Connecting the bits or bytes with standards! It is amazing to me that technology systems, applications, hardware – the tools – have had standards for years. But until the last year and a half, the management of the data created by these applications or stored on these tools did not have standards that lay out how to determine the principles of what is best practice. These principles, known as the Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles (or GARP® as it is fondly referred to), have arrived! But unless I get ahead of myself, let’s take a moment to talk about why they are important.
Throughout my career I have heard senior management say over and over that they don’t want to be on the bleeding edge of technology or new processes. I can understand that statement at face value, but until GARP® was written and evaluated by multiple industries and organizations, companies had only individual viewpoints of what we should expect in managing information. Organizations may have waited beyond their pain point before they implemented solutions because they did not have the foundational principles set for the strategic management of how their information should be governed and managed. GARP® gives organizations those principles by which to set strategy and evaluate the old or the newest technology and set expectations for outcomes. Thank goodness. This work was getting harder and satisfaction was rarely achieved.
Notice I did not say success. Information Professionals tended to “redefine” success as the technology projects progressed in order to say that they were done and successful, but past success may have missed the mark on process, data integrity, transparency, retention, disposition, access, etc. and we, the Information Professionals, just were not satisfied. That can change now if you understand, apply and enforce the principles of best practices for managing records and information in all formats. Not new, just practical and available.
New practitioners don’t have to fly by the seat of their pants anymore. Starting an Information Management Program or evaluating an existing Program with the GARP® maturity model via an audit, gives you the best practices and requirements that enable you to connect the bits and bytes with standards to define system designs and requirement expectations to meet the needs of compliance, business use, and technology management.
Wow, do you use the GARP® principles? Is it time to start? I think it is.