On a recent cross-country flight, I had the opportunity to catch up on some reading and had the good fortune to have downloaded the slide deck and speaking notes to a presentation that Russell Stalters did at LegalTech last year. Russell is the Director, Information & Data Management at BP and one of the most respected people in the records management field. The session was titled, “Don’t Build Your E-Discovery Program on a Digital Landfill” and although I didn’t see it live, I found the archived presentation very interesting. In fact, I think it’s a must read.
Although there were many key takeaways from the presentation, what struck a chord in me was when Russell talked about the people and business considerations involved in a records information management (RIM) project. He stressed the importance of creating a corporate governance council with members from legal, IT, records management, compliance and the business side of the organization. It’s all about getting the right people engaged in the project and getting them aligned on an end goal.
This theme was echoed in the sessions at AIIM/Info360 that I attended a couple weeks ago. In a previous post, I mentioned Dan Vasey from Charter Communications who spoke about their RIM program in the Microsoft SharePoint track. His presentation talked about the importance of getting programs and policies in place as well as understanding the organizational and cultural side of implementing a RIM program. The focus at Charter is as much on people as it is on technology.
Colligo spends a great deal of time working with legal firms and companies implementing compliance, e-discovery and records information management programs. In reflecting back on our client engagements over the past few years, I’ve found that the most successful projects always had a “champion” who understood the people, cultural, and business needs of their organization. When our clients have a solid sponsor and a clear understanding of the business requirements, or are at least working in that direction, projects are deployed quicker and adopted more readily. The converse is true as well. It seems obvious, but is easy to forget.