Welcome to my Weblog. This site is dedicated to my thoughts, views and understanding on anything that touches upon records management, archives management as well as information management in Malaysia. I believe in becoming a 'functional and meaningful' information professional, the term I refer to as person who can function in many ways possible for the betterment of this discipline. Interested parties, may reproduce or quote materials published with the condition that they are credited to Comments must be accompanied by names or pseudonyms. Anonymous postings and those containing profanities and obscenities will be rejected.

Monday, October 22, 2012

To start off an ERM

Another...just sharing!

The starting off of an ERM initiative requires one to look into a feasibility study. One need to do a study of his/her own agency in order to know and compile relevant information on the status of records management. The assessment being made will shed directions of where ERM should go and where it should start off. Otherwise, it will just another blunder! Some good tips are:

The records or ERM Task team will gather information from key stakeholders in each of separate business units. Leveraging that knowledge, the team analyzes each of the operating units needs and delivers a Findings and Recommendations Report that identifies gaps in best practices, a roadmap for execution and estimated timeline for completion. Recommendations address areas such as: legal and regulatory requirements, governance and program sustainability, technology options, business process improvements, cost reduction and risk mitigation priorities.

Developing RIM (records information management) Programs
The assessment create understanding of current records management practices, then build a program foundation and take agency all the way through adoption. A program foundation is critical to successful compliance and includes policies, retention schedules, guidelines and procedures that outline physical and eRecords best practices. Policies should address the latest technology and communication practices such as social media and information in the cloud.

This foundation is critical to ensure a successful implementation of an agency's records management program:
Communications and formal training (live and computer-based)
Taxonomy and file plans
Records and electronic information cleanup
Software evaluation (ECM, EDRM, RMS)
Offsite storage vendor negotiation
Staffing and support

Merging/Simplifying Records Retention Schedules

Without a clear path, compliance by internal staffers is impossible. A current Records Retention Schedule is a critical component of any records management program. The primary objective of Records Retention Schedule Development Methodology is to support simplified records retention practices, so that employees can easily use, and management can easily administer, the schedule. The ERM Task team experts can quickly assess and align schedules to streamline business processes and improve compliance.

Legal Research into Records Retention and Privacy Law
The agency's Records Retention Schedule can be updated based on best practices in risk mitigation, and legal and regulatory retention requirements.

Cleanup of Inactive Records

Documents and data have a way of accumulating. It is important to clean out the obsolete information, but need to do it in a compliant manner. There is a need to identify and destroy as many eligible records as possible, based on a risk and retention policy. Destruction strategies that comply with relevant Acts are critical to quickly reduce risk associated with growing stockpile of physical “records” and the digital wasteland of electronic content and email.

Operational Integration of RIM Policy and Procedures

Strong programs are effective when they align with real-world business practices—great RIM programs do not operate in a vacuum but rather in each and every work station. Each department has their own business processes; and these must be aligned with RIM policies. By carefully developing protocols that keep the end-user in mind, the ERM software easily become a seamless part of daily operations, assuring compliance and delivering increased efficiencies for the organization.

Review and Audit Programs

Keep your programs strong with review and audit programs. Annual Records Policy Reviews should be made--a survey of existing business units conducted to solicit changes, additions, or deletions from the existing Records Retention Schedule and RIM policy. These change will then become input into the Records Retention Schedule and update the legal citations and retention, based on any new legal or regulatory requirements.

Additionally, an enterprise-wide RIM audit compliance review makes departments aware of the importance of following the RIM Policy and Procedures. Comprehensive or random office inspections, analyze the results, summarize the findings, recommend steps toward compliance, develop future audit focus point areas, must be employed and these can support training and cleanup activities.