Standing at the RIM chasm
No matter how much a records manager learns about technology, little benefit is provided if he or she is constantly battling against the current of an already established work process. Instead of focusing on just learning technology, understanding the creation and use of information is more beneficial. Organizations need to change where in the process they begin to manage records.
Information governance to the rescue?
Before we can direct records managers to learn about technology or IT to get up to speed on compliance requirements, we must move a step back to first examine the approach being taken to close the RIM chasm. Have we properly defined what needs to be managed as well as the roles and responsibilities to accomplish the task?
The recent focus on information governance presents an opportunity for further refining roles and/or developing new roles. While records management is part of information governance, there are other aspects beyond records, including but not limited to e-discovery, security, privacy and more-touching both records and non-records. The bottom line is that organizations need a solid strategy to manage all of their content-the good (records), the relevant (work in process, reference, etc.) and the bad (what we no longer need). Don't wait until after the work is done and the content is created to begin trying to manage it.
Once the decision is made to begin managing content at its creation point, the roles and responsibilities to do so must be clearly defined. Those tasked with the responsibility must also be given the authority and support to perform their job rather than paddle upstream against the current of existing work processes.
Whether you believe information governance is a turning point or just the latest buzzword is not important. Now may be an opportunity to leverage information governance to change the approach toward managing information. Assign responsibility to managing all content—both records and non-records throughout their lifecycle.
So do we expand the role of the records manager, do we create a new position or do we let the CIO or someone else figure it out? Let me hear from you on how you are closing your own RIM chasm. Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.