IG and RM Policies and Procedures: Some Worst Practices

Just about every Doculabs client I work with needs help with the policies and procedures associated with records management (RM) and all the varieties of compliance associated with information governance (IG). Policies and procedures are always worth looking at, because on the one hand if they aren’t in good shape, you’re not going to have an effective ECM, RM, or IG program. And on the other hand, even if you don’t have the budget or ability to implement technology for your program, you can get surprisingly far with just good policies and procedures.

It would definitely be a problem if employees were indifferent or hostile to your company’s policies and procedures, but this is usually not the case, particularly in the financial services and insurance sectors. Most employees are willing and eager to follow policies and procedures in their daily work, but they face a number of challenges that make adherence more difficult.

Herewith, the organizational worst practices that make it more difficult to get your employees to get with your organization's IG and RM program:

  • Lack of policies and procedures in some areas—and often in all areas where electronic records are concerned
  • Lack of systems and processes in place to communicate policies and procedures—necessary if you are going to spread the word to employees
  • Employees unaware of or unclear about policies and procedures—because of the first two failures, causing the improper use of your document systems, the squirreling away of documents and other breakdowns in your program
  • Policies and procedures which are not operationally feasible—violating the first axiom of ethics, that “ought implies can,” and also ensuring that you have explicit policies that you aren’t following in practice
  • No enterprise process in place for creating, managing, and maintaining policies and procedures across the organization—to ensure that the policies and procedures are relevant the day after they are created

And while I have your attention, for a discussion of three best practices, see my recent post, IG and RM Policies and Procedures: Best Practices. And come back for an upcoming post, where I plan to outline the most common policies and procedures problems we see today in our clients, along with recommendations on how to address them.

Rich Medina
Rich Medina
I’m a Principal Consultant and co-founder of Doculabs, and the resident expert in using ECM for information lifecycle management.