One of the things that appeals to me about records management is how closely related it is to business process management. Records are never created in a vacuum, but always for the purpose of supporting a business decision.

Every business process needs to be documented and that documentation needs to be retained to chronicle how business is done, and this is for a myriad of reasons ranging from compliance to reference.
The Business Analyst Coach recently wrote on Seven Habits of Highly Effective “BA” People and I want to take a look at what he says and how that relates to being an effective RIM person.

1)Be Proactive:

ESI (Electronically Stored Information) is being generated in many different formats and we need to be prepared for how mobile and social records will affect our record keeping strategy. We should not react to change that is coming, but instead anticipate and plan for the information tsunami that is coming in this age when information is being created at unprecedented rates.

2)Begin With The End In Mind:

Know where your RIM program is going and have a vision of how you can reduce risk and increase ROI. Without that vision your program is dispensable and stakeholders will not buy what you are selling if they don’t see what is in it for them in the long haul.

3)Put First Things First:

I am taking this implication directly from The BA Coach prioritize the order of deliverables and the sequence of a deliverable – your work as a BA is most of the times is based on deliverables. Create a list and prioritize them. For a given deliverable prioritize the sequence of completion too.

4)Think Win/Win:

Most people view information management initiatives, whether it is e-mail management or records retention, as inconvenience to them. RIM may be a topic that does not garner interest from staff, but our stakeholders need to know that it isn’t there to create hurdles for them, but that ultimately it will make their business process more efficient by providing accountability.

5)Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood:

Job one is to listen. Many RIM initiatives are ones that involve change management. Many people are apprehensive to change, so we need to hear their fears and not come across as better than them because if they don’t see that we understand where they are coming from then they may shut us off when we show how we’ve taken their requirements into account when implementing our solution.


All RIM projects are joint initiatives with legal, IT, business and other stakeholders. No RIM project is an island, but must have mutual cooperation and trust for all parties.

7)Sharpen the Saw:

Never stop pushing yourself in all areas. If you are a RIM guru, but are not a well-rounded individual then you may very lack the interpersonal skills and charisma to sell your RIM program. An optimal state of performance comes from having both hard and soft skills primed and ready.