• Operationalizing the pending federal requirements for digitization of permanent records – Frequently Asked Questions*

    What is NARA proposing? In December 2020 NARA and OMB proposed regulations (85 FR 77095, still pending but nearing the finish line) on digitization standards for permanent records. Permanent records are approved by the Archivist of the United States as having sufficient historical or other value that warrants continuing to preserve them beyond the time… Read more »

  • Operationalizing FADGI-3 Requirements – Not Quite Ready for Prime Time

    Action Item: In my work with both federal agencies and with solution providers, a common concern is emerging – a great deal of confusion about how the new proposed FADGI-3 requirements for permanent records will actually be implemented. The problem lies not with the FADGI-3 standards themselves, but rather in how they will be operationalized…. Read more »

  • 12 Things Agencies Need to Know about M365 Governance and M-19-21

    This is the fifth in a series of posts based on a new QAI/DocPoint research study conducted by the highly respected MER Conference. To get a copy of the full research paper Click Here. In this blog post, we explore the recommendations of a senior panel of end users convened to review the findings in… Read more »

  • Most Agencies Have Not Caught up with M365 Governance Capabilities

    Given the depth and breadth of the governance, compliance and security changes introduced in M365, it is no surprise that organizations using the platform — especially large ones — are having a difficult time keeping up. As with any critical enterprise platform, much of what you can accomplish in the near-term depends on your starting… Read more »

  • Meeting M-19-21 Deadlines AND Keeping up with M365 Change a Huge Challenge

    SharePoint was first introduced in 2001 — twenty-one years ago. The same year that SharePoint was introduced, Ray Kurzweil (of Singularity fame) noted, “The future will be far more surprising than most observers realize: few have truly internalized the implications of the fact that the rate of change itself is accelerating.” The launch of SharePoint… Read more »

  • The Missing M-19-21 Link – Alignment of Agency Priorities and M365 Capabilities

    Leading edge government organizations are now not only thinking about how to better align business strategy and IT strategy, but how to extend the alignment even further into information governance, and more specifically M365 governance. The explosion of remote work necessitated by the pandemic accelerated this journey. Organizations suddenly woke up to the imperative of… Read more »

  • As M-19-21 Deadlines Loom, Many Agencies Lost in a Sea of Chaos

    We live in a time of exploding data and information flows, which are overwhelming our ability to effectively manage — and the worst is still to come. As agencies struggle to transition to digital government, most have an Achilles’ Heel that threatens even the most well-intentioned digital transformation initiatives. That vulnerability is out-of-control information. We… Read more »

  • Who will be the next Archivist?

    BRIDG (Bimonthly Records and Information Discussion Group) is a public forum to discuss federal records management. BRIDG is hosted by NARA’s Agency Services, composed of the Office of the Chief Records Officer for the U.S. Government, the Federal Records Centers Program, the Office of Government Information Services, the Information and Security Oversight Office, and the… Read more »

  • 10 Tips for Starting That M365 Migration Project

    There is a temptation to think about the looming M-19-21 deadlines (remember those?) as am M365 box-checking exercise — what is the minimum my agency needs to do to be in compliance? The same set of blinders applies in the private sector, where many organizations are far more concerned about meeting short-term tactical compliance requirements… Read more »

  • What is FADGI, and why should you care?

    There is a lot of conversation in the M-19-21 world right now about “FADGI 3 compliance.” This may seem like some sort of mystery code to the uninitiated, so let’s see if I can take some of the mystery out of the conversation. 1 – What exactly is FADGI? In 2007, the federal government began… Read more »

  • Update on M-19-21 Deadlines

    During NARA’s August 24 BRIDG (Bimonthly Records and Information Discussion Group) meeting – link HERE – the NARA leadership discussed NARA’s M-19-21 deadlines, Draft Strategic Plan FY 2022-2026 (see post on the NARA plan HERE), gave an update on the Federal Records Center Program, and reviewed NARA plans relative to the January 26 Presidential Memorandum… Read more »

  • The Unplanned Remote Work and Digitization Explosion – M-19-21 – Eight Lessons Learned

    I recently sat down for a conversation with two very thoughtful federal government end user executives — Dave Simmonds from GSA and Mark Patrick from the Joint Staff – to talk about how COVID remote work and digitization impacted their plans for M-19-21 compliance. The complete conversation is here – https://youtu.be/AN0leqkU8zI – and here are… Read more »

  • A Game of M-19-21 Permanent Records Conkers, Anyone?

    I suppose everyone had their own particular permanent records distraction that they used to survive COVID. I tried bread-making and baking for a while, but the tell-tale COVID version of the “freshman-15” killed that idea. My wife suggested that we try puzzles, but my staying power for a puzzle is about five minutes, after which… Read more »

  • Are M-19-21 Electronic Records Deadlines working for Agencies?

