Benchmarking: Measuring and Improving your IM
What is it?
Benchmarking creates a snapshot of your current information management (IM) program or formal IM practices and compares the program/practices (and their results) with IM standards (e.g. the ISO 15489 records management standard) and best practices (e.g. Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles), applicable legislated requirements for managing information, and your organization’s own stated policies and procedures for managing information. Benchmarking can be conducted organization-wide or limited to individual departments. Benchmarking can also be limited to specific types of records (e.g. e-mails) or to specific elements of an IM Program (e.g. its governance structure).
Who is it for?
Organizations who have formal IM programs or practices in place (e.g. policies and procedures for records classification, retention and disposition) and who wish to assess and improve their management of recorded information. The main reasons for benchmarking an organization’s IM program or practices are to:
- Measure compliance (i.e. is the organization meeting its own defined standards for IM practice and the requirements of applicable standards and legislation?)
- Identify areas for future improvement (i.e. how does the organization compare to industry standards and comparable best practices?)
- Create a formal performance measurement program to support IM strategic planning (i.e. is the organization accomplishing its stated IM strategic objectives?)
What results can I expect?
We will gather data using various methods as appropriate (e.g. surveys, focus groups, physical inventory, etc.) to document the services offerred by your IM program and/or current IM practices, and their outcomes.
We will provide a detailed report comparing our findings to the applicable reference model (a combination of IM standards, best practices, legislation and your organization’s internal policies and procedures) to identify any gaps between current practices and the benchmarks. The report will also assess the risks of those gaps to your organization.
We will also provide prioritized recommendations for addressing any gaps or risks to provide your organization with an action plan for improvement.
Service At a Glance
We will compare your existing IM program or formal IM practices against IM industry benchmarks (standards and best practices), applicable legislation for managing information, and your organization’s own policies and procedures to identify gaps and risks, and recommend prioritized actions which can be used to address any deficiencies, set goals and objectives, or implement IM performance measurement.
Key Terms: Benchmarking, compliance, performance measurement, strategic planning
Case in Point: “What is IM’s Future?”
The Records Management and Archives Program at a not-for-profit organization was focused primarily on storing inactive paper records, managing archival records, and providing timely access to the records in its custody (e.g. meeting minutes).
We were retained to review the program and develop a strategy for its future growth and operation. We used our findings and business intelligence to develop a strategy to define and guide the program’s future direction. The strategy was aligned with the organization’s overall strategic directions and business plan priorities and addressed specific areas of alignment such as privacy, security and organizational readiness.
Well-received by senior management, implementation of the strategy resulted in the creation of a new position (Manager of Records and Archives) and an expanded mandate for managing the organization’s records.