Doing Information Right: Where Do I Begin?

If there’s one thing we know about doing information right – which is to say, improving the care and feeding of your critical business information – it’s that it’s really hard to know where to begin.

  • Should we scan the boxes full of paper that’s cluttering our hallways?
  • Should we comb through our shared drives to make sense of what’s there?
  • Should we move everything to the cloud?

The answer is … absolutely! And also … no, what are you crazy? And the ever popular … I just don’t know.

Figuring out where to start is paralyzing for some organizations because the stakes are so high. I mean, do it wrong – or, more likely, do nothing – and you may be looking at lawsuits, fines, and maybe even jail time. Do it right, though, and you will literally transform your business.

Ask Me No Questions And I’ll Tell You No Lies

We recommend that you begin by asking yourself the following handful of tough questions, scoring the answers, and proceeding according to what you learn:

  • Are your people ready to think beyond the confines of what they see as “their” information?
  • Do your business processes actually help your people to get their work done?
  • Are your people – and your technology stacks – siloed, or do they work well together?
  • How modern, usable, and extensible are your technology stacks? Do your people have the skills and inclination needed to leverage them for greater business benefit?
  • And last but never least, how do you ensure you get as much value as possible from not only your information technology, but your information as well?

Simple, right?

The trick here is two-fold: to be honest in your answers, and to use a scoring system that accommodates the personality of your particular organization. As I’ve already alluded to, there are many ways to start doing information right. Your job is to figure out how to proceed in the straightest line possible so you expend as little time, energy, and money as possible. For that, we like this Q&A approach.

Want to know more? Read about our Current State QuickScan Analyis, which assesses the current state of your governance environment and validates the future state you envision.

About the author: Steve Weissman

Steve Weissman helps you do information right by bringing order and discipline to your governance and process practices. Principal Consultant at Holly Group and Co-Founder of the Information Coalition (now merged with ARMA International), he leverages a proven proprietary methodology to optimize everything from strategic planning and needs assessment to vendor selection and user adoption. He is, in short, The Info Gov Guy™, furthering best-practices for finding, leveraging, and protecting your business-critical information. A member of the AIIM Company of Fellows and holder of numerous industry designations, he can be reached at steve@hollygroup.com or 617-383-4655.

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