    How are Agencies doing in their quest to meet M-19-21 Deadlines? — Three Case Studies As most records managers in the federal government know, the date 12-31-2022 carries special significance in terms of meeting M-19-21 Electronic Records Deadlines. This is much more than just as a marker for a New Year’s Eve Party. There are… Read more »

  • Five ways COVID has changed federal agency approaches to electronic records and M-19-21

    COVID changed Federal Electronic Records. It’s a fact. As in the private sector, many federal agencies were unprepared for the remote working demands generated by COVID. According to a 2020 AIIM survey – Mastering Your Microsoft 365 and SharePoint Investment – across organizations of all types, only one in three organizations felt they were prepared… Read more »

  • Announcing Our Latest Industry Insights and Perspective Series: Critical Conversations on the Challenges of Digitization and M-19-21 Compliance

    At Quality Associates Inc., we’re pleased to announce our four-part series of conversations with Scott Swidersky from Quality Associates and John Mancini from Content Results. Hear first hand as these two experts cover the challenges of digitization and M-19-21 compliance.

  • The Realities of On-Site Digitization in a COVID World

    The reality of some digitization projects is that because of the nature of the documents, the project owner doesn’t want to run the risk of the documents leaving their facility. On-site digitization is a bit more complicated and expensive than off-site document digitization in normal times (off-site digitization can take advantage of the economies of… Read more »

  • The Two Sides of the Records Digitization Equation – COST and VALUE

    In October, I posted thoughts on What is the RIGHT Price for Records Digitization? The huge traffic on the post reflected conclusions that I reached after 20+ years in the document management space, and the short answer is, well, “It depends.” Some of the things upon which it depends include: the age, condition, and quality… Read more »

  • How Will New Cognitive Technologies Impact M-19-21 Records Requirements?

    Sharmila Bhatia and Markus Most from NARA have published a new white paper on Cognitive Technologies — Records Management Implications for Internet of Things, Robotic Process Automation, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence. “This white paper provides a basic description for each of the cognitive technologies, examples of their various applications, and several enabling factors affecting… Read more »

  • What is the RIGHT Price for Records Digitization?

    At a time when it is relatively easy to compare prices on-line for commodity purchases – just go to Amazon and you can find the lowest price for just about any standard item – it is frustrating to compare features for complicated purchases to determine the “right” price. The price to value equation gets even… Read more »

  • It’s Time to Catch up on M-19-21 Electronic Records Readiness

    You can feel it coming. Even though COVID is still with us, summer is winding down, which means that all of those projects that you put off to the side are now looming large, including preparing for the governance, electronic records readiness, records management, and standardization deadlines in M-19-21. Here are some of the best… Read more »

  • What To Do With Those WordPerfect Files…Turn to NARA’s Digital Preservation Framework

    Last week, the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) released its Digital Preservation Framework, following the initial release of drafts for public comment in September 2019. This represents NARA’s approach to determining risks faced by electronic record files and their plans for preserving different types of file formats. The framework is a set of documents that… Read more »

  • 1200 register for a federal records event. Surprised?

    It’s become fashionable on Twitter to look at some of the crazy, totally unpredictable events of 2020 with the comment, “I sure didn’t have XXX on my 2020 bingo card!” Just search on “2020 bingo card meme” to get an idea. There are “Apocalypse” bingo cards and “Corona” bingo cards and “Trump” and “Biden” quote… Read more »

  • The REAL point of M-19-21; Conquering Information Chaos with Electronic Records

    As things begin to come back to some semblance of normal (we hope!), many agencies are refocusing on the reality of the records management compliance deadlines contained in M-19-21. The push toward electronic records has begun: By the end of 2019, Federal agencies were required to manage all permanent electronic records in an electronic format,… Read more »

  • Never Let a Good Crisis Go To Waste RE: Governance

    Sir Winston Churchill is said to be the originator of one of my favorite quotes: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” And if one should not let a good crisis go to waste, heaven help us, there certainly are more than enough to go around right now. So let’s pick one, remote working…. Read more »

  • 13 Key Questions to Ask Solution Providers About Digitization

    In my last post about digitization, I focused on the elephant in the room when it comes to M-19-21 compliance and digital modernization — paper. Turning paper into digital assets that can be managed digitally needs to be at the heart of every modernization strategy. Even though the volume of paper-based information is declining over… Read more »

  • Digital Modernization: The Elephant in the M-19-21 Room

    As I’ve mentioned in previous posts — 6 Key Worries SAORMs Have About M-19-21 Compliance and SAORM / RMSA Reporting During Social Distancing — I’ve spent a bit of time during the weeks of #socialdistancing reading about digital modernization in some of the SAORM (Senior Agency Official for Records Management) reports that were submitted during… Read more »

