Even though a multilayered review process has proven to be a critical factor in the success of records management programs, many small and medium-sized businesses still rely on single individuals to manage their records and data. If you’re one of these solo records managers, how can you build in a multilayered review process to optimize your records management operations?
For any review process to be successful, it must include a second set of eyes. While adding someone else from within your organization to the review process is often an ideal solution, you can also seek help externally.
The first place to look for potential reviewers is your audit or compliance department. On the one hand, these professionals could be the perfect partners to help review your records management processes, given the set of skills they’re likely to bring to the table. On the other hand, this option assumes that members of your audit or compliance department would be willing to learn some of the basic principles of records management to help you accurately assess your program.
Depending on the size and structure of your organization, it may also be wise to look to human resources professionals, project managers, process managers or other roles that involve strong attention to detail. Professional credentials are another good way to screen your colleagues. Another way to source potential reviewers is to look for colleagues with credentials that indicate skills relevant to your review process, such as Project Management Professional (PMP) or Six Sigma certifications. You also may find potential reviewers by looking for heavy users of records management software or people who are already relatively aware of records management principles.
If there’s no viable internal solution to implement a multilayered review process, seek out a solo records manager from another organization and simply swap review services with one another. A good way to start building this relationship is to attend local meetings or events held by the Association of Records Managers and Administrators (ARMA) International, the Information and Records Management Society (IRMS) or another information-related organization. Of course, this option could require a great deal of compliance-related screening.
In some cases, the simplest choice may be to hire a records and information management consultant to perform regular reviews of your records management processes. Because consultants are already knowledgeable and have useful insights from their experiences with other organizations, many companies choose to go this route. Beyond aiding solo records managers, consultants can complement even large organizations’ records management review processes.
While building a multilayered review process may be daunting, it’s imperative to do so. The worst thing you can do as an individual records manager is to assume that you’re doing everything correctly, only to find out later that you’ve made a costly mistake. Apply best practices and use a multilayered review process to safeguard and optimize your records management processes.