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Enterprise Information Governance in Four Dimensions

Compliance is a reaction to both internal and external requirements. Compliance requirements can best be met by modifying an organization's current RIM state into a more compliant state.

A first step in this process is to design a customized strategic information management plan and roadmap. One key objective of this process is to transfer information management design from the vendor back to the client.

The SIM plan and roadmap can be best developed using existing Strategic Information Management tools such as the GARP principles, the Maturity Model for information governance, and a number of supporting SIM tools.

The term 'Information Governance' has been used to define this whole process. The problem with information governance is that it means different things to different people. To Legal it means to develop and implement policy and procedures. To Information Technology it means to implement software and hardware. To the Business Units it means to re-design processes. To H/R it means to organize 'control' departments and to provide additional training.

Perhaps the following Information Governance definition best encompasses all of these views:

'An accountability framework that includes the people, processes, policy, and technology, that ensure the effective management of information, to enable the organization to achieve its strategic goals and business programs.'

A proven design process currently exists that allows an organization to document its current state, determine an acceptable desired future state, conduct a gap analysis, determine areas for improvement, identify required RIM projects, and then complete a SIM plan and roadmap for consideration by senior management.

The result of this step by step process is a clear, multi-year plan that provides management with a RIM strategy that allows for effective decision making.

Submitted by sm.mccollum 2 years ago

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  1. Status Changed from Pending Approval to Active
    2 years ago
  2. The idea was posted
    2 years ago

Comments (16)

  1. Agree, with exception of "Information Governance" definition. I think the use of this term and the SIM Plan for IG should be limited to covering information content and not the technologies of IT. Most or all Federal Govt. organization already have a governance process and strategic plans for their Information Technologies. What is needed is a similar and related governance process and strategic plans for their information content assets, which should include everything within the RIM domain. I believe that if information content goverance is combined in a broader domain with IT governance and strategic planning, the content/information assets portion will always get insufficient senior mgt. attention, understanding and resources.

    2 years ago
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    1. My experience regarding this has been that typically the IT governance and strategic planning tend to be very well aligned with the business process and needs of the organization and with the Enterprise Architecture apprach fits very well for convergence. The callenge is taking information/data/records/documents, etc that is viewed more as a silo and breaking down vertical barriers to horizontally manage data/information. Those barriers are tough to break and can be cultural. Records Management needs to rebrand itself and also align itself better with the people, processes and technology. In today's budget environment the need for this strategy can not be emphasized enough.

      2 years ago
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    2. sm.mccollum Idea Submitter

      The role of a CIO should be to provide strategic direction to all information management. The organization that i worked with was one of the first to recognize this possibility and the CIO fully integrated information management with information technology by combining records mgt operations with data operations into a new Information Delivery function (where the manager of data operations successfully learn about records management in a six month period) and then creating an Information Governance function to provide strategic direction to the Information Delivery group. The result was a 'blurring' of the two previous groups and the virtual elimination of the fight for funds.

      2 years ago
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  2. The National Archives of Australia has recently developed a 'Digital Continuity Plan' which addresses the benefits to business brought about by good governance - focusing on the business; the people, processes and technology and the information itself.

    It might be helpful

    http://www.naa.gov.au/records-management/agency/digital/digital-continuity/plan/index.aspx

    2 years ago
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    1. I really love the work done on this plan. While I might not agree with how this plan is titled the depth and context of this plan to create a framework of aligning/converging records management components into the business processes of an organization is outstanding from my personal viewpoint. I was involved in some similar approaches that involved converging IT Information Management and Records Management into a "Data Management" organization that utilized a similar model. I would love to hear and or see some benchmark information regarding how this framework is being implemented and lessons learned. THANK YOU so much for your input and participation!!

      2 years ago
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  3. Two other websites and contacts are below regarding similar approaches:

    www.dama.org

    www.tdan.com

    Robert Seiner is one of many authorities on this subject. His contact information is on the tdan.com website.

    2 years ago
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    1. sm.mccollum Idea Submitter

      I agree that the title was more an attempt to bring attention to the idea of the need to focus on all four areas of information governance. Our success was based more on the successful integration of IM and IT as explained in my reply to Ron Layel. If you are interested in that process and our final deliverables, I am presenting a 3 hour workshop on it at the Salt lake ARMA seminar in March.

      2 years ago
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  4. Mr McCollum,

    Thank you also for engaging. Typically in more technical data intensive organizations some of the data management governance concepts naturally become an important imbedded part of a business process or function of an organization. I have been trying for along time to get the message out about leveraging this framework of data management/stewardship into the record management and information technology functions. From a previous position I had in the Federal Government we were able to successful converage RM and IT into a Data Management Organization that had the RM components and roles built into the new organization. I really would love to see how many other Federal, State and or commercial companies have been successful with this framework. I suspect industries with large volumes of technical, scientific, or R&D data like the Oil and Gas Industries would be a good start to benchmark from.

