Information Governance and eDiscovery


Back in May, Julia Colgan wrote a great post breaking down the latest version of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM). She outlined the changes in her post but the most significant change is the use of Information Governance instead of Information Management.

Version 3 of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model

Before I dive into the model, I want to make one thing clear. The purpose of this model is to show how all these concepts work together for the purpose of eDiscovery. It is meant to drive understanding.

Which is why I am not happy with the model.

Governance Given Short Shrift

I concede that the EDRM is an eDiscovery-focused model. As such, it is expected that the aspects of eDiscovery would be highlighted and given much more thought. The only problem is that it fails to focus enough importance on the role Information Governance can play for eDiscovery.

Julie says in her post:

[Information Governance] is actually a super-activity that doesn’t stop during eDiscovery. Rather it is a pervasive, constant part of overall corporate governance.

True, but it is more than than in many ways. Information Governance is needed even if the odds of an eDiscovery process occurring is less than 5% a year. It is an underlying part of every business.

Julie suggested a large circle in which the entire EDRM model sits. Aside from the aesthetic challenge of such a change, it conveys the wrong impression. Information Governance is foundational but is not part of the eDiscovery process.

Once the eDiscovery request arrives, it is too late to be implementing Information Governance.

Information Governance needs to be disconnected from the front of the model. Information Governance sets the stage for all information-centric processes. It isn’t a step in eDiscovery. The feedback from the completion of the eDiscovery process should be represented, having Information Governance as a solid block along the left of the model would work.

One Last Little Adjustment

I like the triangles representing Volume and Relevance of the information being culled for use as a response to the eDiscovery request. I would make both slopes exponential, and not linear, in nature. That would be a more accurate representation of how the volume and relevancy change during the process.

Julie suggested lowering the height of the volume triangle to represent the effect of a good Information Governance program. I would go the other direction. The top of the Volume region needs to be at the top of the diagram. When illustrated exponentially, this would not overwhelm the rest of the diagram.

The reason is simple. There will always be a lot of information initially retrieved. This is not just a function of the size of the repository that is being queried, but part of the learning curve in determining what is responsive for the eDiscovery request.

A good Information Governance program would make the curve fall more sharply. This would represent the identification of responsive information occurring more quickly.

Having the volume of information flow out of a solid wall of Information Governance on the left conveys that concept. It would clearly show the relationship between the Volume and Information Governance in such a way as to not restrict its purpose as one of supporting eDiscovery.

When information has been properly captured and categorized, finding the right answers is easy.

Information Governance and Records Management Need to get Radical Together


A couple weeks ago I ranted that we were beginning to make many of the same mistakes with Information Governance that we had made with Enterprise Content Management (ECM), and to some extent Records Management. The post stimulated posts from James Lappin and George Parapadakis.

I respect both of them and it is entertaining to see them taking completely opposite approaches to the problem. It would be entertaining, for me at least, to see them debate the issue. I suspect it would get quite…energetic.

Of course, being on extremes, they both missed the mark.

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Information Governance Repeating the Same Mistakes


One thing I’ve been doing a lot of recently is observing the rise of Information Governance. It is eating all the bandwidth that Enterprise Content Management (ECM), Information Management, and Records Management have historically consumed. All the same players are involved; each trying to make a name for themselves.

As I participated in today’s #InfoChat, I quickly realized that the exact same chat could have taken place 10 years ago. Just substitute #ECM for #InfoGov and it would fit. There were no “new” ideas presented, just slight twists on the same concepts that have been pushed for the last 20 years.

We get it. Success requires “People, Process, and Technology.” How about telling us how those factors should behave and work together? What new technology might help smooth processes to make people’s live easier?

TELL ME SOMETHING NEW!

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Predicting 2014


I know I am a tad late on my prediction post for 2014, but I have had a hard time coming to terms with what will happen this year. At this point, it is easy to predict where things are going overall, but specific events over the next 12 months? Much more challenging.

