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Storytime: Invisible Records Management

Here’s a quick story about records management as told to me by a client.

Humans are naturally wired to tell stories and respond to storytelling. I find it to be really effective when I tell prospects Laserfiche stories about clients and clients Laserfiche stories about other clients. I think the trick is to relay the story from the user view *not* mine.

The reality is, as much as I love to talk about Laserfiche and that’s great for me as a systems integrator, and the other positions who would be directly affected like IT and City Clerk. But as a records manager once told me, “Users hate when I talk about records management, HATE it.” The same records manager said that staff would pretend to hide from her when she walked through the halls. She thinks it’s because, before she implemented Laserfiche, she was asking them to perform tasks outside of their normal work–such as manual records declaration. Like it or not, staff have to participate in all phases of the information life cycle -they have more of an impact on our total information than in the past. Essentially, they were mimicking paper processes in an electronic environment. For her users, she admitted, there wasn’t much for them to like.

She decided that instead of endless presentations about aligning users to records management that she would align records management to the users. She also had another epiphany. She explained, “You know what users love, nada. They love not having to do any additional work, because, with Laserfiche, the tech meets the users where they work. And she doesn’t have to give weekly TEDTalks on records management.

The records manager makes an excellent point. Putting records management, invisible to the user, in the business systems where they are working, rather than relying on complex solutions that require a heavy lift for the user. This way, she finds users much more willing to engage with her while unknowingly meeting records management requirements. Here was her goal:

Vision: An information context in which records management occurs every day in the work environment, without people having to think about it, and it satisfies the standards of records management.

I would add that not only did she make records management invisible she also made it easy. And as anyone who has implemented software can tell you. Making applications easy to use is the hardest part for the developers.

My records management friend concluded with, “So, tell stories, even if it is telling stories about telling stories! And be nice to your records manager!”

If you are interested in records management here’s another blog post and here’s another.

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