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Maturing Your RIM Program: Get Your RIM House in Order

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The 2012 Iron Mountain Compliance Benchmark Report gave us information that identifies most companies are…

The 2012 Iron Mountain Compliance Benchmark Report gave us information that identifies most companies are moving in the right direction and have a good foundation for Records Management improvement. According to the report:

  • 80% of organizations surveyed have formal Records and Information Management (RIM) policies.
  • 72% of organizations surveyed are very committed to RIM program improvement.
  • 94% of respondents intend to apply more budget and resources to RIM in the coming year.

 

However, the same report also revealed that only:

  • 37% of all respondents consistently apply RIM policies across the enterprise.

 

And that:

  • 36% of all respondents offer no or very limited RIM training.These are some troubling numbers. This identifies that many companies have a lot of work to do.

 

If you are in the 63% of respondents that do not consistently apply RIM policies across the enterprise and the 36% of respondents that offer no or very limited RIM training, incremental improvements may never get you were you want, or need to be. You may need a breakout project to get your house in order and set the course for ongoing steady-state compliance. Many companies would find great benefit from a project that would:

  • Establish clear and comprehensive RIM policies and procedures
  • Establish a legally credible comprehensive Records Retention Schedule
  • Establish RIM Governance – from executive oversight, down to and including local records coordinators
  • Train all employees in RIM
  • Establish RIM compliance as a job requirement. Remember, it only takes one individual retaining records or information that should have been disposed of, or disposing of records or information that should be retained – to sink the ship.
  • Perform a onetime Comprehensive Compliance Review of records and information to:
  • Dispose of records and information you don’t need
  • Identify record types and assign retention requirements per the Records Retention Schedule
  • Establish locations for all “active” and “inactive” Official Records of all media types (commonly called “Official Repositories”) which would then comprise an information map

 

This breakout project sets the RIM house in order, eliminating waste (the expense of keeping records and information no longer needed), reducing risk (out of date records and extraneous information are purged) and improving business efficiency (less time and expense for records retrieval, processing and storage, as well as reduced time and expense for legal discovery).

It doesn’t all need to be all done in one year, and (depending on the gap between the current state and future state) most likely cannot all be done in one year. Two to three years is often appropriate given the expertise, manpower, budget and implementation activity requirements.

Often the biggest obstacle is budget – where is the money going to come from? Despite the fact that companies are in business doing different things with different organizational structures – there is a common answer. That is the subject of the next blog entitled: “Maturing Your RIM Program: Money, Money, Who’s got the Money?”

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