With all due respect to Elton John, you can spend time and money and effort and resources to produce the spiffiest Information Governance Program imaginable, but if you then sit on said stellar documentation, where does this leave you? This is the juncture in which many companies struggle. I’m going to walk you through what needs to happen next in a five point plan I call EDICT. The acronym is deliberately associated with its literal meaning, which is “an official order or proclamation issued by a person in authority”, and it stands for: Endorsement, Distribution, Implementation, Consultation and Training.
Let’s take a high-level meander through each step.
1) Endorsement: It is a given that strategic stakeholders in the organization should have the opportunity to both review, and contribute to any policy documentation as it is drafted, but equally important is the endorsement by executives and senior management of all this substantial and well-thought-out documentation. This is a clear and unmistakable signal that the program is sanctioned from the top down, and that compliance to the program is not a voluntary endeavor.
2) Distribution: After receiving this official endorsement, the policy and related procedures should be rolled-out and distributed throughout the organization. Be sure to make all these supporting records easily available to your end users, and establish an official repository for all information governance records.
3) Implementation: We’ve reached the exciting part! This is a good time to start ratcheting up the efforts of making people aware of what is coming down the line, and an effective way to do this is by developing and communicating an implementation timetable. A formal announcement of the endorsement of the new policy is a good place to start. Then communicate what people can expect next, including reassurances that all tools will be provided to make people comfortable with the new Information Governance program. Issue all your supporting documentation, and tell people where to find it. Load your schedule, issue your policy and procedures, and feel good about how far the program has come!
4) Consultation: The next step is to consult with users about rolling out the program. The records management program should certainly not be a surprise, as you have been communicating about the program throughout all these steps, but this is where you delve into how employees are going to introduced to the program. This includes the identification of training needs, the development of necessary training materials, and the appropriate delivery of training throughout the organization.
5) Training: The next step is to train the company employees, and establish your program support methods. This step is pretty self-explanatory, and involves preparing your end users for new or revised recordkeeping practices, and system or support tools. It is prudent to stagger these sessions progressively. First schedule training for people immersed in the “front lines” of information governance, then follow with executive and managerial training, and finish with “all users”.
There you have it! These set of steps are what you need to get the program in place. Of course, this EDICT is very high-level, but it gives a nice skeleton outline of the major points involved in the process. After this, you will of course need to develop a maintenance plan, which includes establishing methods of performance measurement, and the performance testing that logically follows.
Following an EDICT timeline is a logical and coherent way to introduce your information governance program to your organization. I wish you much success!
Linda Joshua | GradDip Records Management and Archives | Senior Consultant, Consulting | Professional Services | Iron Mountain Incorporated | 323-896-9432 | firstname.lastname@example.org