Friday, October 24, 2008

ARMA 2008 Wrap Up

Well I'm back from Vegas and ARMA conversations are still spinning in my head. I think the most striking thing I walked away with was that more records managers are recognizing that their organizations need a content management system - that they need a place to put content so they can manage it - with a records retention module so they can manage the restultant records and even retention manage the non-records.

I happened upon an article by Rich Grudman this morning that makes the case better than I could. It is a profile of the County of San Diego and their use of a content management system, including creating an intranet site to see status and check procedures. Great article.

More than anything, records managers should look for a system where
1) users can easily save content. If it enables novice users to simply drag and drop documents or emails to a desktop folder or a folder in the email client, that is a good place to start

2) enables more sophisticated users to check content in and provide more information - document type, keywords, or in the case of records-savvy users, associating the item with an area of the file plan

If users know that they can go back and search the system and predictably find their work, and the relevant work of others, adoption should be pretty easy.

I talked about some of this in a presentation I did two weeks ago to the Tacoma/Pierce County bar association. And the County of San Diego (and most of the people I met at ARMA) are in synch - we need an easy-to-use way to get content managed so that we can apply records management principles, to reduce risks, reduce costs and make our information more transparent so we can make better decisions.

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