Are You Ever Finished With Information Governance?

We at Holly Group spend our days working with clients to help them improve their Current State of information and move them towards their desired Future State. But a recent conversation with one of them raised a very interesting question:

Is it possible for an organization to ever be finished?

I know this sounds like the moral equivalent of reaching the end of the Internet, but it’s not beyond the realm of possibility – especially if you have moved so far up the maturity scale that you now are bumping up against Level 5, which is considered to be the pinnacle of achievement.

The client in question was ranting about how hard it still is to get certain people on board with his future-state thinking, and how challenging it is becoming to further improve his technology stacks in a cost-effective manner.

“There’s no economy of scale anymore,” he lamented, and after conducting a brief qualitative Current State QuickScan Analysis, we couldn’t help but wonder if he was done.

To be sure, his is a circumstance that likely applies to few others:

  • He works at an organization that is fairly specialized and relatively small
  • He has worked tirelessly for a decade to better the way his organization treats information
  • He has trained his new hires in the latest best-practices so they can carry them better forward

But this doesn’t make the question his posed any less relevant or interesting, especially if we reframe it slightly:

Is it possible for an organization even to reach Level 5 – and if it is, do the laws of diminishing returns suggest it is impractical to try to do so?

This notion surfaced during my recent discussion with Kevin Parker about content migration, and I firmly believe that investing time, energy, and staff resources to reach Level 4 across the board is more than sufficient. Stringing together two common refrains, “perfect is the enemy of good,” and “good enough is good enough” – and with that, I’ll posit that, under certain circumstances, an end one day could possibly be in sight.

What say you?

About the author: Steve Weissman

Steve Weissman is Principal Consultant at Holly Group and Co-Founder of Information Coalition. A trusted advisor for more than 20 years, he is a recognized expert in information governance and process innovation – or as he defines it, in the “’care and feeding’ of critical business information and the technologies used to manage and protect it.” Known as The Info Gov Guy™, Mr. Weissman leverages a proven proprietary methodology to optimize everything from your strategic planning and needs assessment to your vendor selection and user adoption. He is a member of the AIIM Company of Fellows and holder of numerous industry designations, and can be reached at steve@hollygroup.com or 617-383-4655.

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