Risk Management

The company you’re working for or consulting for will most likely be sued at some time given today’s litigious environment.  As ECM project manager are you knowledgeable and do you have the proper documentation (records of ediscovery, document retention, disposition, etc.) that is required to mitigate the risks in a lawsuit?

Today’s discussion is going to branch out from content management and touch upon records management.  You should expect to explain the difference between content management and records management to the stakeholders of a project.  Records management grew from a small $15 million per year business in 2000, to now being included as part of most ECM software offerings.

What is the difference?

A document for the most part is information stored on paper or on scanned images or electronically.  Documents can be updated or revised.  Records however, are documents that are recognized as complete and unchangeable. It is important to remember that not all documents become records.

If you’re not familiar with Records Management, I’d recommend AIIM’s (Association for Information and Image Management) certification course on Electronic Records Management (ERM).  Since 90% of all records are electronic – this is a good place to start.  AIIM offers 3 different levels of certification – practitioner, specialist and master.  You can find all the information on ERM certification at: http://www.aiim.org/Training/ERM-Electronic-Records-Management-Course

For a quick analysis on where your organization is with regards to records management best practices – I’d suggest taking a look at ARMA’s (Association of Records Managers and Administrators) Governance Matury Model – GARP®  (Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles).  The GARP model will give you a picture of where your organization is in regards to records and information governance.

There are eight different principles including: Accountability, Transparency, Integrity, Protection, Compliance, Availability, Retention and Disposition.  Each of these principles of records/information management are evaluated at 5 different levels.  When you’ve had a chance to look at the model, you can better assess risks and opportunities for improvement in records management that may impact how you proceed with your ECM project(s).  For more information on the GARP maturity model, see: http://www.arma.org/garp/metrics.cfm.

You will increase your value as an ECM project manager by learning the ins-and-outs of records management and more importantly being able to integrate records management requirements into ECM projects.

Steve Kissinger, PMP
ImageSource, Inc