources available in multiple formats will make sure that everyone’s getting the information that they need to be successful. For me, I can read about it. You can tell me about it all day long, but until I go and push the button myself, it’s not actually going to click. And so sometimes going and just sitting next to somebody at their desks, whether in person or virtually can be that additional helping hand and that personal touch that helps them learn how to use the system and have it really sink in for them. And just because you teach it to them, doesn’t mean it’s always going to be retained, especially if it’s something that’s done every once in a while. So patience is a virtue.

All right, so you’ve done all this work. You’ve inventoried your agency. You’ve developed a business plan. You have established relationships and partnerships. You’ve communicated and you’ve trained. So, how are you going to monitor your success? And you want to keep your executive sponsor invested. And one of the best ways to do that is with metrics, give them a pretty graph, some numbers that mean something that helps shows progress. So, what are you going to measure and how are you going to do that? So some of the metrics that we track include the volume of our various storage repositories, and this includes personal drives and outlook, and allows us to monitor growth and track anomalies. And actually a few months ago, because we were tracking, we noticed that three individuals in a particular department got around half a million emails in almost four months.

So, because we were tracking, we noticed an anomaly. We were able to reach out to them, figure out what was going on and get it mitigated. We also track the number of individuals trained each month to show the value of our continued training program. And then we also track the archiving of shared drives. When we introduce our new system, we encourage the departments to make their shared drives read only. They’re still accessible, but nothing new can be added to them. So the idea is to encourage people to use the new system exclusively. If you provide too many options, people will get overwhelmed and revert to old habits. And then talk about what’s your ongoing support plan. How are personnel going to be supported on the long-term? So we have touch points every six months, no longer than 30 minutes.

If we need to follow up, then we schedule one. We got that. We saw an article, some tech company was changing their policy to where they were only having 30 minute meetings to support making meetings pointed and to the point and not wasting a lot of time. And we’ve adopted that model and it’s worked out really well. We also host weekly office hours, as I mentioned earlier. We’ve developed a reputation of being constantly available for assistance. So, after two and a half years of constantly saying, we’re here if you need us, people have started to figure out that if they need us, we are there. And as much as possible, we try to go and work on the issue with them in person, whether that be virtually through having a video chat screenshare or going and sitting next to them at their desks. And we try to teach along the way instead of doing it for them.


What’s interesting is that Sarah has talked about one of our focus areas at TRS is highlighting the message that you’re not alone. You, the user, you, the business, the folks that we’re helping, they are not alone. We’re here to help them. Well, guess what, you watching this webinar are not alone. You have a network of folks who are available to help out. We get calls all the time at TRS, from different agencies, different organizations that have seen a webinar or heard one of the chats or talks and presentations that we’ve done, and they reach out.

You can as well. You have folks in your LinkedIn networks that are on the practitioner side, that are on the consultant side. Maybe they’re in the product development areas in technology. Everybody is always willing to talk and willing to look at what kind of initiative that you’ve got going on and challenges associated with it or help you look at a problem and see what kind of solutions they have, maybe that they’ve implemented themselves to solve that problem, or are working to develop a solution.

As you go through your initiatives for this year or for the next couple of years, focus on the end result, not the process. It can get really grueling sometimes. And sometimes actually you may find that the progress you want to make today, isn’t quite where you wanted it. And instead you may have to do some things over or redo them in a different way to be more successful. And that’s okay. It’s not about perfection, as we’ve tried to help Todd understand. Often you find yourself in a cycle of what I like to call shampoo therapy, whether you’re talking about training or communication, or even your initiatives.

It’s rinse, repeat, retrain, right? It goes back to that cycle of project and program management. You’re going to find it within your initiatives today, that you’re not going to solve all your problems. And that will lead to new initiatives. And change is always at the individual level. It has to start with the individuals who then help champion the change for everybody else. As a side note, don’t forget to adopt your own solutions. Champion it and sponsor it yourself. You have a much better adoption rate and success rate moving forward.

As we wrap up today, we’d like to have you take another moment to reflect on the information we’ve shared with you. And maybe look to see where you need to focus your efforts. Do you need to build your business case? Develop and foster your program or drive program adoption and engagement. Maybe you need to do all of the above. We want to thank you for your time today. We hope you’ve enjoyed our thoughts around information governance and achieving your 2020 vision. If you’d like to reach out to any one of us with questions by all means capture our information or contact information, and we’re there. We’re part of your network now. Good luck.

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