Panel: Launching Information Governance Harder than Landing on the Moon

Convincing an organization to implement an information governance program is a lot like the Apollo missions to put a man on the moon—except for one thing: getting IG off the ground is much, much harder. At least that’s the thesis of a presentation delivered in Chicago, IL on Monday during the National Conference on Managing Electronic Records.

During the keynote session “Making the Moonshot: Launching Your Information Governance Program,” a panel of information governance experts argued that the federal government, the American public, and key stakeholders were united behind the same goal of launching a successful Apollo mission during the space race. By contrast, only a handful of stakeholders within any organization typically see the need for information governance, and they face an uphill battle in establishing their own mission control. In healthcare, this job has fallen to health information management (HIM) professionals.

The panel, which was moderated by Contoural President and CEO Mark Diamond, agreed that successful information governance implementation requires a positive attitude and interdisciplinary collaboration. The biggest hurdle to interdisciplinary cooperation is convincing the business unit in charge of funding an implementation program that there is tangible return on investment (ROI).

“One of the strongest ROIs is ‘how much time will this save us,’” Diamond says. “A good information governance program can save four hours per person per week,” of time spent looking for information or a record that isn’t readily available, Diamond notes. “But that’s a ‘squishy’ ROI. Come up with four or five ROIs.”

Robust information governance can lead to:

  • A reduction in hours spent on a given task
  • Lowering legal fees and reducing litigation risk
  • A reduction in the high costs associated with staff turnover

 

The panel also discussed the various definitions of information governance created by The Sedona Conference, Gartner, and ARMA.

But, it is not all about the definition, Diamond added. “Your definition is not going to get you to the moon. The more successful approach is not getting the definition but deciding what it’s going to do for you,” he said.

Successful information governance programs can be measured by improvements in the following areas: having defensible disposition of records; having well managed records; having strong privacy policies; and seeing a reduction in the time spent looking for information.

“Your mission should be maximizing the value of your information,” said panelist Kenneth J. Withers, deputy executive director of The Sedona Conference. “You can have all the metrics you want, but what’s going to make the difference in selling data governance and information governance to CEOs is maximizing the value of information.”

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