Information Governance Part 1: 10 Steps to Create a Solid IG Strategy

In this two-part series, you'll learn bout how an effective information governance strategy manages data in a holistic and well-defined way. It's an essential part of your organization's data management plan that will effectively share information and create a culture of integration between departments, systems, and disciplines. But setting up a framework to work for your particular organization can be overwhelming.

Here are the ten steps you need to take to create a solid information governance strategy:

1) Establish An Advisory Committee - Assemble a team of people across the organization - from IT to legal to customer support - that will oversee strategy objectives, a project plan, and implementation timeline. You'll get ideas from across the board and can ensure each role and responsibility is considered every step of the way.

2) Know What You Have To Do - Determine regulatory requirements before starting your information governance journey. That way, you'll know what is mandatory and can keep directives in mind when looking at data security and strategy options.

3) Evaluate What You Have - Look at current content types, models, search functions and collection methods. Your existing information architecture will determine where you can go and what you can do, so it's essential to wrap your mind around what you have right off the bat.

4) Determine Content Flow - Your content is already created, used, managed and deleted in specific ways. Take a step back and evaluate what's working and what isn't so you can create a functional system. If you already have an IG system in place, consider its effectiveness across departments and in daily workflow.

5) Plan, Plan, Plan - At this point, it's time to get into the weeds with the committee you've created. Whether you're starting from scratch or revamping your current system, you can't afford to just �wing it.� Analyze what you know and determine policies and procedures. And consider the reality and practicality of new processes and methods.

6) Define A Strategy - Make sure you're creating a strategy with a holistic approach to the organization. Create a formal document that determines authority, policies, processes and visibility throughout the information lifecycle - and be specific.

7) Invest In Infrastructure - The proper IG solution should automate and identify, categorize and store information. You need to acquire the tools and expertise that will create business value and increase IT efficiency, as well as an outside perspective in how you can effectively organize information.

8) Implement Training Programs -  Implementing a new system and processes is not always easy for employees. While designing formal training classes (in-person or online) may provide additional resources to ensure onboarding is easy and pain-free, some solutions enable this knowledge transfer much more seamlessly than others. The key here is to find the right solution to minimize your training time and expense.

9) Use Metrics - Make sure your information governance strategy is working by measuring its progress and success (as defined in your own terms). You should give this information to team members so they feel included and can take action or provide input if necessary.

10) Stay Flexible - Keep communicating about how your information governance strategy is working after implementation. Expect adjustments and changes to the system as the transition takes place, always track changing regulatory requirements and understand that information governance is an ongoing initiative deserving regular auditing.

Building a successful and reliable information governance program takes time, but DRS Imaging can help you get started. We have the experience necessary to guide you every step of the way. Plus, we will tailor our tools and systems to meet your unique business needs.