Several months ago I asked on Twitter “Who are the best people to follow for records management?” The question was met by the sound of crickets. I have recently found some really good people to follow in the area of records management on Twitter and today I want to highlight one of them as a “Hero In Information Management.” If you are not following Carol Choksy and are interested in information governance then you are definitely missing out.
Carol is a past president of ARMA, International and also records management consultant for her own company, IRAD Strategic Consulting. My first encounter with her was at IU Bloomington where I had her for two classes and it was definite one of the best experiences for me as a student. I am thankful for her blog which has a ton of great records management and information governance information. Here are a couple of excerpts:
Carol on the relationship between retention scheduling and enterprise architecture
When clients ask me to create a retention schedule, they do not normally understand that they are asking me to consult on enterprise architecture. They want to throw something away and do not see that as complicated. What they do not understand is that even if I created a retention schedule, nothing would get thrown away, because employees do not interact on a daily basis with the buckets on a retention schedule, they interact with the buckets in their filing system. To throw something away an employee needs to put it in a filing system bucket which is mapped to a retention schedule bucket which is mapped to technology capabilities—or a lack of technology capabilities that must either be worked around or performed manually. (Does #ECM, #RecordsManagemnet, or #IT Come First?)
Carol on the relationship between information governance and records management
The movement from records management to information governance is more one of perspective than difference or even evolution. Records management has been performing the work of information governance for millennia, the term information governance is simply a better description of the level of work performed by records managers as well as being a better way for C-level executives to understand their work and how important it is.( How do #InfoGov and #RecordsManagement Differ)
Carol on how what Information Governance is who and the challenges involved in it
no one has all the skills to perform Information Governance. Records managers do information governance, but on documents. Data managers do information governance on but they do it on data. Forget the “unstructured” and “structured” definitions foisted upon us by trade associations and information technology. Data as used in any organization is tiny chunks of facts organized so it can be extracted, transformed, moved around, and transacted. Documents are big chunks of information that humans use to interact, make claims, change the behavior of others, control, etc. The factual basis of documents is compelling, but their rhetorical nature is what makes them work. Think of a poorly worded contract, versus a set of poorly formatted data. The data can be reformatted and we can get on with our work, but the contract binds us, like a spell and we are compelled to do the bidding of the contract. Data can bind, but it can also be refuted—unless you are a conspiracy theorist who argues from silence. A contract requires the ritual of going to court or arbitration. Yet data is how we exchange value these days. In other words, my document says you owe me money, but the money is transferred using data. So data is pretty important too. Yet few of us understand how to manage, much less govern, both…
As people involved in information governance what we can do is to help our organizations develop a vision of where they want to go and work on the plans to get there, changing those plans as we take a deeper dive through information collection and analysis or even implementation. Most of all, we need to be critical of “solutions” for “information governance” because, like “knowledge management” from the 1990s, an important concept can be gutted by the “me too” of vendors clamoring to get a piece of the pie. Information Governance isn’t a pie, it’s a concept that can help our organizations transform themselves into using the information of the “Information Age” for greater productivity, new services and products, better customer service, and greater protection of our privacy.( Everyone Claims To Do Information Governance)
As you can tell from her blog posts she does not comes at Records and Information management issues from a traditional perspective. She has a keen eye for business process and the relationship between content management and IT to the world of records management. Her specialties inclued strategic vision and enterprise information architecture, both of which shine through in her approach to tackling today’s information governance issues.
One of the reasons why I call her one of the best follows on Twitter for information governance is because of the people she follows and the information she retweets. By following her you can become connected to someone other great sharers of information management on Twitter.