Program Planning and Research Specialist Joshua Clark spoke with Michael Shea of the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) about a recent project of the State Agency Coordinating Committee Records and Information Management (SACCRIM) subcommittee. Michael Shea was the State Records Center Manager for seven years before joining TWC in 2019 as the Records Management Officer. He currently serves as Secretary of SACCRIM. This interview was conducted by email in May 2022 and has been edited and condensed for clarity.
TSLAC: Tell me about SACCRIM. What do you do?
Michael Shea: The State Agency Coordinating Committee Records and Information Management Subcommittee (SACCRIM) includes records management officers and records managers from many of the largest state agencies in Texas. SACCRIM contemplates and advises their member agencies and others on records and information management matters that impact government agencies. The subcommittee is a forum for the exchange of knowledge, shared solutions, and networking for its members and guests.
TSLAC: What’s the purpose of the SACCRIM educational project?
MS: In 2020, SACCRIM noted that the recommendations from the TSLAC/DIR Digital Storage study showed great interest from the state records management community for improved training resources and standardization of those resources. The Educational Project is a SACCRIM initiative to provide resources that share the benefits of SACCRIM’s knowledge exchange with the records management community. Educational project materials contain guidance for navigating records management topics, dilemmas, or challenges, with insight about basics, hidden gems, and common solutions.
TSLAC: Tell me about these pamphlets SACCRIM recently developed in 2021. Who are they for? What do they cover?
MS: Both pamphlets have to do with coordination and management of big records management priorities: training and e-mail, the means by which we all provide most of our written communication. The information is good for those managing, participating, or subject to a RM program, and best for those whose job it is to start the conversation: Records Management Officers.
TSLAC: What is SACCRIM working on next?
MS: We are engaging policy, training, and best practices for use of electronic collaboration tools like Teams and Zoom.
TSLAC: SACCRIM sounds like a great opportunity for people to meet others working on the same records and information issues they are. Do you have to be from a state agency on the SACC to attend SACCRIM meetings?
MS: It is a great place to exchange ideas, learn from others, and experience the positive energy of those who wish to promote the continuous improvement of agency records management practices! You don’t have to be from a SACC agency to attend meetings, but attendance is limited to government agency personnel. We meet on the third Thursday of each month. The meetings are open to all state agencies, and we frequently have guests from local entities. Please see SACC’s website for more details about how to participate in upcoming meetings.
TSLAC: Finally, what’s one piece of advice you wish you had received when you started working in records management?
MS: I’m going to paraphrase something Jenny Alexander said a while back that really resonated with me. “We aren’t managing records; we are managing human behavior.” People are afraid of change, so asking them to do something slightly different can really cause panic and outright rejection. “I don’t have time for Records Management” is the enemy, so we are constantly fighting that stance. We do this by first recognizing the work of the teams we meet and connecting better RIM practices with improving their programs.
Practically speaking, learn all you can about RIM and your agency programs before you start “wielding policies.” Watch all the TSLAC webinars, hit the SACCRIM meetings, attend ARMA or RMICC meetings, read our pamphlets and seek out other agency Records Managers. There’s a great community of knowledgeable Records Managers in Texas Government, and I’ve yet to find one that was not willing to answer a question or offer assistance. It takes a village to build and/or improve a Records Management program.
TSLAC Note: Digital versions of SACCRIM’s Email Management Education Project and Records Management Training Priorities pamphlets have been added to our Electronic Records Resources for Bulletin 1 webpage.