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Information Audits. Bob Boiko UW iSchool Metatorial Services Inc. What we will cover. What is an audit? What’s the point? How do they fit with the other projects we have discussed? The Concepts. What is an Information Audit?.

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information audits

Information Audits

Bob Boiko


Metatorial Services Inc.

what we will cover
What we will cover
  • What is an audit?
  • What’s the point?
  • How do they fit with the other projects we have discussed?
  • The Concepts
what is an information audit
What is an Information Audit?

What is any kind of audit?

Buchanan and Gibb have most befittingly defined it as “the process of discovering, monitoring and evaluating an organization's information flows and resources in order to implement, maintain or improve an organization's management of information.

Ibrahim Ramjaun

A systematic examination of information use, resources and flows, with a verification from reference to both people and existing documents in order to establish the extent to which they are contributing to an organization’s objectives.

Orna P 69

what is audited
What is Audited?
  • The Information that leads to knowledge
  • Resources for making information
  • How info is used
  • The people who need and create info
  • Info capture, management and presentation tools
  • How info is valued
what s the point
What’s the Point?

The overall goal is to produce an integrated information strategy (Buchanan & Gibb, 1998). - Ibrahim Ramjaun

  • Understand information
    • What is it?
    • How does it move?
  • Manage (or at least exert influence over) information
    • What should we spend on it?
    • How should it flow?
  • Give information its rightful place as something we pay attention to.
    • Money
    • Material goods
    • Processes

To go from what is to what should be

the concepts
The Concepts
  • The information resource
  • An information policy
  • An information strategy
the information resource
The Information Resource

Something which holds information that people need to apply in their work, to achieve their and the organization’s objectives. - Orna P 86

  • Data
    • Financial
    • Production, sales, inventory, etc.
    • Customer
  • Information
    • Intelligence (suppliers, competitors, industry, world)
    • News and events
    • Research
    • Own publications
be careful what you ask for
Be Careful What You Ask For…

The introduction of the information management idea into organizations implicitly carries with it very substantial structural change consequences. - Horton in Orna P 62

  • Reorganizing people and jobs
  • Breaking info fiefdoms
  • Requiring non fuzzy communication
  • Removing hiding places
an audit project
An Audit Project
  • What are the goals of the project?
  • What is the overall process?
  • What are the deliverables?
  • What does the plan look like?
what are the goals
What Are The Goals?
  • To assess what information and flow the org needs
  • To assess what information and flow the org now has
  • To make recommendations about how to get the two to match
what s the overall process
What’s the Overall Process?

1. Analyze objectives for ideal process

2,3 Get a mandate and support

4 Plan the audit

5 Perform the audit

6,7 Interpret and Present the results

8,9 Take action

10 Repeat

deliverables a goals knowledge info taxonomy
Deliverables: A Goals-Knowledge-Info Taxonomy
  • Organizational objective 1
    • Knowledge requirement 1.1
      • Info that supports requirement
        • Containers for the information
      • People who need to know it
      • Flow
        • Creation
        • Use
        • Disposal
    • Knowledge requirement 1.2
  • Organizational objective 2
deliverables guardian and stakeholder profiles
Deliverables: Guardian and Stakeholder Profiles

Who will you approach in the org and how? (note that Orna puts this in the next step)

  • What: Word files, a spreadsheet or Db records
    • Who are they?
    • How will you approach them?
    • What do you know without asking?
  • How:
    • Asking around
    • Quick email or other communication
    • Org charts or readiness results
deliverables audit methods plan
Deliverables: Audit Methods Plan

What are the available methods (Orna p. 56)?

  • Analysis of docs and Dbs
  • Observation
  • Trying yourself
  • Interviews
  • Meetings
  • Surveys
  • Mapping
deliverables audit methods plan1
Deliverables: Audit Methods Plan

How will you assess the information resources of your organization?

  • What: Word, spreadsheet or Db
    • Analysis, resource, method
    • Date, time, and staff
  • How
    • Try each method
    • Discuss with guardians and stakeholders
    • Design for change
deliverables staging plan
Deliverables: Staging Plan

In what order should groups and information resources be done?

  • What: Word Doc, spreadsheet or DB
    • Groups and sources identified
    • Dates, times and staff for each
  • How
    • Arranged by
      • Strategic importance and potential for a win
      • Amount of support and ease or simplicity
      • Fair representation of all information
deliverables information analyses
Deliverables: Information Analyses

What are the analyses you must perform?

  • Information Resources
  • Guardians and Stakeholders
  • Information flow
  • Systems
  • Cost and value
deliverables information analyses1
Deliverables: Information Analyses

The assessment of each dimension of the organization's information.

  • What? Word, spreadsheet or Db
    • Data collected
    • Standard set of
    • Information Resources
  • How
    • Apply methods and plan
    • Collect data, analyze and revisit if needed
deliverables reports and presentations
Deliverables: Reports and Presentations

What are the analysis methods available?

  • Side-by-side comparison
  • SWOT
    • Clients
    • Actors
    • Transformations
    • Ownership
    • Environment
deliverables reports and presentations1
Deliverables: Reports and Presentations

The official results of the audit

  • What
    • Word files, Slide decks
    • Email messages, meeting agendas
  • How
    • Lots of trial inside the team
    • Test results to supporters
    • Trial presentations to insiders
    • Multiple methods to communicate
deliverables follow up plan
Deliverables: Follow-Up Plan

What should the org do and how will its success be measured?

  • What
    • Word file, project plan
    • Action
    • Preliminary scope, schedule, and budget
  • How
    • Work with appropriate guardians and execs
    • Focus on highest return projects first
    • Give lots of leeway to the formation of the exact solution
    • Caveat the heck out of your estimates
the team
The Team
  • Audit manager
    • Understands the org’s business
    • Ability to listen
    • Respected
  • Auditors
    • Technology analysts
    • Interviewers
    • SME (Subject Matter Experts)
  • Tool designers
    • Survey construction
    • Data analysis and presentation techniques
  • Consultants
    • Specialist support in the background
in sum
In Sum…
  • The goal of the project
    • Compare what is,
    • To what should be
    • To bring the two together
  • The process is:
    • Establish what should be
    • Get support
    • Find out what is
    • Create results and recommendations.