I learned this by evaluating my 2013 predictions. The ones that didn’t come to fruition are still trending in the right direction. Those predictions just failed to hit that magic event before the end of 2013.

Well, I am going to try again this year. I am going to lean more towards trends and less on specific events. I could predict Open Text is going to make a large acquisition and that SharePoint will be declared dead by {insert large number here} prognosticators this year, but those things happen EVERY year which makes it feel like cheating.

What can we expect in 2013?

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Checking the Industry Trends


I was playing with Google Trends the other day. I was curious what terms people were searching for on Google and how they related to the terms we seem to throw around the industry. This particular bout of curiosity stemmed from distinguishing between the technology and the business problems that people are trying to solve.

The first search was a set of standard terms we use when we talk about what we do on a regular basis.

  • Content Management, 1.00
  • Information Management, 1.52
  • Records Management, 0.32
  • ECM, 1.26 (Enterprise Content Management got 0.02)

It is a pretty consistent downward trend across the board. We can hypothesize as to why they are trending down, but I suspect it relates to the saturation of the term among those in the technology industry.

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The Lost Decade of ECM


imageOf the three posts rattling around in my head, this would be the third in order if I had to set a preferred order. Problem is, one idea takes more effort to develop while the other actually needs to refer to items in this post.

I spoke last week at Momentum in Las Vegas as part of EMC World. Instead of talking about Documentum or how I had worked with a client to solve a problem, I talked about the changing landscape of the Information Industry. The SlideShare version of the presentation is at the end of this post but I wanted to talk about the Lost Decade first.

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Getting to the Big Data Problem


The amount of data in your organization is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean you might think that it take a long time to read your inbox but that’s just peanuts to how much your organization touches in a single day.

- Mangling of quote by Douglas Adams in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The amount of data in your organization is massive. Anyone who has been in the Content Management industry for more than a few years can tell you that much. All those content repositories are nothing more than messy, poorly structured, data warehouses.

The part that I didn’t realize until watching Clay Shirky’s keynote at AIIM 2012 was that the amount of data that many organizations is amassing isn’t always enough. Many organizations just are dealing with what I will now shockingly classify as “traditional” Big Data issue. They don’t have the volume, variability, variety, or velocity of data. (Your actual “V”s may vary)

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The “Better” Information Professional


Normally I don’t like to post too quickly on a specific topic. This is because I like people to digest the previous post and let it bounce around the net a bit. Today calls for an exception.

As I discussed, I took AIIM’s new Certified Information Professional exam cold. While I did want to judge the exam, there was a second reason for taking it cold. I bet Cheryl McKinnon that I could score higher then her without studying. While I wasn’t overly confident, I figured the odds were even and the conditions of the bet weren’t onerous.

Well, I lost. Cheryl, a vice president of MARKETING, received a higher score. She is the better CIP.

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Certified Information Professional, A Valid Measure


Yesterday I talked a little about why the concept of a Certified Information Professional is important to making Information Management a real profession and the gap that it is aiming to fill. Today I want to talk about the exam itself and whether or not it is a good measurement tool.

I’m not going to bore you with all the details on how the exam was prepared by outside experts or any of that. While important, that isn’t a true measure. I think the true measure is the opinions of the battle-scarred veterans of the Information wars. Being one, I offer my opinion here to start building a consensus.

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Becoming a Certified Information Professional


imageToday I went out and passed AIIM’s Certified Information Professional exam. There are a lot of thoughts I want to share around this action, but it is going to take a couple of posts. In this post I am going to cover the Why. Later I will cover the What.

The first thing I want to say is that working for AIIM is not the reason I took the exam. My original goal had been to listen to feedback from others before I took the exam. It was always in my 2012 plans. Joining AIIM just moved me from the laggard position to that of the evaluator.

After all, if I was going to be the lead Information Professional at AIIM I should at least check out the certification sooner rather than later.

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