3 Ways of Providing Consistency to the Customized

By Bryant Duhon posted 01-28-2013 08:43


Christina Parenteau previews her AIIM 2013 conference session. Enjoy, and follow #AIIM13 and @AIIMcon for all of the latest news and noise about next year’s event. Register today, space is limited and going fast.

Christina Parenteau
Document Control Specialist
Pomona College

Thursday, March 21 at 12 PM

Breaking Bad: How to improve governance and control in open environments

In my session title; it’s the words of governance and control that appeal to information managers, but it’s the open that appeals to our users.

You may be supporting several departments in one company or several institutions in one market. No matter how big or how small they are, each unit wants the work they do to reflect their brand or mission. This is their institutional identity. It’s everything from the logo that makes the letterhead to the acronyms that make the language. The image and prestige that gets thousands of students to apply at your University or the warm approachability that brings customers back to a local grocery store.

In a world of regulations, service level agreements, and policies, warm approachability and the cold details of a digital initiative don’t always mesh. Service providers and records managers offer solutions that keep departments compliant and help establish processes for governance. Moreover the solutions that get pitched are easy to maintain and fit in with the overall top-down agenda. Whether that agenda be sustainability, a drive towards a single information repository, or retention and preservation. Compliance and being a good team player doesn’t make people stop printing every email or get a siloed department to participate in a data warehouse. Image, and identity, can.

I’d never advocate for a world in which developers give the customer everything they want. We’d have unhappy developers with constantly moving targets with no hope of establishing governance. We don’t want to reinvent the wheel each time, but we do want the wheels to have different treads, sizes, and maybe even rims. We’re not designing the car; we’re picking the model and trim.

  1. Base “Packages”: This is the project that everyone has to start with in order to get the bells and whistles they really want. If the agenda is to get all the departments to digitize their business processes. This is the first workflow. It’s the minimum level of effort you need a project to have in order to give them the add-ons. No fancy paint job without a car to put it on.
  2. Modular Options: Mobile access, imbedded forms, custom login screen, specialized labels on records boxes are all bonuses on that base package. These options are what make the solution the right fit for Payroll vs. Sales without rewriting the retention schedule for the whole company with each onboarding of a department.
  3. Taxonomical Frameworks: The Dublin Core became what it is for metadata standards because there was a need for consistency in describing a wide range of library resources. All to say, your customers need a “Core”. Guidelines for Metadata and general naming conventions allow an institution to be creative without getting lost. For example, the Business Affairs Office (BAO) in one branch may be the Business Affairs Services (BAS) in another. Different acronyms are approved; using more than 3 characters is not.

Building options for customization into the governance model makes it stronger, because users will see less of a need to find a “work around.” It makes us marketers, communications experts, and designers. Which are nice add-ons to Information Manager.

#control #Taxonomy #governance #compliance #InformationGovernance