Earlier this month, Farmers Insurance Group, Inc. was honored with the highest award for Records Management and Information Governance, “Excellence for an Organization,” by ARMA International.
The award recognized the achievements that our organization has made in the implementation and enhancement of our Records and Information Governance program as defined by the Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles® and the ARMA Maturity Model®. ARMA announced the award in InfoPro Magazine and at the ARMA Live Conference in Orlando.
My father turns 86 years old today. Like many of his generation, he has great pride in the achievements and potential of the human race, its awesome computing power and the marvelous scientific inventions it has recently given birth to. His memories are rich and full of detail, but the records that are most important to him are those that tell the story of his family, that remind him of the ones he loves. It’s wonderful that we now have so many new ways of creating and sharing those records, but for me it has always been the content that defines a good record, not the container it comes in.
Dad’s life has been subtle and yet epic. He was part of the first college basketball game where opposing teams scored over 100 points. In 1952, the same squad from Seattle University overcame Goose Tatum’s Harlem Globetrotters in a historical buzz beater. In his later years, he developed incredible friendships with great talents, helped elect a Governor and built a fine career as a doctor. While I may never experience all that my Father has, making sure I preserve his records helps the whole family appreciate not just Dad, but what Dad and Mom represent, the importance of hard work, self-reliance, treating everybody with dignity and the spirit of living life to its fullest.
It’s that poise and perspective that has always served Raymond Moscatel well in life and why I believe that at the end of the day, the only information and data that matters are the records that remind us of the people we love and how lucky we are to live another day together. Everything else on the periphery, is more or less a minor detail that will ultimately be lost to our collective history.
Keeping good family records, whether they be old movies, the family tree, scrap books or diaries is as critical to maintaining a family’s legacy as vital records are to corporations. By collecting and preserving these records we help pass on, not just the amazing stories and experiences of our ancestors, but their values, their compassion, and contextual reminders of what really matters in life.
Happy Birthday, Dad. To me you will always be the most interesting man in the world.
ARMA received the following nomination from April Dmytrenko, CRM, FAI, for the Member Spotlight:
Meet Rafael Moscatel, IGP, CRM
Rafael Moscatel is a Certified Records Manager (CRM) and Information Governance Professional (IGP) with more than 20 years of experience implementing world-class records retention, data governance, and compliance programs for large enterprises. He designed process transformations, led team-building efforts, and spearheaded change management initiatives in a variety of complex and highly regulated industries. His expertise includes developing document management strategies, decommissioning legacy systems, performing risk assessments, and performing audit remediation.
Rafael truly understands his field and specifically IG and technology. He was instrumental in rolling out the enterprise-wide program at Paramount Pictures. Now he is working for Farmers Group, where he has established an outstanding IG framework from which to continue to support an effective program. He is proactive, strategic, and not only a talented RIM professional but an excellent business professional. He develops outstanding collaborative relationships, understands the value of senior management support and involving the business units, and is a strategic risk taker.
Moscatel lives and works in Los Angeles. He serves as the director of information governance for Farmers Group, Inc. He has been an ARMA member for 12 years.
As you can tell, Rafael is a great fit for the Member Spotlight, an honor meant to recognize members’ involvement within the profession and the association. If you would like to network with him, you can contact him through LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/rafaelmoscatel or at rafaelmoscatelcrm.wordpress.com
Please join me and some of my esteemed colleagues at the Annual ARMA-GLA Spring conference taking place this April at the Microsoft Technology Center in Playa Vista on April 15th, 2016!
REGISTRATION CUT OFF: April 8, 2016
CANCELLATION POLICY: Full Refund if Canceled before April 8. $50 cancellation fee if cancelled after April 8.
TRANSFER POLICY: Registrations are transferrable anytime PRIOR to the event. Attendance can not be SPLIT. One attendee per admission only. Please contact Event Organizer for transfer requests.
The Microsoft Technology Center
The extent to which any organization can reduce its dependency on paper is largely determined by laws and the industry regulations it faces, the technology available to it and how well its leaders manage change, internally as well as for customers.
Here are some thoughts on how to begin solving the paper problem around your office:
Understand the affordances of paper – One of the most thorough examinations of the issue of paper and its role in our lives and workplaces came in 2002 when MIT press published The Myth of the Paperless Office. The book’s findings make a case for the “affordances of paper” and stress that to reduce paper production and consumption we must understand the underlying habits and processes driving how our clients and colleagues work.
Attorneys for example often require a contextual or “case at a glance” perspective that a chronological or issue focused file offers… a “story telling” approach to presenting information which can’t always be matched even with the best software. Similarly, auditors or project managers will often work with and create aggregated records which serve a specific purpose for which imaging might be overkill or too costly. And contrary to popular belief, there still exist quite a few scenarios where it remains more affordable, practical and efficient to even store information in paper form. Conversion costs and risks required to maintain the digital lifecycle of infrequently referenced documents and avoid bitrot* can often exceed those associated with retaining the same materials in paper form.
Make the right policy changes with executive level support – Every Records or Information Governance policy initiative or project your business undertakes should have senior level executive support and reflect the best practices within your industry.
Here are some policy and procedural ideas to consider that can act as catalysts for change.
- Get a Retention Policy / Schedule, implement it and regularly enforce it -A Retention Schedule (often in line with a data map) is the most effective tool for properly managing records and information and its necessity cannot be understated. It not only protects an organization and keeps paper and electronic storage costs low, it gives executives a tool for understanding and navigating the massive network of silos and records their businesses create.
- Institute an E-signature Policy for all contracts under a specified financial threshold
- De-duplicate emails and all other electronic content repositories systematically
- Identify where duplicates are created, determine why and what can be done to prevent them going forward
- Take a “final draft and / or executed version” approach to your document lifecycle rules Read More
I was recently asked exactly how my background in archives and information technology assisted me with my documentary, The Little Girl with the Big Voice. I hadn’t really thought about it until that point because it was a passion project and I was so wrapped up in telling the story it didn’t seem to matter. In retrospect, my years in Records & Information Management really were instrumental in helping me collect, organize and clear all of the materials for this film.
Documentary filmmaking involves a lot of document management, project management and asset management and always has. Understanding how to organize large collections of materials, authenticate and reference them contextually proved very useful in creating the historical sequences seen in the film.
The Little Girl with the Big Voice examines the struggles of women and children in the early 1930’s and 40’s through the eyes of Mary Small, a child prodigy, restless wife and dedicated mother whose resilience in the face of constant challenges made her a defining symbol of her generation.
When it came time to putting together a clip log, the metadata and information I collected and associated with each piece of media made it easy for me to clear each image which is essential to secure a good insurance policy. In doing so, a lot of the principles I’ve learned as an Information Governance Professional came into play in terms of ensuring authenticity. As a result of properly documenting my sources from the get-go I ended up with a treasure chest of digital resources that I can now use over and over. My experiences with digital imaging also helped with rendering the scans and pictures I used and in resolving pixelation issues. The organization of documents and images into (hopefully) logical historical sequences based on various data points, is very much a business discipline.
I also wanted this film to be an example of how filmmakers can use the Fair Use Doctrine to uncover and tell some of the richest, most compelling stories of this era, which were until the advent of the internet, almost trapped in library catalogs and press break scrapbooks.
So I teamed up with Stanford University’s Documentary Film Program and learned how to present these images in context so that they passed muster. Doing so probably reduced the cost of the film’s licensing fees by as much as 90% or more and the research alone gave us a cache of items that we can hopefully use to tell another great story.