10 principles of effective information management

10 principles of effective information management

10 principles of effective information management
10 principles of effective information management

What is the information management?

is an umbrella term that encompasses all the systems and processes within an organisation for the creation and use of corporate information.

Information management (IM) concerns a cycle of organizational activity: the acquisition of information from one or more sources, the custodianship and the distribution of that information to those who need it, and its ultimate disposition through archiving or deletion.

What are the 10 principles of effective information management?

  • Recognize (and manage) complexity 
  • Focus on adoption 
  • Deliver tangible & visible benefits 
  • Prioritize according to business needs 
  • Take a journey of a thousand steps 
  • Provide strong leadership 
  • Mitigate risks 
  • Communicate extensively 
  • Aim to deliver a seamless user experience 
  • Choose the first project very carefully

1-Recognize (and manage) complexity:
There are many challenges that need to be overcome when planning and implementing information management projects.
  • New approaches to information management must be found that recognise (and manage) complexity. 
  • Organisations must stop looking for simple approaches. 
  • Successful information management is underpinned by strong leadership 
  • Risks must be identified and mitigated throughout the project 
  • Many small activities should be planned to address in parallel the many needs and issues.
2-Focus on adoption:
Information management systems are only successful if they are actually used by staff, and it is not sufficient to simply focus on installing the software centrally. In practice, most information management systems need the active participation of staff throughout the organisation. 

The challenge is to gain sufficient adoption to ensure that required information is captured in the system. Without a critical mass of usage, corporate repositories will not contain enough information to be useful.

3-Deliver tangible & visible benefits:
Creating a common data definition or taxonomy is great for efficient information management. However, very few users will ever notice these improvements. On the other hand, providing timely, reliable, and accurate operational management information will. Wrap back-end improvements into these.

4-Priorities according to business needs:
Base the planning process on ability to address business needs. Keep the overall technology strategy in mind, but focus on providing measurable business benefits.

5-Take a journey of a thousand steps:
Let go of the desire to create a perfect plan. The problem is too complex. ‘Analysis paralyses’ waits if you search for the perfect solution. Big improvements are achievable by implementing hundred, or even thousands, of small co-ordinate changes across the company.

6-Provide strong leadership:
Decide how the business will operate, including the information needed. Develop this vision and communicate it clearly.

7-Mitigate risks:
Apply good risk management to ensure success. Identify risks and define the approach to minimise their potential impact.

8-Communicate extensively:
Make sure everyone knows the business direction and desired outcomes. Remind them often. This way each business unit can make the best decisions to support the goal.

9-Aim to deliver a seamless user experience:
Users do not care about which system data came from. A seamless user experience hides the systems information is coming from. You do not need one large system, but aim for the users accessing whatever they need from one place.

10-Choose the first project very carefully:
The first project is the best (and possibly last) opportunity to prove the value of information management. Select a manageable project, with visible benefits; in an area of the business, everyone has an interest.

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The article Prepared by Helen Zhurkina.

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