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IG Maturity Model
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Information Governance Maturity Model

The Information Governance Maturity Model (Maturity Model) – which is based on the Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles® (Principles), as well as the extant standards, best practices, and legal/regulatory requirements that surround information governance – is meant to be deployed as a quality improvement tool.

As shown in the figure below, the Maturity Model describes for each Principle the characteristics of effective information governance at five distinct levels of development: substandard, in development, essential, proactive, transformational.

Level 1 (Substandard): This level describes an environment where information governance concerns are not addressed at all, are addressed minimally, or are addressed in a sporadic manner. Organizations at this level usually have concerns that the information governance programs will not meet legal or regulatory requirements and may not effectively serve their business needs.

Level 2 (In Development): This level describes an environment where there is a developing recognition that information governance has an impact on the organization and that the organization may benefit from a more defined information governance program. The organization is vulnerable to redress of its legal, regulatory, and business requirements because its practices are ill-defined, incomplete, nascent, or marginally effective.

Level 3 (Essential): This level describes the essential or minimum requirements that must be addressed to meet the organization’s legal, regulatory, and business requirements. Level 3 is characterized by defined policies and procedures and the implementation of processes specifically intended to improve information governance. Level 3 organizations may be missing significant opportunities for streamlining the business and controlling costs, but they demonstrate the key components of a sound program and may be minimally compliant with legal, operational, and other responsibilities.

Level 4 (Proactive): This level describes an organization-wide, proactive information governance program with mechanisms for continuous improvement. Information governance issues and considerations are routinized and integrated into business decisions. For the most part, the organization is compliant with industry best practices and meets its legal and regulatory requirements. Level 4 organizations can pursue the additional business benefits they could attain by increasing information asset availability, as appropriate; mining information assets for a better understanding of client and customer needs; and fostering their organizations’ optimal use of information assets.

Level 5 (Transformational): This level describes an organization that has integrated information governance into its infrastructure and business processes such that compliance with the organization’s policies and legal/regulatory responsibilities is routine. The organization recognizes that effective information governance plays a critical role in cost containment, competitive advantage, and client service. It implements strategies and tools for ongoing success.

An organization can determine the maturity of its information governance practices – for a specific department, division, geographic location, or the entire organization – by evaluating them against the characteristics of effective information governance provided by the Maturity Model.

After determining its maturity, an organization may – based on its defined business needs and risk tolerances – target different levels of anticipated maturity achievement and/or different areas of the organization for each of the eight Principles.

To Learn More

For access to the Maturity Model and practical guidance about using it as a quality improvement tool for an organization’s information governance practices, please consult Implementing the Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles (ARMA International TR 30-2017), which is available for purchase in the ARMA International bookstore. For ARMA International professional members, this is a FREE PDF download.

Not an ARMA International professional member? Learn more about this and other benefits of membership by visiting here or contacting our membership team at for personal assistance.