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Same Recipe, Different Clientele
Cooking Up Effective Programs for Records, Data, and Information Governance

Now we're cooking!

It’s no secret that infogov and records management can be difficult and frustrating – increasingly so as traditional areas like policy development, process improvement, compliance, retention, and destruction have begun banging into once-separate and quickly growing disciplines like privacy and security.

What seems to be lesser-known, though, is that there’s a remarkably universal strategic recipe for success in all of these different spaces, which we varyingly refer to as information or data governance, or records or content or document management, or who knows what other terms the world’s marketeers will come up with.

This apparent hodge-podge of vernacular is actually good news for the likes of us, for each term refers to a business practice that is fundamentally similar to all the others when it comes to building a program. This means that when you get down to it, there is fertile ground for you to talk to, and cooperate with, your colleagues throughout the enterprise, including compliance officers, attorneys, line-of-business managers, IT staff – and even your own team!

It also means you can follow the same basic recipe regardless of the clientele you are serving, the differences being (a) you have to speak their language so they understand the options available to them, and (b) you have to know their areas of both delight and distaste so you can season your effort accordingly.

Rough Equivalencies

By way of illustration, let’s take a quick tour of the language often used in each discipline to describe essentially the same activities:

Vocab across the disciplines

By all means, have a quibble with the words I’ve chosen (I mean it – that’s what the Comments section is for!). But I suspect that any other terms you suggest will be similarly equivalent, especially when it comes to their intention.

I’d wager the same is true when it comes to exploring the program best practices across the disciplines, which all take the same basic approach:

Best practices across disciplines
To be sure, I didn’t spend hours plumbing the depth of every best-practice in every area, so yes, there are a couple of holes in this table. But it still does nicely make my point, which put simply is this: Regardless of the chair you occupy at your organization’s information table, you probably are thinking many of the same things as everybody else present when it comes to answering the all-important question, “What do we do first/next?” This is one of the reasons I’m often found saying that we’re making information governance – in all its flavors – a lot harder than it has to be. The truth is, our recipes for success are a lot more similar than they are different, and the sooner this perspective gains traction, the faster we can start cooking up our programs and serving our clientele.

So tell me: how can I help?

As a next step, please download our FREE guide 5 Steps to Doing Information Right™. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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Steve Weissman, The Info Gov Guy™ • • 617-383-4655 • Principal Consultant, Holly Group • Member, AIIM Company of Fellows • Recipient, AIIM Award of Merit

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