Focusing on the Local by Joining the NCC-AIIM Executive Committee

Hanging out at AIIM Nats night w/ (left to right) Mark Mandel, AIIM Vice-Chair Mark Patrick, and dedicated AIIM staffer Theresa ResekI’ve talked a little bit here about the need to improve the local communities for information management. It is an area that ARMA does better than other groups in the industry but their focus and members can be intimidating for those who aren’t records managers. AIIM chapters are a decent alternative but there are a lot of challenges.

For the past couple of years, I’ve been chatting offline with some chapter leaders from both associations, brainstorming ideas, and trying to think of ways to improve the local community. Some of these discussions became more focused when Kevin Parker became the president of the local AIIM chapter, NCC-AIIM. During one of these discussions I agreed to join the chapter’s executive committee.

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Transforming Information Governance at ARMA Boston

Laurence Hart speaking at ARMA Boston, presenting the importance of mapping the information flow[Originally published on the TeraThink blog]

Last week I had the pleasure of jumping up to Boston to present at ARMA’s Boston Chapter. The topic was a familiar one, Information Governance in the Age of Digital Transformation. I updated and expanded my keynote from the 2016 Information Governance Conference to allow the attendees to receive the latest insights.

As expected, it was a great event with a lot of good conversations about how we can take a fresh approach to Information Governance. This is a real need as many organizations are still struggling to make strides more than two decades after beginning this journey.

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Too Many Associations

A Pie from "Too Many Cooks" spoofWe are currently dealing with a glut of associations in the information industry. In the past couple of years with the addition of:

When you take into account the long history of AIIM and ARMA in this industry, it is clear that the community at-large feels it has needs not currently being met by the existing associations. CM Pros failed after failing to determine what value they could offer, at what cost, and how they could be distinct from AIIM and ARMA.

What does the entry of these new players mean?

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Professional Associations Need to Go Local

Triceratop SkeletonThere are a lot of different professional associations out there seeking to provide value to their members. Some do so by helping to lobby for regulations and laws that will benefit their membership. Others provide certifications or have peer-reviewed academic journals that serve as gateways to the industry.

Then there are professional associations like AIIM, ARMA, and ASAE whose primary purpose is helping industry professionals be effective through education. This education takes place in the form of training, publications, seminars, and webinars. There may be a certification but it is rarely required for advancement in the industry.

The problem is that there is fresh competition from for-profit communities and ad-hoc local groups who use Meetup to find members and organize. Information on how to succeed in any industry is readily available on the Internet. Traditional associations are no longer the sole-source for networking and information.

How can associations compete when people no longer need a middle-man? They have to go local and make things personal.

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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.]

Making Records Management Simple at ARMA

Next week I will be at the ARMA Conference in Vegas. While I will be there in support of Alfresco, I have a secondary purpose. I want to brainstorm with attendees on how we can make Records Management (RM) simple.

The reason is straightforward. Adoption of RM systems by end-users is horrible. We have spent most of the past two decades forcing non-Records Managers to act and think as Records Managers. It is a failed approach. We need to work on creative ways to shift from a world where success is the exception to where success is the rule.

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