Implementing your ERM Program

By Carl Weise posted 12-14-2012 11:15


Electronic Records Management (ERM) is more than technology, and implementing an ERM program requires more than purchasing software and hoping for the best.  It requires development of records management policies, controls and processes.

It requires creation of records management instruments (metadata model, content and records taxonomy and security schemes).  And it requires a lot of change management and communication as you move from the current way of working to an ERM-enabled way of working.

ISO/TR 15489-2:2001; Information and documentation -- Records management -- Part 2: Guidelines, the global standard for records management, provides an implementation methodology which can lead to your success.  It includes the following 8 steps, A-H:

A.  Conduct preliminary investigation

B.  Analyze business activity

C.  Identify requirements for records

D.  Assess existing systems

E.  Identify strategies to satisfy requirements

F.  Design records system

G.  Implement records system, and

H.  Conduct post-implementation review

It is made up of two separate cycles: the planning and assessment cycle, and the design and implementation cycle.

Step A - In this step, you conduct an initial high-level assessment to determine its administrative, legal, and business environments so that it can determine how it will need to manage records.   It will help to identify the records-related challenges that you face and help you understandwhat is doable within a particular time frame.   And it will result in defining the scope of the programme and the development of a high-level programme charter.

Step B – Carry out an analysis of business activity.  This serves as the baseline for your project in terms of what is done and how it is done.  It will result in an understanding of how the project area is structured and how it actually gets work done.

Step C - Identify requirements for records to create, keep, and receive records of its business activities and to document the requirements in a structured and maintainable form.

Step D - Determine what systems are in place and which ones capture content and records.  Some of these will be records repositories, but many of them will be line of business applications which may create content and records but not manage them effectively.   The assessment looks to determine whether content and records are being captured correctly, and if not, what needs to happen to ensure that they are.  It also looks at both the technical and operational performance of those systems to determine whether they are as effective as they could be.  Any gaps that are identified are noted and used as part of the business case for the new system, and inform the requirements definition.

Step E - The next step in the process for designing and implementing a records management system is to identify strategies for satisfying records requirements.  In this step, you determine which policies, procedures, and tactics are necessary in order to create the appropriate records control framework. 

At the end of this step, you should have a framework in place to ensure that content and records are created, used, and managed appropriately.  This framework will then impact the design or updates to applicable records management systems.

Step F - Design the processes, tools, and systems required to implement the program according to the requirements.

 In this step, you will work with subject matter experts and users to produce a detailed system design.  Outputs from this stage might include detailed project plans, documentation of changes to requirements, the detailed system design including architectural diagrams and models, file plans, support plans, and the implementation plan. 

Step G – You then develop and implement the designs for the program.

Step H - You conduct a post-implementation review.  This allows the opportunity to step back from the implementation process and review the system as delivered and the delivery process to identify gaps and areas for improvement.

This call for establishing a monitoring regime moving forward so that small changes can be addressed before they require big changes and big changes can be anticipated and addressed in an orderly fashion.

Taking a systematic approach to implementing your ERM program will ensure its success.

Tell us about your experiences in implementing your ERM program.

How did you benefit from taking a systematic approach?


I will be speaking at the following events:

January 23rd, 2013  AIIM 1-day ECM Practitioner Class in Silver Spring, MD

January 24th, 2013  AIIM 1-day Taxonomy Practitioner Class in Silver Spring, MD 

#ERM #ElectronicRecordsManagement #ECM