Organizations are similar to human bodies in the sense that they are born, they grow and they also die. In the course of their existence, all organisations accumulate records/ information that help them drive their business (es). Management of these records /information is key in keeping the organization alive. Poor or lack of management of these aspects can easily spell early death of an organisation.
Audit Process:Where to Start
After determining the “WHY” of the CRIM program audit process by identifying the drivers and stakeholders, determining the “how” of the process must begin. In basic terms, the CRIM program health check consists involves the following steps:
- Defining drivers,
- Gathering data, and
- Developing an action plan.
Building an Audit Team
Understanding the drivers and stakeholders will provide the framework within which to create the audit team. The organization’s unique characteristics will help guide its creation. Largely, this can be looked at in terms of whether the organisation is a public or private organisation.
- PUBLIC ORGANISATION
The drivers and stakeholders in this sector is inherently different from that of private sector. A public sector audit team should at least include:
- Organization records manager and support staff
- Industry RIM expert(s) ubject Matter Experts (SME)
- Other non-RIM program staff such as stakeholders and focus groups members
- Executive-level representation.
- PRIVATE ORGANISATION
A private sector audit team should at least include:
- A core team comprising an organizational records manager, project manager, and representatives from legal and IT
- Industry RIM expert(s)- also known as Subject Matter Experts (SME)
- Advisory committee comprising functional management as stakeholders and subject-matter experts
The composition of the audit team is an important consideration. As shown above, finding individuals with functional expertise in information technology, legal, and records management is a great start. Ideally, a handful of end users should be involved, if only to validate the approach and language. Small groups of quiet, supportive advisors from across the organization can go a long way toward enabling the team to reach the right audience in the right way to get honest and accurate answers about current practices.
The use of outside RIM experts can be helpful as well. They can provide objective counsel regarding practices at other, similar organizations in the given industry or segment, and –
by virtue of their expertise alone – they can provide reasonable context for launching a RIM program audit.