ARMA Calls for a Revolution


I’ve been talking for a while about how we need to mix things up in the space. Records Management as we know it is dead and it has dragged Enterprise Content Management (ECM) down with it. We need to completely change things to get back on track.

While I was attending the ARMA conference, ARMA’s president, Julie Colgan, said that Records Management needed to evolve. I said that it wasn’t enough. Records Managers need to revolt against the system and change things. Julie saw the comment on twitter and promised a response.

Well, today Julie gave a response.

I also believe that RIM needs a revolution, but in order to get there, we first need the professionals in the space to be ready to revolt.

Let’s face it. As much as Records Management, and ECM as a whole, has failed, the needs for proper Information Governance has not changed. Organizations still have the same requirements.

We need to work WITH the Records Management professionals. We need to work together to find a way to meet the requirements of the organization while addressing the central failure point, which is that existing solutions make every employee a Records Manager.

They don’t want to be Records Managers.

I personally welcome ARMA to the battle. The members of ARMA have knowledge that we need. They also have ideas. I saw many speakers at the conference calling for a new approach. We need to learn how to relieve people from the burden of managing records to allow them to focus upon their jobs.

Shall we start a revolution together?

[Note: For a webinar discussion inspired by this post, head over here.]

4 thoughts on “ARMA Calls for a Revolution

  1. Lawrence, Welcome to the club. No one has dragged ECM down. It sunk all by itself …

    I asked for that revolution in 2001 when I said that there is no process without content and content without process is waste. If you try to change something in content/records management by itself then it will fail just the same. Process is the context that everyone is now talking about …

    We built a process and content platform and customers say that they already have both BPM and ECM and analysts say that they can’t rate a product that stands for itself. Unfortunately we did not manage to spend the billions it needs to buy market attention.

    But we can already hear the buzz about Engagement Hubs, XRM, Information Management, …

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  2. David Gaynon says:

    The problems that records managers face are a result of working with a model that was designed to deal with large volumes of paper records stored in warehouses. The entire idea of a retention schedule was developed to solve that problem. And it pretty much did what it was intended. Today most serious thinking about records management (record keeping principles if you prefer) is being done by vendors and consultants who are primarily driven by the goal of moving inventory and selling services rather than problem solving. They do, of course, sometimes solve problems.

    For records management to move forward we need solutions based on an analysis of our problems rather than technology solutions seeking a market. Until this happens records management in the corporate world will generally be seen as an “add-on” rather than an integrated part of standard operating practices. Dynamic records managers may be able to sell content management systems at a given point in time. Maintaining, support for such systems ihas proved a more challenging endeavor.

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