What does the ‘value of information’ mean to you? According to Wikipedia (we know, not the most authoritative source!) it is ‘the amount a decision maker would be willing to pay for information prior to making a decision’. Do you agree or is there more to it?
When this question was recently posed to participants at the recordkeeping training survey focus groups, lively discussion ensued. And yes, whilst the need to emphasise the dollar value and the risk associated with poor information management was raised, discussions focussed more around:
- changing the language of, and culture around, recordkeeping
- making information management seamless
- embedding information management into standard business practice.
So what does this mean?
Participants saw the use of the word ‘recordkeeping’, and its associated terminology, as archaic, administration-focussed and paper-based and as promoting recordkeeping as a separate entity. They believed that through championing such terms as ‘information management’, ‘knowledge management’ and ‘information curation’, information would become anchored in the present and be business focussed.
By changing how the management of records/information is referenced, participants thought a shift could be affected in the culture of agencies away from recordkeeping as an ‘add-on’ activity and towards information management as being a vital link underpinning all business activities. Information management would become an asset as valuable as financial and physical assets and people.
Continued discussion around the language used for recordkeeping also identified the need for recordkeeping to be seamless, an activity that is undertaken by the majority without knowledge of specific recordkeeping mechanisms or systems. Participants stated that the current language and focus of recordkeeping revolves around the implementation of processes and systems and not around the value of the information contained within those emails, reports and interactions that must be captured. As a result, it was proposed that a seamless approach was needed where the value of managing information properly is seen by everyone without the need to think, or act, like a Records Manager.
Do you agree or does the value of information mean something different to you?