Special Interest Group: Government

DoD Records and Information Management Challenges

  • 1.  DoD Records and Information Management Challenges

    Posted 04-24-2018 18:22

    In the DoD space, I see RIM related or affecting "automation" coming from a few places and would like to explore what that means to better managing the information flowing through the digital pipes.

     1) Homegrown - buried in some generic support contract or generic IT support. There is no specific funded requirement for RIM, but there may be some purchases (not acquisitions) of RIM supportive stuff like data bases, office tools, archives. And there may be internal developments going on. We have these at JITC and I've seen them at DHA and other places.   Here the people providing the solutions may not even be IT in the traditional sense. It may be a special projects group. And Records and Information Management gurus won't be invited into the table because even if someone thinks about it "they just make things harder." How do we reach these areas?

     2) Part of another IT-related acquisition - This is what OMB-A130 targets. Build in RIM, don't bolt it on. These are funded programs and should have some sort of Information Support Plan that includes RIM aspects.  Primarily the focus has been interoperability, at least from my test-centric perspective.

    3) Purpose built/acquired - These are specific content management solutions that can be configured to support RIM. Many COTS fit here and are generally included as basis or components for the acquisitions mentioned in 2). Or they may be a stand-alone purchase to just do RM or CM or DM or ?

     4) RIM Services/micro services - This may be emerging related to content content services. Because of the fundamental nature of services, I want to say that this perspective will help guide us to architected, engineered, integrated, interoperable and curated information ecosystems. But, because of what I've experienced with DISA's implementation of services, the integration, interoperability, and curation happen at the desktop via the bio-component. Certainly not acceptable.

    Thoughts?  Ideas?  Observations? 

    Jana Gallatin
    test officer
    DoD 5015.02

  • 2.  RE: DoD Records and Information Management Challenges

    Posted 04-26-2018 06:48

    First, it was great seeing you in San Antonio at AIIM18!  Also, thank you for attending our <g class="gr_ gr_98 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling ins-del multiReplace" id="98" data-gr-id="98">FEDSIG</g> interest meeting there.  You have been one of my information heroes for many years and I'm very glad to have you in this online community.

    Here are my thoughts...really just one thought spread out into too many words.

    Regarding all of the options you discuss, there is a common thread.  Whether you are a RIM specialist, IT, or some related discipline, you have to get out of your silo, move around in the organization and meet the other stakeholders -- all of them.  Build relationships with them.  Take them to coffee.  Learn about what makes them tick, what keeps them up at night, and the organizational pressures they face every day.  Then, once there is trust, share your ideas.  Win them over.  Build an alliance.  Start a revolution -- together.  Have fun with it even.

    This will take some time, but whatever option is best given an organization's resources, the chances for success are far less likely unless great attention is paid to the "people" part of the "people, process, tech, info" stack.  We big picture thinkers, we information professionals (whether certified or not) must teach, explain, tell stories, and cajole.  This is the art, the grease, the social fabric of our profession.  I don't like the term "soft skill."  Rather I prefer this human skill set as a critical attribute of our profession.

    Honestly, I have to look in the mirror when I say these things.  The folks who do what we do are not generally gregarious types, to our own detriment, and the detriment of the information for which we are the stewards.  We must become that extrovert as a part of our professional development, for GS types, I'd say as a part of our "service."  How's that?

    Mark Patrick, CIP, CDR USN (Ret.)
    Chairman, Board of Directors
    AIIM International

  • 3.  RE: DoD Records and Information Management Challenges

    Posted 05-22-2018 10:21

    Good thoughts and discussion.  I hope to encourage you both with an update from ground zero at Headquarters AF (HAF).  The AF is moving to the DoD Office 365 Cloud as you know.  There is a big records policy clean-up effort underway at the Headquarters AF ( being led by AFSPC who is sending their RM team out to HAF for one week each month to work with Records Managers to clean up all the outdated schedules.  Their goal is to reduce the size of file plans by 50% minimum.  Some have been able to reduce theirs by as much as 90%!

    Where the rubber meets the road in most organizations there is more interest in getting out of content chaos than managing Records. The solutions we are piloting support both.  It feels to me like the first 3 approaches Jana listed were stairsteps that needed to happen. Knowing how long you have both been champions in this space I hope to encourage you that the move to Office 365 combined with the integration of a few 3rd party solutions are enabling the AF, and eventually DoD, to move into the 4th Area Jana describes without the problem of depending on the end-user to do everything right.

    I think Mark touches on a great point regarding the human element of it all.  As much as we'd like to have all of this automated using AI, someone has to teach the AI and keep it up to date.  As much as the size and complexity of DoD brings challenges it can be a great enabler if we can tap into its people the right way.  Uniting our experts in this space, leading with clear policy and guidance and evangelizing whenever possible will keep us on the path to a bright future.

    Jason Marshall

    Jason Marshall
    Managing Director
    ACES Group

  • 4.  RE: DoD Records and Information Management Challenges

    Posted 05-29-2018 13:36
    ​I read an article on our internal board last week about the idea of "Application Rationalization" when moving into the cloud.
    The point of the article was to dissuade people from doing a "plunk of junk" from one hosting environment to another.  For quite a while I've been making noise about this same issue with data.

    Instead of "rationalizing" though, I'd go with "justifying."  Why do we need to move this data?  I'm using the word "data" here with purpose.  The people who should be charged with the actual movement see it as bits.  The people who own it need to do the justifying that it has value exceeding the cost of cleaning it up and doing the move.  As it stands now, this movement of data is a "plunk of junk" either by offering bulk move tools to the desktop or it happens as part of the onboarding of new capabilities in the contract.  We are missing a valuation step that should happened fairly often.

    Jana Gallatin
    test officer