In the January issue of this magazine, ARMA NCR suggested an approach to respond to the requirements and challenges issued by Open Government. The article proposed a model to focus a CIO’s team to align the work of those managing content (IM) with those who can make it happen (IT).
The Business Information Model (BIM) was proposed. It emphasises a new view. Aimed less at the old data and Information Management lifecycle silo approaches, rather, BIM advocates all parties aim at managing information following a united path versus previous unique lifecycle models.
To review, the BIM cycle has four steps. Needs – emphasizing business analysis to ensure gap analysis is performed which in turn feeds the Design of frameworks, policies or databases to address the gaps. It also emphasises Manage but in a manner that goes beyond the maintenance of the data and record sets to ensure existing disposition practices can be harnessed. Consistent management practices allow data and information to remain current with its context and application. Also, this step applies delineation or removal of info via standard lifecycle management accountabilities. The culmination is to Leverage the articulation of knowledge via business intelligence tools.
There are three tactical advantages of following the BIM model. First is that it defines and strengthens the term “Manage.” Indeed, while previous data solutions present themselves as “managing information,” management here in BIM implies “alignment with IM policy and all affiliated IM governance that emanates from this policy.”
Data Management has described its processes via DMBOK. But that model lacks the ability to broker the deal on disposition. BIM works to ensure “management of information” is included via the inclusion of IM retention schedules against all information holdings. The ability to remove data records from the cycle, as their relevance either expires or exceeds retention definitions, is crucial to reduced costs and long-term accountabilities.
Second, BIM also emphasizes the need that information be “leveraged.” Articulating this term ensures all work is focused on the true business potential information has. While most models end with purge or disposition, Open Data will see that data sets, those we once thought of little value, now have the potential to be renewed. Thus, BIM feeds future improvements back to the design phase seen in “Needs.”
Given that the Canadian government CIO, Corinne Charette, has said that the role of today’s CIO “is evolving away from technical specialist to digital leader and business partner,” (2013 GTEC Opening Speech) now is the time to better understand the Business Information Model.
In part three of this series, ARMA NCR will explain how that BIM is directly aligned with the three Activity Streams as set out in Canada’s Action Plan on Open Government: Open Data, Open Information and Open Dialogue. The Action Plan outlines the various projects that seek to make information accessible and managed in an accountable manner. Applying the BIM structure allows CIOs to launch the discussion among all interested parties.
Author: Trevor Banks, president of ARMA NCR Chapter. Visit www.armancr.ca. ARMA NCR is a member of ARMA International, a non-profit whose aim is to educate, advocate and provide resources to the community of records and information management. ARMA NCR hosts IM Days each fall in the National Capital Region. Participate in defining the BIM further.