The Information Management Perspective

The Information Management Perspective

Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8410-0.ch003

Abstract

This chapter anchors discussion of information management on a comprehensive and inclusive model of the information lifecycle. The chapter also presents a concise account of the history and evolution of the information management profession. As a complex profession, information management is comprised of several distinct but related areas of practice. This chapter considers what each area of practice contributes to the profession and explains how these differences contribute to and enriches a complex culture.
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Information Life Cycle

If we agree that information is a capital asset, it should be managed like other capital assets. Because capital assets are expected to have long life spans, we manage according to their life cycle stages. Managing informational capital assets means anchoring in the information life cycle. A life cycle model describes events in the life of information - from birth to death. There are many information life cycle models, including those focused on information systems development, information technology use, data life cycles, knowledge life cycles, publications life cycles, research life cycles, document and records life cycles, and content life cycles. An integrated model is inclusive in its scope and comprehensive in its coverage of all of these models. An integrated model accommodates different business perspectives and is adaptable to any working environment.

For the purpose of synthesis and integration, we present a simplified information life cycle model (Figure 1). This model reflects the life cycle stages in many popular life cycle models, including research life cycle models, records life cycle models, systems life cycle models, information management life cycle models, etc. The working life cycle model (Figure 1) include eight stages, including (1) idea generation; (2) information creation and capture; (3) securing and classifying information; (4) organizing and describing information; (5) fining and discovering information; (6) accessing and using information; (7) retaining and disposing of information; and (8) destruction of information. Each area of practice is described below. This life cycle is well known to information management professionals. It is less well known to business professionals. Short descriptions of each stage are offered to establish common understanding.

Idea Generation (Life Cycle Stage One)

This stage focuses on tacit knowledge and includes any activity that leads to the generation of ideas. Ideas, their discussion, validation and invalidation are the prerequisite for any and all information assets the organization creates. Ideas which do not move from an intangible and dynamic to a tangible and static form are lost to the organization – they may be among the greatest liabilities. Today, we can leverage communication, social media and collaboration technologies to capture early expressions of ideas, to ensure they are shared with others, and that they take on some digital form. While this stage is critical for deriving value, it is not easily managed or supported.

Figure 1.

Life cycle of information

Information Creation and Capture (Life Cycle Stage 2)

This stage begins with identifying the ideas and knowledge that is created or acquired by the organization. Creation involves putting the idea into a tangible form which may include recording on paper, capturing email, generating content in templates, producing reports, encapsulating compound information assets, or any other method of representing ideas in a tangible form. Capture may also include structuring, linking content to other sources, annotating, editing, translating it into a language other than the source language, revising it to different versions, and formatting it for use in different situations. Capture may also include declaring the information as a record, and labeling copies as convenience. In order to capture information, we must have a strategy for storing information. Storage issues pertain to both individual repositories and storage locations, as well as to the larger landscape of storage options across the organization. Repository management must support all of the remaining stages of the information life cycle. Chapter 8 presents key decision points related to creation and capture, including considerations for different business and working environments.

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