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Blog The Principles

Integrity is all about the corporate information being reliable and authentic, the reliability of training and direction to employees, the reliability of all the systems infrastructure hardware and software in the Corporation and about adhering to the policies and procedures of the Corporation.

Integrity is one of my favourite principles because this is where the rubber meets the road.

If your employees aren’t told what you expect of them and are not trained to do the right thing the wheels will fall off the wagon completely. If your network is faulty and your email never works this will be very difficult to do.

Number 1 in the Maturity Model says that we have neither defined processes nor audits to see if anyone is doing rational things. This also means that we do the best we can without things in place but it is not good enough.

Number 2 talks about metadata which is usually defined as “data about data” being attached to information. That would be like author name and creation date attached to a Microsoft Word document so that someone could have a chance to prove who created the document and when. This is really important to many of the principles. The term chain of custody comes into play which equates to how information moves from one person to another and the reliability of that information of who has touched it and when.

Number 3 talks about the appropriate data elements demonstrating compliance with the corporate policies. It also states that we have defined goals related to integrity. I just have to say again that some of this is very difficult if not impossible without a quality electronic solution to assist in these requirements.

Number 4 speaks to metadata requirements again and specifically talks about security and signature requirements as part of the metadata. Just as an aside I truly believe that this takes an appropriate electronic solution but electronic signatures and their complexity is not always required. In a trusted network environment a secure audit trail of someone doing a function should suffice (just my take) but always check with your corporate council to get the final blessing for that. I just know that the smaller the organization the less capability you have to deal with more complexity.

Number 5 definitely requires audit, a secure and well implemented electronic solution as well as clearly defined goals and corporate support to guarantee success.

Since this is the third principle lets recap – We need:

  • Corporate senior management support
  • A good program
  • Solid information management policies
  • A solid electronic solution
  • Possible corporate metadata standards

I just want to let you know that all of these, especially the corporate metadata standards, will be very time consuming and difficult. You might want some help with some of this as well as the total corporate support you will need for this assignment.

The other thing I will suggest is an ARMA membership which will land you in the company of like-minded folks that will help you with advice free of charge. Professional consultants could also assist given that that will cost more than free advice.