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Information Management Strategy Example
With the volume of information available at our finger tips growing every day, a major challenge organisations face is how they plan to manage and govern their information. With proper strategic planning, organisation’s can put themselves in a good position to ensure that they are not overwhelmed by the volume of information going in and out of their organisation without the proper resources and processes in place to manage it.
One of the first steps in achieving this is having an information management strategy that help outlines the organisational and regulatory requirements that need to be met as well as the specific actions required to meet them. This strategy will also need to work within the broader context of the organisation’s information governance framework.
No two information management strategies will look the same as they entirely depend on the goals of your organisation and what practices and technologies you currently have in place. However, before beginning your strategy development it is important for organisations to undergo an assessment that looks at the way their information is currently being used and what technologies are in place to support this. This will help illuminate the paint-points for the organisation which will then influence the strategy.
For example, an organisation may require a records management system to be able to bid for government contracts. In this instance the primary component of the strategy would be the record management aspect, which would include a cost-benefit analysis of different eDRMS options. Alternatively, an organisation may be predominantly paper based with network file shares. In this case the information management strategy might suggest moving to Office 365. This may include actions such as building a SharePoint intranet, migrating content to the cloud and establishing RecordPoint Records 365 to manage records in-place without disrupting end-users. The key point here is that any of the possible solutions outlined in the strategy depend upon the pain-points of the organisation, and these can only be uncovered by conducting a thorough assessment of current business processes and technologies.
Although there is no one-size-fits-all formula for information management strategies, the National Archives of Australia has done a good job providing a basic template structure that can be followed. We have summarised this structure below and included some examples.
Information Management Strategy Example Structure
This section outlines the improvements the strategy intends to make and why these improvements are necessary based on the context of the organisation’s overarching goals. For example, “the purpose of the information management strategy is to increase end-user engagement to ensure that we achieve our goal of having x% of organisational information accurately captured by our records management system”.
Describe the direction the organisation will be taking regarding how they plan manage and control their information going forward and what technology will facilitate this. For example, “we are planning to undergo a digital transformation whereby we will be using completely digital processes in time for the digital continuity 2020 policy. This will be facilitated by migrating from paper-based documents and network file shares to Office 365 where we will use the Security and Compliance to meet our records management requirements”.
Strengths and Weaknesses
As the name denotes, this section analyses the strengths and weaknesses of how you currently manage information. Here you will describe the pain-points the organisation is currently experiencing, which may include things such as poor end-user engagement, content not ending up in a records management system, difficulty in locating information, duplicate information etc. It should also outline what the organisation is doing well and how this can be continued and further refined.
This section should list the specific tasks that are required to be undertaken within a certain timeframe. These actions will be designed to address the pain-points illuminated in the strength and weaknesses section and help the organisation achieve its overall objectives. An example of specific action would be, “by February 12 we plan to deliver the foundation of the new SharePoint intranet, with content migrated to SharePoint from Network File shares and correct metadata implemented to make information searchable. This foundation will be delivered for testing to the HR department where we will assess up-take and make further refinements based on results and feedback”.
Here you will outline who the stakeholders are and what their responsibilities are. This includes who is responsible for the overall direction of the information management strategy as well as those responsible for the specific tasks identified in the action plan. For example, “[insert name] is responsible for helping to train staff on how to use Microsoft Teams to help improve collaboration and up-take within the organisation”.
Define how often Senior Management and relevant stakeholders will receive reports that demonstrate the progress of implementing the actions outlined in the information management strategy.
Here you will define the regular intervals in which the information management strategy will be reviewed to assess progress and determine if any further changes or refinements need to be made.
This section should provide clear evidence of the C-level executives and other relevant persons who have provided their support for the direction and action-plan outlined in the strategy. This section is imperative as any successful information management strategy is reliant upon having executive sponsors that are active in providing their on-going support throughout the project’s lifespan.
It should be noted that an important component of any implementation is to undertake pilot tests. In other words, it is best practice to implement foundational changes on smaller department within the organisation prior to rolling out the changes to the entire organisation. The successes and failures of these changes can then be assessed, and necessary changes made. This is imperative in determining how well end-users respond to change as this is the number one roadblock when implementing an information management strategy or a digital transformation. It is usually recommended to choose a department or subset within an organisation that is desperately in need of change as they will be more receptive and provide better feedback.
If you’re looking to implement a new information management strategy or undergo a digital transformation, it’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. The structure outlined in the information management strategy example as provided by the NAA can be used as a starting point, however how you approach your strategy will entirely depend on your goals and pain-points.
This is why it’s imperative your organisation undergoes a thorough business and technology assessment prior to developing your strategy. Once your strategy has been developed to address those pain-points you want to select a small subset of the organisation to test the implementation of the actions outlined in the strategy, before you roll these out to the entire organisation.
If you’re looking to digitally transform your organisation and build an information management strategy, talk to one our consultants today.
Liza is a SharePoint consultant with over 15 years’ experience in the private and public sector in the use and delivery of SharePoint and other collaboration solutions using Microsoft 365. She is passionate about technology and improving productivity and quality through collaboration and innovation.
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