I attended three ARMA meetings last week and guess what topic all of them focused on? You guessed it, Information Governance. It is the hottest topic in the records management space today. If you look up the term information governance on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_governance) , you will find numerous definitions and references. You could sit there and read for hours and hours. Also, there are many software solutions and methodologies that can help assist in helping manage and govern your organizations information. However, none of this matters unless you can convince your C-Level Executives that you need an InfoGov program and gain support from the top level down. Before joining FileTrail, I worked for a law firm for eight years. As with most organizations today, records management was viewed as a cost and not a benefit. We had no retention policy and we relied on a manual process using Microsoft Access to manage our physical records. As you might expect it was very time consuming to search and/or find information, and no one else had access to the information. Also, it was extremely difficult to dispose of the information when it was no longer needed.
Records Management is one of the core pillars of information governance. It provides a solid foundation for good governance practices, so I decided to develop a business case to select a third party software vendor to automate our records management process.
I’d like to share with you three tips that helped me Sell InfoGov to my C-Level Executives:
OBTAIN EXECUTIVE SPONSORSHIP
Obtaining executive sponsorship is the key to the success of your records and information governance program. If you don’t have the on-going support of a C-Level executive, your program will fail. Who your executive sponsor is will depend on the size and make-up of your organization. At the law firm, my executive sponsor was my executive director.
How to do it? Create a proposal that clearly outlines your organizations current situation, the problem with your current situation, the solution to the problem and the benefit of implementing the solution. If you need help developing this proposal ask the software vendor who is trying to get your business to help you out. After all, they are trying to win your business.
PARTNER WITH TECHNOLOGY STAFF
In most organizations, IT needs to sign off on the purchase of any new software applications. So, IT needs to be your best friend. IT cares about infrastructure and in a law firm environment, keeping the lawyers happy. They don’t care too much about records management, so you will need to take the lead on this project and own it.
How to do it? Schedule some time to discuss how records management can help IT manage your organizations information better. You will need to educate your IT department about records management because odds are, they do not have a clue. Also, put on your sales hat and take them out for food and drinks. Trust me I know from experience, it works!!!
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Records management professionals tend to be overcomplicated when getting the chance to sell InfoGov to C-Level Executives. At my firm, I had literally 5 minutes at a Partner meeting to explain my records management vision and convince them why we needed software to automate our processes.
How to do it? Keep it simple. I recommend using the below diagram as a visual aid when speaking to C-Level Executives.
The Bottom Line
I can honestly say that these three tips can work when trying to sell InfoGov to your C-Level Executives. It worked for me at my law firm and it proved to be a huge success. After all, I am now employed by the third party software vendor and now help organizations automate their records and information governance processes.
If you would like to continue this conversation, connect with me on twitter @jimerrifield or email JMerrifield@filetrail.com
Jim Merrifield, Director of Information Governance at FileTrail, Inc.