[former 2005 blog] Information Management as a Unified Discipline

Until quite recently, Information Management (IM) practitioners have practiced their craft in isolation. Typical stereotypes and perceptions often portrayed records managers belonging to the basement, IT specialists in high paced I can do anything settings, Librarians in I go on managing my collections and serials mindsets and business users in why does IT not solve my problems as expected exasperations. This era is coming to an end. Why? The commoditization of IT, the increasing pressure to achieve better cost-efficiency and higher management expectations are forcing IM to reorganize itself into a coherent field of practice. IM is becoming more “unified” or “integrated”.

IM occupies the following problem space:

IMN - IM Problem Space.jpg

That 3-D grid, not meant to be exhaustive, has over 360 intersection points. It is not surprising that large organizations have difficulties leveraging the best of records management, library management and IT together. These narrower disciplines do not, typically, approach IM holistically.

IM leaders and managers need frameworks to practice their craft. Accountants have their financial reports and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Project managers have their Work Breakdown Structures and charts. Information managers need Strategic IM Frameworks (SIMF).

SIMFs help organizations to explicitly consider and define the following elements:

  • IM Vision
  • IM Principles
  • IM Directives
  • IM Architecture

The last element of SIMFs, the IM Architecture, includes all necessary and sufficient components that are needed to deploy and maintain an integrated information environment:

  • Information Context (the business)
  • Information Requirements
  • Information Resources
  • Information Activities
  • Information Roles, Services & Products
  • IM Standards / Education / Training
  • Recorded Information (includes data, records and publications)
  • Information Technology
  • Architecture Optimization

More information on all these components can be found in the 2005 Fall issue of the Canadian Military Journal.

published originally on 7 December 2005