My Information Baby

October 14th, 2015

I have recently returned to work after having my first baby and it seems only fitting that my first ever blog is about him. I will spare you a review of the (very cute) videos and photos and jump right to the point…I DON'T KNOW HOW TO MANAGE ALL OF HIS INFORMATION! And this is shocking! I specialize in information management! I help organizations manage their information! Why can't I manage my family's information? I am struggling to keep baby-related information organized and I could blame our lack of an enterprise/scalable content management system, or the overwhelming amount of information, or the lack of time (because I'm doing what I perceive to be more important things such as keeping him alive). And, as I struggle, I can't help but relate this to content management implementation projects that I've both seen and been a part of.

Let's talk about or documents. Did you know that the government doesn't issue SIN cards anymore? Instead, I received a letter with his SIN number on it. Recognizing that it is an important document and will be required for many years ahead (otherwise known as a ), I folded up the letter to card-size and stored it in the same place as my SIN card. Same goes for his birth certificate and health care card. The IT person in me wants to digitize those documents, but I don't know why I would actually need electronic versions of them when I have the physical. I guess I'm dying to make a back-up copy because they are and I don't want to lose them.

And what about his data? His length and weight at different milestones? A physical copy of his growth chart is at the public health centre and our doctor's office also keeps an electronic copy (they don't share with each other, even though they're both within the medical profession). I also don't have access to either of those sources, so record it on my phone (there's an app for that!). Where else is this same information? I send it to his grandparents via text message, have handwritten it in his baby book, and who knows how many people I've emailed or told verbally over the months. (He's growing at a normal pace, by the way). Insert buzzword here…where is the single source of truth? Data proliferation!

And don't get me started on pictures…as a hobby photographer, I used to have a very strict pre-baby rule that nice photos were taken with my nice camera and adhoc/unplanned photos were taken on my phone. This allowed me to create albums for different events, tag them with keywords and locations (), etc. so that I could find/print/share them easily. Insert upgraded phone camera quality and my lack of desire to lug a huge camera around and you will know where I'm heading. Pictures, pictures, everywhere! The number is growing exponentially as are my storage requirements. Sort of like an organizational shared drive, I suppose.

So, as I contemplate my personal dilemmas with managing my family's information, I can't help but wonder if this is how stakeholders in traditional ECM projects feel. Do they justify duplicating confidential/sensitive documents so that they won't lose them? Is operational data recorded in many different ways in many different locations purely for ease of use and/or because it's hard to share using existing technologies? And similar to my pictures, is there so much information out there that the thought of organizing it is overwhelming?

I suspect that I am on to something here. "Life" and "Work" aren't so different after all.

Written by Tara Dragon.