ThinkstockPhotos-586713136.jpgHere's three questions to consider if a merger may be on the horizon for your organization.

  • Does your enterprise know the best ways to define and inform future Merger and Acquisitions (M&A) Programs in terms of the recommendations and specific tactical steps needed for setting up and running a records management and archiving workstream? 
  • Does your organization know the key activities that should take place for any M&AD (don't forget Divestitures) program and the people, processes and technologies required for successful completion of these steps?
  • Does your team know how to outline and describe the key records management and archiving activities in sufficient detail to form the basis for managing these activities successfully in future programs?  
Do you know the advantages of a Records Management and Archiving Work Stream?

M&AD Programs are initiated to assure the people, processes, technologies and other business assets are either integrated or separated according to the terms and conditions of the contracts in play. As part of these programs, there is a responsibility to ensure the proper management of acquired or divested records and information to support enterprise goals and directives - delivering benefits through enabling the use of acquired assets to further business objectives. Of key importance, included in any M&AD Program is a number of business, IT and supporting work streams needed to assure a successful transition. 

A records management and archiving work stream, either separate from, or included in a legal work stream will deliver the following enterprise operational benefits:
  • Ensure corporate records management policy and associated records retention schedules are followed, and that migration, archiving and system retirement and decommissioning policies are applied consistently across the M&AD program.
  • Provide program level control of de-centralized activities required of each work stream to assess and execute data and system records migration and archiving across the program.
  • Ensure that the enterprise's standard approach for records and data migration system retirement and archiving is followed across the program.
  • Add predictability and control to any budget impacts arising from migration and archiving activities.

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The primary mission and objective of a records management and archiving work stream is to ensure that all business information owners who are accountable for acquired records and data, whether part of a fully acquired application or not, are aware of, and have the means and support necessary to comply with, the obligations for data migration and archiving resulting from the program and the company’s existing records management policies. are the 5 foundational resource requirements of a records management and archiving workstream?

There are several different requirements that may be dependent on expertise across several groups that need to be engaged in a records management and archiving work stream. The primary responsibility for the assessment and execution of applications and data remains with the company business information owners participating in an M&AD program. Here are the five resource requirements that contribute to or support a records management and archiving work stream. 

  1. Records Management and Archiving Work Stream PMO:The PMO should be run by a dedicated IT senior program manager and supported by work stream members that are subject matter experts (SMEs) for the M&AD applications that will be assessed. The Program Manager should also be supported by a dedicated Archiving SME and a Records Management SME. The PMO should reserve the right to engage a data architect should one be required at any time during the program activities.
  2. Information Governance/ Records and Information Management: A “RIM” department that governs and owns records management and archiving for the organization and sets policies and procedures.  This group supports the M&AD work stream by reviewing information, both data and records and any repositories and making the final decision as to whether assessed data and application records may be archived. Once a decision to archive is agreed, the service appraises records and provides approval on application retirement plans, retirement reports, submission information packages, and transfer request reports.
  3. Legal, Litigation and/ or eDiscovery: The Legal group will provide resources to support or verify the legal hold status of incoming and outgoing information, records and data.
  4. Company Business Areas (Multiple), including IT, Quality and Manufacturing, Corporate, R&D, Legal, Finance, HR and Commercial: Key business areas are responsible for the proper assessment and disposition of information that is requested or transferred from or by an M&AD entity, whether this transfer occurs as part of the program or after the program, or as part of a Transitional Services Agreement (TSA).
  5. Acquired Business Area Representatives:The Records Management and Archiving Work Stream relies on applications and data experts from both an information owner perspective, and also from a prior knowledge/system user perspective. Keep in mind, many business area representatives from acquired organizations are departed shortly after the acquisition is made. Therefore, assessments should be conducted as soon as reasonably possible in order to capture and transfer knowledge to the program or new information owners.
Application.Rationalization.-1.jpgRecords Management and Archiving Work Streams: Complementing Corporate and Enterprise Functions

Information is the lifeblood of an organization and for life sciences companies, may even be the key driver for an M&AD activity. It is for this reason that records management and archiving and to go one level higher, information governance, is so important at all stages of M&AD programs.

Information must be protected and managed through its lifecycle and that includes any shunted pathways such as what would occur during an M&AD program. 

Often the amount of information is substantial and reliance on records management groups, or what have become small consultancy groups at many large enterprises, is problematic as M&AD deals require timebound results and require levels of participation that is beyond the business-as-usual capabilities of records managers and their staff. A work stream model - or in the case of multiple M&AD programs running in tandem, a scalable service - for addressing these activities head on is one way to assure that information assets are managed appropriately and the lifeblood of the company is continually healthy.

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