The two types of Records Management project

Yes, there are only two.

  1. Projects to achieve compliance.
  2. Projects to reduce the costs of compliance.

I think projects with any other goals come from an incorrectly broad definition of Records.

I think overly broad definitions of records are why we’re seeing organisations fail repeatedly at audit, and get in trouble with their regulators. They don’t really know what records is.

I also think this is why we’re starting to see organisations fined for not destroying records. They’re managing information, and not records.

The only reason to destroy information is that the storage cost exceeds the use value. If it is destroyed and you need it, you’re only up for the cost of recreating it, the regulator won’t care.

There are lots of reasons to destroy records, they’re generally codified in legislation.

There are also lots of reasons to retain records well past the point at which their storage costs exceed their use value, these are also codified in legislation.

There are only two types of Records Management projects, I think that once we’re outside of these what we are doing is valuable, but it isn’t records.

I think that distinction is important, and that many, many organisations are failing when they get to audit because they don’t know and understand what Records are, and just how important Records Management is to their organisation.

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