More on ARMA and Records Management

Manage InformationFurther to my open letter from last week:

ARMA is at a critical tipping point in its 60+ year history. Hard decisions will have to be made very quickly. If the association wants to survive as an organization it must make a choice between two very distinct options:

Option 1 – Unilaterally declare that ‘information governance’ is simply a high-level description of the work records managers perform and return the association to its original mission of representing the records management professional.

Option 2 – Precisely articulate how information governance is a separate and distinct profession from records management and then choose which of the two separate professions the association wishes to represent. ARMA cannot choose to represent both professions. That’s not the way associations work. (Pilots and airplane mechanics are both in the aviation industry, for instance, but their jobs are very different from each other and the challenges that both professions face are unique to the specific work they perform. This is why you will find separate associations for professional pilots and professional airplane mechanics. This logic would apply to information governance and records management professionals in exactly the same way – assuming they are truly distinct from each other.)

Choosing Option 1 will result in a focused group of dedicated information lifecycle management professionals with a clear mission, ready to create and promote innovative methodologies for resolving the greatest information technology crisis of our generation.

If ARMA chooses Option 2, it will either join the ever-increasing list of associations that represent information governance professionals, enabling records management professionals to form their own new association. Or the association will choose to represent records management professionals, with the end result being identical to choosing Option 1.

Failure to execute on one of these two options will result in a continued decline in membership, an accelerated drop in conference attendance, and the eventual collapse of the association over the course of a few short years.

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