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7 information management questions every organization should ask! 

Hey there! I’m Barbara Hemphill, and I want to take you on a journey into the heart of a passion that has been brewing in me for years. The world of business is changing, and it’s crucial for your company’s success that your employees are ready to adapt. As companies face workforce cutbacks and an increase in remote work, the workload remains unchanged, and in many instances, increasing. Join me in unveiling the evolution of my speech, “The Seven (7) Information Management Questions Every Organization Should Ask.”

In this speech, I share the growing complexity of accessing valuable company information. Whether it’s passwords, emails, or crucial client contract details, the ease of generating data has led to an information management crisis. Poor information management breeds inefficiency, stress, poor customer service, and significant financial costs.

You might wonder how I became so passionate about this. Well, it all started with the realization that most companies never mastered paper management, and electronic documents in many companies created a bigger, faster, hidden mess. Picture this: 1,000 electronic documents scattered across different locations, some possibly lost forever due to obsolete technology.

According to a survey by the International Data Corporation, 76% of executives consider information “mission critical,” yet 60% feel their employees struggle to find what they need. Knowledge workers spend about 30% of their workday searching for information. The impending data explosion is real – by 2025, experts estimate 463 exabytes of data created daily globally. (Here’s an elaboration of the quote you used above — can you insert some of it — from Mark Diamond, President & CEO of Contoural, the largest digital management company in the US:

  • Employees spend on average 4-6 hours per weeks search for email and other documents, a productivity loss of 2-3 hours per week per employee
  • When employee turnover occurs “siloed” information is effectively lost.
  • Work-from-home without proper information management is hobbling collaboration 

Lost Productivity Across 5,00-Person Division 

5000 employees x 3 lost hours/week x 52 weeks = 750,000 hours/ year   (Since I don’t want to work with Fortune 100 companies like he does, could you do the math and make this apply to a company with 500 employees?)

So, when is the information management meltdown happening? It’s not a matter of if, but when. That’s why I’ve crafted seven essential questions for every organization:

  1. What information do we need to keep?
  2. In what form?
  3. For how long?
  4. Who is responsible for filing it?
  5. Who needs access to it?
  6. How can we find it?
  7. How is it backed up?

Let’s delve into each question:

1. What information do we need to keep? Start with your company’s mission, goals, and regulatory requirements. Also, consider creating information that adds value — for example, more user-friendly procedures.

2. In what form? Most paper isn’t worth converting to digital, but as data increases, electronic storage becomes essential. Engage in a intentional transition to Almost Paperless™ effectively.

3. For how long? Create a user-friendly and easily accessible records retention plan, eliminate unnecessary duplication, and avoid overstuffed filing cabinets and hard drive.

4. Who is responsible for filing it? Implement “The Originator’s Rule™” – whoever creates a document is responsible for its retention. This avoids multiple team members filing the same information.

5. Who needs access to it? Control access to private data through electronic filing systems. Give access based on necessity.

6. How can we find it? Establish effective file management, mechanics, and maintenance. Naming conventions and version control are critical challenges in the digital world.

7. How is it backed up? In a survey, 43% of professionals lost important electronic information due to computer or hard-drive failures. Ensure a reliable backup system.

In conclusion, clutter is postponed decisions®. While there’s no quick fix for past mistakes, we can avoid future issues. Today’s mail is tomorrow’s pile. Let’s create a system today for informed decisions about the information we create and receive.

Let me know how I can help you bring value to your audience. Complete my speaker request form for a detailed discussion on “The Seven (7) Information Management Questions Every Organization Should Ask.” Together, we can tackle the information management challenge and set your organization on a path to success.

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