Interesting discussion.  IMO**, DM is not a part of RM; and vice versa.
Both DM and RM are simply valid functions/stages/milestones in the overall
lifecycle governance of content.

Standardized definitions of terms (Record, Document, Document Management,
etc.) are nice, and useful on occasion, but I think definition of terms in
this instance misses the point and is potentially a trap that diverts
attention away from the underlying business issues.

Of all of the responses thus far, I think Sam has come the closest to how I
would have responded to the original poster's post, with an addition that I
don't think case law is relevant to the discussion, at least as it was
originally presented.  I can't even imagine a civil (or criminal, for that
matter) litigation scenario in which the distinction between DM and RM
would be something the court would be asked to opine about.  Maybe, just
maybe, in the realm of employment or intellectual property (software)
litigation, but that is it.

My thoughts:

Document management, as a function, is about adding control to the document
creation and collaboration process.  It is about templates
(language/structure control), controlled editing (versioning, workflows),
and the like.

Records management, as a function, is about managing the retention and
disposition of content according to established rules.  (And really, I
wonder if this function is more accurately described as Information
Retention Management rather than Records Management ...? Perhaps a
conversation for another day ...)

Also, I will have to respectfully disagree with Ginny a bit.  It is true
that not all documents are records, but I can't agree that all records are
documents.  I don't think that part of the saying was ever really true
(I've managed plenty of patent specimen as records that aren't even close
to being a document, and database objects aren't documents either, and
neither are voicemail or video, and so on).  The form of content
("document" is a form of content) is simply irrelevant when determining the
relative value, and value longevity, of content to the organization.

Net net, this discussion is why I much prefer to focus on Information
Governance.  Making distinctions between RM and DM serves no business
purpose outside of job descriptions and technological functionality (and I
could be convinced that it's not necessarily overly valid in those
instances, either).  The goal of an IG professional is to enable the
business to leverage its information assets in the most efficient,
cost-effective way possible in support of achieving business goals, while
minimizing risk to an acceptable level with regard to the entity's risk
appetite.  The content in question is what will drive the management
tactics that are necessary (which could include aspects of DM, RM, KM, IM,
RIM, IRM, ERM ERDMS, ECM, ad nauseum).

Just my 200 cents worth.  :)


**As usual, and as periodically reiterated, all comments are my own and do
not necessarily reflect the opinions of any entity with which I do, have in
the past, or might in the future, have occasion to associate with.

Julie J. Colgan, CRM

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