A Successful Information Governance Program Requires a Championship Mentality and Approach

By: In: ARMA 2015 On: May 14, 2015
A Successful Information Governance Program Requires a Championship Mentality and Approach

Perhaps your favorite team is still alive as the NHL and NBA playoffs are heating up…the city of Chicago where we will be convening next week for the MER conference, is certainly enjoying a nice run by its two franchises.

Reaching the pinnacle of any sport is no easy feat…the stakes are high and the difference between success and failure is often miniscule. What distinguishes the teams that are consistent playoff performers and win championships more often than others? Ultimately, it’s the exceptional support structure at three levels starting with top management to the coaching staff on down to the players’ performance on the ice or court. Perennial champions talk about staying true to their “system” and have an innate belief and culture of wining that permeates the organization to its core.

Developing a sustainable and high performing Information Governance program is really no different. Without the right building blocks in place, support from the top on down and belief that Information Governance is a strategic imperative for the business, little results are realized despite our best efforts. Have you ever put together what you felt was a solid business case for a particular initiative that never got the attention it deserved and was rejected for funding? Or perhaps you rolled out a new policy or retention program but experienced poor employee adoption due to lack of support and making it a way of doing business? If you answered “yes” to either one of these questions, you are not alone.

“66% of organizations surveyed noted lack of recognition that RIM requires ongoing commitment and investment and 56% noted lack of management/stakeholder buy-in or support as two of their most significant challenges.”
-Cohasset/ARMA/AIIM 2014 Information Governance Benchmark Study

Just like top performing sports teams, a successful Information Governance program requires alignment and teaming at three levels:

1. Information Governance Steering Committee – a multi-disciplinary team of executives meet periodically to provide strategic program direction and oversight, funding, and review key performance indicators (KPIs) / success metrics.

2. Corporate Information Governance Team – team with RIM and Information Governance experience focused on compliance monitoring, training, program maintenance, legal (retention, holds, destruction) and development of an electronic records plan. Also act as a champion and liaison to the Steering Committee.

3. Department/Business Unit Coordinators –responsible for execution of the program at the business units and corporate functions.

Championship teams also adapt to new rules or shifting trends with new ways of thinking. For example, when the NBA added the three-point line back in 1979, it dramatically changed team’s approach to strategy, offensive formations and the need for outside “sharp shooters.” Today, we are dealing with mounting volumes of electronically stored information, explosion of social media and use of smartphones for example. These trends have added increased complexity in the context of Information Governance. It requires new talent to keep up with these emerging technologies as well as new policies and procedures for how to manage and leverage this information. Many companies are seeking outsourced talent that can come in with the expertise and knowledge required to stay nimble and ensure their program doesn’t get outpaced by these marketplace shifts.

There is no such thing as a “perfect” Information Governance program. As the great Vince Lombardi once said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” Take the approach and mentality of a champion and you will achieve excellence and make a significant contribution to your organization’s success.

Come see us at the Iron Mountain booth at MER 2015 in Chicago to talk sports and discuss your program objectives. For more details, I recommend downloading a copy of the Practical Guide to Information Governance white paper.

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About the author

Kevin Werwie

As a Managing Director of Iron Mountain’s Professional Services group, Kevin Werwie is responsible for helping Iron Mountain’s clients achieve their Records & Information Management (RIM) and overall Information Governance goals and objectives. Prior to joining Iron Mountain, Kevin was a Senior Consultant specializing in strategic account management, team development, sales effectiveness, customer relationship management and human capital strategy. He has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Minnesota with an emphasis in Strategic Management and Marketing. Kevin is a current member of ARMA and AIIM.