    2 years ago
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    1. sm.mccollum Idea Submitter

      Bill,

      Our successful integration was in a large utility corporation in Calgary, Alberta, Canada (700,000 customers)

      2 years ago
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  5. This presentation and others like it make the point that RM is moving from a seperate disipline to a sub-set of a broader Information Governance (IG) strategy and program: http://t.co/vk41w6yP

    It is in my view a good summary of IG; and gives a good definition and good arguments for why this approach makes sense. It may be a bit slanted toward private sector business needs, but I'd like to see NARA address the concept in the course of developing the Federal Govt. RM Reform direction.

    2 years ago
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    1. sm.mccollum Idea Submitter

      Ron,

      I agree with you completely on the future direction of Information Management. I am willing to explain our integration experiences, obstacles overcome, benefits realized, and my impressions related to the initiative; if it will help others to better appreciate the value of Information governance in all of its aspects.

      2 years ago
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  6. Another good little book to read is "The IBM Data Governance Unified Process". Within the first chapter they discuss the top Data Governance challenges today from a Whitepaper of the IBM Data Governance Council titled "The IBM Data Governance Maturity Model: Building a Roadmap for Effective Data Governance". Those challenges discussed are:

    1. Inconsistent data governance can cause a disconnect between business goals and IT program.

    2. Governance policies are not linked to structured requirements-gathering and reporting.

    3. Risks are not addressed from a lifecycle perspective with common data repositories, policies, standards, and calculation process.

    4. Metadata and business glossaries are not used to bridge semantic differences across multiple applications in global enterprises.

    5. Few technologies exist today to assess data asset values that link security, privacy and compliance.

    6. Controls and architectures are deployed before long-term consequences are modeled.

    7. Governance across different data domains and organizational boundaries can be difficult to implement.

    8. What exactly needs to be governed is often unclear.

    9. Data Governance has strategic and tactical elements, which are not always clearly defined.

    Does any of this sound familiar?

    2 years ago
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  7. A really good article on Information Stewardship:

    http://www.tdan.com/view-perspectives/5370

    2 years ago
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    1. Bill: This link and your last post summary of the IBM Data Governance process are both very informative and useful. However, I'm not sure how (or if) they relate directly to the original purpose of this NARA-sponsored discussion -- i.e, submission of ideas for improving management of Official Federal Records and for reforming RM in the federal government.

      My problem here may be one primarily of symantics or definitions; but when considering these ideas on "data management" & "data governance", I keep thinking that "data" and "Records" (at least as defined in existing federal statutes and regulations) are not synonymous. By definition, not all "data" is Official Federal Record material; and not all Official Records are "data" (think audio, film and other analog media information). So for this reason alone, I have to respectfully vote down on your suggestion earlier in this thread to "converage RM and IT into a Data Management Organization that (has) the RM components and roles built into the new organization". If I'm missing your point on this, please help me understand.

      2 years ago
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  8. Hi Ron,

    Thanks for your question. Keep in mind NARA is seeking input to create a new framework. That new framework could involve changing Federal Statutes and Regulations. Traditionally we think of data in the RM world as Structured Data. In the IT/IM world data is considered structured or unstructured data which includes "records" regardless of media. Alot of the input I am providing is not a reflection on NARA's position so keep that in mind also. I hope to get you and the RM/IM/DM/IG/IS community to actively talk about different approaches. My personal opinion is that Stewardship from the article posted is one strategy within a Governance Program to assign roles and responsibilities and provide effective management of standards, policies and procedures. Stewardship provides the glue of governance which has a more Federated view horizontally across business functions/processes. Thanks for your input and ideas!

    2 years ago
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  9. Care should be given about falling into these 'branded' terminologies as a path forward- things such as "SIM" and "GARP", both developed and supported by ARMA serve well to support their needs as a profit based organization who offers on-line and other training courses designed to provide certificates that indicate you've completed a course, but not much of anything else.

    Information Governance on the other hand is a well understood and widely supported concept in both public and private industry, is not associated with any one organization, and is widely transferable knowledge.

    Policy and process is where improvement begins- 36CFR Subchapter B provides decent guidance, but is not structured in a manner that it is easily applied to the management of electronic information assets. Even Part 1236, which is designed specifically to address requirements for electronic forms of records was adapted from practices written for managing paper records. One of the problems with documents such as the CFR is the arduous process you have to go through to modify it, including the posting in the Federal Register. The guidance needs to be more 'agile', reviewed and updated on a much more frequent basis, and Agency specific guidance must be consistent with the requirements to avoid conflict.

    In addition, care should be given to limiting the guidance given to Contractors to telling them "WHAT" they need to accomplish, not "HOW" to accomplish it, unless requisite funding to meet the requirements is going to be included. For far too long, there has been an unrealized desire for Contractors to comply with unfunded mandates.

    2 years ago
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