  • 6 Key SAORM Records Management Worries About M-19-21

    Last week, I reviewed responses to this question: Do you, as the SAORM, see records management challenges within your agency in meeting the goal of fully-electronic record-keeping? The word cloud shows a distillation of the responses. I took a deep dive into the response from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), because I thought this… Read more »

  • SAORM / RMSA Reporting During Social Distancing

    We are clearly in uncharted waters when it comes to social distancing and the Coronavirus. Buzzfeed listed 14 unusual things people are doing during this time of sheltering in place. Among the more interesting… Binge watch The Walking Dead and/or Breaking Bad. Finish writing thank you notes from your high school graduation party. Finally get… Read more »

  • Cloud Smart: Legacy Systems a Key Challenge

    First, the good news: The 2019 Federal Cloud Computing Strategy — Cloud Smart — is a long-term, high-level strategy to drive cloud adoption in Federal agencies and updates the previous Cloud First initiative: Beyond Cloud First, which granted agencies broad authority to adopt cloud-based solutions, Cloud Smart offers practical implementation guidance for Government missions to… Read more »

  • Getting Over the Perfect and Embracing the Good

    Last week, I blogged about the surprising (to me!) number of questions that NARA’s Capstone Approach to email management and archiving generated at the Feb 19 BRIDG meeting — A “BRIDG” to Understanding Capstone. When it comes to records management, I’ve always thought that the perfect can be the enemy of the good. Or, as… Read more »

  • A “BRIDG” to Understanding Capstone

    Here’s a quick sample of some of the subject lines this morning in my email box: Open Record Laws are a sign of what’s to come. Is your organization prepared? Reader, this week only all magazines are just $5 [Live Webinar Tomorrow] From ETL to ELT: A New Architectural Order #WorldBartendingDay: il Single Malt come… Read more »

  • Website Records Often Overlooked in Contemplating M-19-21 Requirements

    In my previous two posts — Simple Sounding M-19-21 Requirements are Deceptive and Isn’t Email Management ALREADY Supposed to be Under Control? — I discussed some of the complexity that underlies the seemingly simple M-19-21 requirements. (“Agencies are encouraged to consider cost-effective opportunities to transition related business processes to an electronic environment in support of… Read more »

  • Isn’t Email Management ALREADY Supposed to be Under Control?

    In my previous post — Simple Sounding M-19-21 Requirements are Deceptive — I discussed some of the complexity that underlies the seemingly simple mandates in M-19-21 (“Agencies are encouraged to consider cost-effective opportunities to transition related business processes to an electronic environment in support of the President’s Management Agenda and Reform Plan.”) A lot of… Read more »

  • M-19-21 Digital Records Requirements Not so Simple

    Just because M-19-21 digitization sounds easy doesn’t mean that it is. Like separating two flat pieces of Lego. Or matching socks out of the dryer. Or folding a fitted sheet. Or consider this straight-forward sounding M-19-21 digital records requirements (item 2.4) relative to the transfer of records to NARA: By 2022, NARA will no longer… Read more »

  • Why does M-19-21 Digitization Matter?

    On the plus side, it’s not every day that the National Archives and records management are trending on Twitter. For those of you who may have missed it, the National Archives was in the news and in the middle of a Twitter meltdown — yes, the National Archives — for a digitized promotional image (the… Read more »

  • Five Reasons M-19-21 Readiness Isn’t Business as Usual

    I was chatting recently with a senior federal records manager (who will remain nameless) at an FCW seminar about the implications of M-19-21 readiness. Our initial conversation focused on the immediate short-term deadlines associated with M-19-21 readiness, which are somewhat well known and an extension of the deadlines in the previous 2012 archiving pronouncement, M-12-18… Read more »

  • Are President Trump’s Tweets Records? #M-19-21

    One of the challenges as technology constantly changes is that M-19-21 compliance is not just a “simple” matter of making sure every paper record is converted to a digital record, complete with all the necessary metadata, as challenging as that might be. Because before even considering the digitization and metadata requirements of M-19-21, agencies still… Read more »

  • Are Your Platforms Ready for the Digital Records Transformation?

    More than 40% of agencies are likely to have M-19-21 digital records challenges as platforms modernize.

  • How Compliant Are Your Transfer Procedures?

    More than 30% of agencies lack approved transfer procedures for digital records. 

  • Are You Ready to Handle “Non Document” Records?

    43% of agencies experience problematic capture of “non document” records.  

  • How Well Do You Manage Your Records Information Flow?

    One in three agencies lack the ability to manage information throughout its lifecycle. 

  • Do You Know All the Gaps You Have?

    67% of agencies have gaps in their ability to respond to FOIA requests.

  • How Many Updates Have You Made Lately?

    36% of agencies need to update their records directive (s).

  • How Ready Are You?

    Nearly 30% of agencies do not “design in” records management. 

  • Are You Ready? 57% of Agencies are Not.

    57% of agencies do not have a clearly identified digitized strategy to convert permanent records created in hard copy to a digital format.