RIM shot — Finding the Humour in What We Do

RIM shot — Finding the Humour in What We Do

(Please note: Some cartoons originally posted in this article caused some technical difficulties, so they have been temporarily removed and replaced with links. Hopefully we will be able to restore the original images soon.)

I’m always on the look out for humourous cartoons to use in training materials and the Dilbert comic strip by Scott Adams continues to delight.  Over the years, I’ve found great strips on a variety of information management topics like the discoverability of e-mail, original or ‘wet ink’ signatures, and records retention.  I’ve been using the following records retention strip for many years to give students a humourous look at how not to do records retention.

I also mine Dilbert for cartoons on topics related to the practice of information management such as strategic planning, project management, social media, cloud computing, and email usage.  Check out the end of this post for some of my favourite strips on these and other topics.

I found Scott Adams’ July 19th characterization of off-site storage as putting “trees in jail” particularly funny, but also very apt.  There are lots of organizations whose sizeable collections of poorly indexed and rarely accessed records are effectively serving life sentences off-site because retention periods (even if they exist) can’t be applied without significant time and effort.  How many of your organization’s records are in jail?


If you’re not a follower of Dilbert (you can set an alert to receive each day’s new strip here), you may also want to check out his July 18th post about of-site storage.

Dilbert cartoons are searchable here and there are options to buy, license, share, email, and print each strip.  Although the site says strips are available from January 1, 1989 to date, I wasn’t able to find some of my favourite strips when I searched the site by keyword/subject.  But I could find them if I searched by publication date (or clicked through numerous strips covering the approximate time periods in which I thought they were published).  Here are some of my favourite IM and IM-related posts.  Enjoy!

Discoverability of Email


Original or ‘wet ink’ signatures


Strategic Planning


Project Management


Social Media


Cloud Computing


Email Usage


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    Sheila Taylor
  • Sheila Taylor is a well known consultant, educator, speaker and writer with more than 25 years of experience in the information management (IM) field.

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    Case in Point

    That's A Lot of Records!
    Often the requirement for a needs assessment is driven by a specific initiative being considered or an immediate problem to be solved, rather than a general desire to establish a corporate (or organization-wide) IM program. We had a client wanting to improve its management of a specific group of critical records – thousands of member files in paper, microform and digital formats containing hundreds of unique document types.
    Assess, Plan and Schedule
    Ergo reviewed the organization’s current practices for managing those records, compared those practices to best practices, and identified risks and areas for improvement. From there we developed a strategic plan with a focus on records storage and retention. The plan identified the operational, financial and technological requirements for implementing the recommended changes, improvements and enhancements in the lifecycle management of the member records. Activities in the plan were classified as short term (next 6-12 months), medium term (next 12-24 months) and longer term (next 25+ months).
    Step by Step Success
    Implementation of the strategic plan enabled this organization to ensure its member records are properly identified, organized, accessible, protected and retained as long as necessary to meet operational and other requirements.
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