Every so often, as part of our own “compliance culture,” we revisit old concepts, slides, communications, etc.
Today, it is IG by Design’s turn.
Initially, when we presented IG by Design, we tended to use a bit too many technical terms and consultant-speak.
In our new version, we simplified this.
Basically, IG by design means preventative information governance!
Like preventative healthcare (and Privacy by Design), IG by Design looks to address problems before they occur – in other words, at the earliest stage possible, such as when you are building your systems.
For example, when building a system for managing data, IG by Design asks (we know that it is inanimate) – is your system scalable? Can it handle large amounts of data without crashing? Is it flexible and user-friendly?
Same with policies and procedures – IG by Design asks whether they are easily understandable, appropriate for your organization, and adaptable – it does not make sense to train staff using hard-to-understand or opaque policies!
And, the same for project organization – An organization using IG by Design will make sure that they have the right project staff in place and enough support and budget available before starting – so that they are not blindsided mid-project!
Different types of organizations have different IG needs. This is not only true with respect to matters such as organizational complexity and sector regulation level (although these are always issues) but also with the type of organization that is seeking to improve its IG practices.
For example, public sector organizations may have certain personnel challenges that may not be as apparent in the private sector, including the presence of many long-time change-averse employees as well as newer employees who are more likely to leave the organization when frustrated with its records management practices.
Another issue is revenue – state and local governments often tend to raise revenue by levying fines and penalties, and they need to be in a position to locate the records supporting that! The same is true for Freedom of Information Act requests, which are unique to the government sector.
Still another issue is paper. Due to issues including organizational longevity, budgets, and change aversion, it is not uncommon for many public sector entities to have significant data that is still in paper format. This is not only expensive but increases the risks that the organization will miss out on key business data or even, remain completely in the dark about what data it actually does have!