Celebrate Records and Information Management Month With Advice From Real RIM Pros

Tori McClurg

National Records and Information Management Month is celebrated each year in April. It’s a month dedicated to emphasizing the importance of organized records. This annual event also provides the perfect opportunity to discuss how your enterprise can set itself up for RIM success. So, how does your organization measure up? Let’s hear from the experts.

What advice do you have for your peers?

“Keep pitching the idea!” says Heather Sharbaugh, Director of Academic Records at the Career Education Corporation. “It just takes getting in front of the right audience.”

Depending on your organization, you may have to convince your employees or employers to invest in the in a records and information management program. It takes a strong leader to show a team how to navigate RIM effectively; you can be that person if you take the time to educate and advise your team appropriately.

What is your biggest RIM challenge and how do you address it?

“The biggest RIM challenge has been trying to make Records Information Management a ‘sexy’ topic,” says Anthony Jaddou, Vice President and Director of Global Procurement at State Street Bank & Trust. “As such, we use various methods to engage internal clients via trivia games, internal social networks, roadshows, giveaways, training, etc.”

On the surface, many employees may not view records and information management as an exciting topic, but that could be because they don’t understand all of the capabilities of this particular organizational function. By inviting his colleagues to engage in games and giveaways, Jaddou is sharing important information in a fun, engaging environment.

Another challenge RIM professionals often face is archiving and organizing multiple systems. For example, Sharbaugh’s organization stores her students’ information in multiple places. This creates an ongoing challenge with accessibility, and with archiving. Her team is working to move all archived transcript and final student records to one system.

“We are about 75% done with this project; hopefully [it will be] completed by the end of this year,” says Sharbaugh.

Effective records and information management is a process that will continue to evolve and grow. It’s essential that you regularly reassess the health of your RIM program, and continue to make the necessary changes to keep it moving forward.

How do you measure the success of your RIM program?

“I measure success when I am able to teach someone something new about the risk and importance of proper records management,” says Jaddou. “It’s that moment when someone says … ‘Oh, I didn’t know that.’ I am also proud of how State Street has embraced and supported our advancement of the RIM program globally.”

Success in your RIM program could be something as small as teaching your employees something new about records management — or as large as expanding your program on a global scale. Remember: When it comes to RIM, each and every victory or improvement in your overall process can be a significant step in the right direction.

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