The Stakeholders & Structure of Your Information Governance Team

The stakeholders to Information Governance must be defined in terms of their role in the organization, not specific individuals. Individuals may come and go within an organization, but the body of knowledge represented by their role must remain the same. Those stakeholders help maintain and sustain the Information Governance program.

Often these stakeholders are structured into an Information Governance leadership structure. While this is not specifically included within The Information Governance Model, our typical guidance (that applies to most organizations) is to develop an Information Governance Steering Committee (or "IG Team", "Information Governance Committee", "Information Governance Council", et al.) and multiple sub-committees dedicated to various aspects of Information Governance, then we leverage an Information Governance Liaison or Leader to coordinate activities.

My Differing Opinion on Stakeholders and Structure

While the IG Initiative advocates for a CIGO or Chief Information Governance Officer, I believe that this is unlikely to occur in most organizations (at least for a long while). Rather than dedicate a C-Level role to put forward an authoritarian method of enabling Information Governance, utilize a democratic version instead, leveraging a council or committee with the backing of a different C-Level role as the Executive Sponsor of the Information Governance program, usually the CIO or CTO.

My Ideal Structure

IG Team Structure

Executive Sponsor

The Executive Sponsor provides the budget and is the person, usually in the C-Level, that is ultimately responsible for the Information Governance program.

Information Governance Steering Committee

The Information Governance Steering Committee (or Information Governance Council, IG Steering Committee, etc.) are the group that makes the overarching decisions related to Information Governance. While the finer details are handled by the sub-committees, the Steering Committee makes decisions around aspects like the information lifecycle, specific policies, and help align the IG program with the organization's goals and overall direction.

The Information Governance Liaison

The Information Governance Liaison (or Information Governance Leader) attends the various sub-committee meetings in an effort to inform the various sub-committees about the activities of the other sub-committees. The goal of the Information Governance Liaison is to align the activities of the various sub-committees with one another and to ensure that there aren't conflicting decisions being made by various sub-committees. While some disagreements may reach to the level of the Information Governance Steering Committee, many can be mitigated prior to reaching that level by the Information Governance Liaison.

The Sub-Committees

The Information Governance Sub-Committees focus on the fine details of a specific area of Information Governance, taking the guidance of the Information Governance Steering Committee and enacting their overall decisions and filling out the actual policies and procedures related to one specific area. An example of a Sub-Committee would be a Records Management Sub-Committee, taking the direction of the Information Governance Steering Committee's recommendation of ensuring proper defensible disposition strategy and enacting a categorized retention schedule and disposition process.

The Stakeholders

There are many ways of structuring your Information Governance team, this is the most effective structure from my experience. Feel free to utilize any aspects that appeal to your organization or reach out to us to discuss how we help companies establish Information Governance programs.

Tags: Information Governance Stakeholders, Information Governance Structure, Information Governance Team, Information Governance