TechTarget recently published an E-Guide entitled, “Best Practices For A Successful Information Governance Strategy.” One of the topics discussed is, “Common Pitfalls of Information Governance Management” by Beth Stackpole. Below are the four pitfalls that Ms. Stackpole lists as well as the appropriate solutions.


Scoping the program too widely: Because the volume of data is so large and can be at both the micro and macro level with multiple purpose it can be easy for an information governance project to get out of hand and lose focus.

Solution – Ted Friedman an information management analyst at Gartner Inc. states that a best practice for information governance is to have a singular focus within a particular area of the unstructured data landscape and not try to tackle too much


Treating Governance as a Cultural Misfit: Information governance has gotten a bad name as some corporate cultures view governance as “lockdown” and “control.” Many people want to be data hoarders or don’t believe in accountability with how they manage corporate information assets.

Solution – Friedman believes that “information governance” might be an intimidating name as it represents an information governor playing the role of big brother and recommends calling your program information management or information value creation. Also, by showing early wins users can get the message of the program’s benefits and merit.


Not Making People Accountable: The best records retention schedules, BYOD policies or any other information management policy is useless if users aren’t held accountable.

Solution – The key to accountability is enforceable consequences that are based on how workers use information. Barry Murphy, an information governance consultant and co-founder of the online publication eDiscovery journal stated, “A big mistake is not caring how people consume information either by being too lax or being too restrictive.”


Thinking technology is a panacea: Too many organizations think that a solution to a problem is to throw technology at it. If the technology does not fit into your business process then you may have taken two steps forward, but also three steps backwards. If you throw technology at a bad process then technology won’t fix the process.

Solution – For most information governance management project there is a technical architecture component (hardware, software, etc.) as well as an information architecture component (classification, indexes, cataloguing, metadata, GUI, search and retrieval). You can’t have one without the other or you will have a failed information governance project.

Feel free to discuss in the comments section any real-world experiences you have had with these pitfalls and overcoming them.