I have been scratching my head regarding NARA reaching out to the RM Community for solicitation of ideas to transform Federal RM to the 21st Century. I was struck by the thought that we have always looked to NARA as the authority and mentor for RM constructs. After all we are tax payers also and should expect this very important Federal Agency to not only provide the "best of breed" RM services and processes in the world but lead the profession with new ideas and vision. While I find it humbling for NARA to reach out in an open framework for assistance, I can’t help but have anxiety towards the current state of this vitally important Agency. I think the Archivist needs to conduct a serious internal assessment of RM Talent within the newly formed Chief Records Officer organization. In fact maybe utilizing a maturity model or competency based assessment is in order for staff in the RM organization. What competencies exist within this organization that has the capability to lead not only this Agency into the 21st Century for managing electronic records but continue to fulfill that unmandated expectation to lead and mentor the RM community? Here are some of my initial ideas of competencies needed:
1. Have you as a developer, programmer, subject matter expert, architect, project manager (not program manager) planned, developed and implemented new software that included records management components?
2. Have you as a project manager, records manager, records officer, records supervisor, records coordinator planned, developed and implemented a comprehensive records management program for a private company, State Agency or Federal Agency?
3. Have you as a project manager, records manager, records officer, records supervisor, records coordinator planned, developed and implemented a records management program within a business process or function?
NARA has a lot of depth and experience in Archival theory and processes. They are the experts. That competency does not translate to the RM processes very well especially if you are lacking the core items above. I challenge the RM community to put forth other competencies that might be important to assist NARA in moving to the 21st Century.
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