I often talk about information governance professionals having two primary responsibilities 1)reduce risk of indictment and 2)increase return on investment. Return in investment can be a vague term without clear markers. I enjoy the clarity that Carol Choksy brings to the topic by discussing how this corresponds to going lean and reducing risk.

From the perspective of Lean, large eDiscovery fees are waste reflecting a corporate information infrastructure that does not dispose of waste and does not add value to information by organizing it. IT departments that do not identify backup tapes as tools for business continuity that should be recycled within a few months create waste. Data management that does not build the ability to delete and destroy information inside an application creates waste. Content and document management companies, integrators, and consultants that do not provide a means for destroying information by category (records series or bucket) create waste.

Enterprise search, text analytics, auto-categorization products all enable the addiction to waste created by the above-mentioned components of IG, promising to help the employee find what they need. However, estimates of the amount of time spent by knowledge workers searching for information range from 25 percent to 30 percent of the workday. From the perspective of Lean, this means that at a minimum of 25 percent of the highest paid employees’ time in any organization is waste, and the above-mentioned groups, minus records management, have happily profited from that waste. The value provided by these groups has been swept away by the tsunami of discovery costs and wasted time searching for information…

Lean thinking requires not only understanding value to customers and waste, but also the uses of measurement for continuous improvement in processes to increase knowledge worker productivity, create value, and reduce waste. It also requires IG partners to work together, understand their strengths and weaknesses, obtain the skills they have been lacking, and align their IG effort with corporate strategy.

The above is only an excerpt and you can read the rest atUnderstanding Information Governance From The Perspective of Lean Thinking.