You May Be a Next Generation Records Manager If…

DJ's hand on audio mixer[Editor’s Note: This is an updated reprint of an article I originally posted to the old NextGenRM.org site. I made a few minor changes, but for the most part, I thought it still remained as valid today as it did when it was first published almost two years ago. As always, questions and comments are encouraged. –Don]

With appropriate apologies to Jeff Foxworthy for essentially stealing his routine (and simultaneously making it a lot less amusing), here is my list of reasons why you may be a Next Generation Records Manager:

If you believe e-discovery requirements have fundamentally invalidated the pointless ‘Is it a record?’ debate and consider all recorded information a record that must be managed through its entire lifecycle…you may be a Next Generation Records Manager.

If you believe virtually all multi-stage retention schedules were created to accommodate paper-based records storage requirements and are wholly unnecessary in an electronic records repository…you may be a Next Generation Records Manager.

If you think the email records management ‘problem’ can be tamed with a couple well-documented policies, a few out-of-the-box archiving features and the aid of a simple (and inexpensive) record declaration product…you may be a Next Generation Records Manager.

If you believe that information governance is just another way of referring to the effective management of information through its entire lifecycle and that Records Managers have been practicing information governance since ancient Egyptians first applied beeswax to papyrus…you may be a Next Generation Records Manager.

If you understand that the information contained in a record doesn’t magically lose its lifecycle management requirements just because your organization has stopped creating that record as unstructured content and converted them to rows in a database…you may be a Next Generation Records Manager.

If you understand that the tremendous volumes of recorded information organizations now produce has made the notion of approving the destruction of each separate item completely unrealistic…you may be a Next Generation Records Manager.

If the notion of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a ‘records management product’ and then hiring an army of consultants to support its implementation, only to have your final solution fall well short of most of your performance goals makes your head explode…you may be a Next Generation Records Manager.

If you believe hardware and software obsolescence and the viability of long-term electronic storage devices are critical areas of concern that fit perfectly within the records management domain…you may be a Next Generation Records Manager.

If you believe metadata is an essential component of any electronic record, but also understand that each required metadata field added to a record content type will exponentially reduce the likelihood that users will adopt the system…you may be a Next Generation Records Manager.

If you are aware of the long list of risks associated with cloud computing, but understand that it is undeniably the future of Information Technology and so want to proactively develop practical records management policies that support compliant information lifecycle management in a cloud environment…you may be a Next Generation Records Manager.

If you are perfectly comfortable with the idea that ‘records management applications’ of the late 90’s and early 2000’s have been replaced by records management service components of broadly diverse information lifecycle management systems…you may be a Next Generation Records Manager.

If you find the notion of relying on a decades-old, paper-process based electronic records management standard – one which has never really proven effective to begin with – professionally offensive…you may be a Next Generation Records Manager.

Finally, if you recognize the critical importance of proactively establishing policies for managing the lifecycle of information created as the result of new trends in technology (social media, BYOD, mobility, etc.) and you’re willing to work aggressively to make that happen…you may be a Next Generation Records Manager.


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