AIIM - The Global Community of Information Professionals

Why the CIP is Not Just for Information Pros: An Accountant's Story

Jul 20, 2017 10:16:00 AM by Felicia Dillard

When asked what the CIP means to me, I immediately smile. This accomplishment means a lot - both on a professional and personal level.

You must be wondering  - how did an accountant become a Certified Information Professional?

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Topics: cip, certified information professional, accounts payable, accounting

In Pursuit of the CIP: why did I wait so long?

Jul 10, 2017 9:25:00 AM by Peggy Winton

I have a confession to make: I was a CIP skeptic. That’s right; I often found myself questioning whether the body of knowledge CIP represents -- even in its redesigned form -- was truly relevant for today’s information stewards in leading the digital transformation charge. I wondered whether business strategists who comprise the fastest growing AIIM membership sector would find applicability therein? Or, was CIP simply a capstone on a lifelong career for those core (and fewer) content “specialists”?

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Topics: information certification, cip, information management, information, certified information professional, certification

How to Quickly Become a Trusted Advisor for Digital Transformation

Jun 9, 2017 10:41:00 AM by Jesse Wilkins

Canon Norway, a division of Canon Europe, is the company in Norway with the most Certified Information Professionals (CIP) on staff. In recognition of this, we interviewed Henrik Klemetsen, Canon Norway’s Head of Marketing and Sales Excellence, to get his thoughts on the CIP program and how he was able to achieve such success with his team.

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Topics: cip, certified information professional

Canon Norway Standardizes on CIP

Jun 2, 2017 9:50:00 AM by Atle Skjekkeland

Over the past decade, there has been a “perfect storm” of change driven by consumerization, cloud, mobile, and the Internet of Things. It has changed how enterprise information and IT are viewed and changed the kinds of skills that are needed to adapt to these disruptions. The value-add for information technology in organizations is rapidly shifting from the technology per se to the stewardship, optimization, and application of the information assets themselves.

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Topics: cip, certified information professional

Own Your Own ECM Career

Feb 24, 2017 11:24:00 AM by Marko Sillanpää

[This is a guest post by  Marko Sillanpaa. Marko is the founder of BMO Consulting. An organization that helps vendors and users navigate the ECM landscape. Marko’s has been working in the content management space for over 18 years. In the past, he was the Director of Product Strategy at Documentum, Enterprise Adviser at Hyland, and the Director of Global Services at TraDOS. He has also worked as a consultant for CSC, Accenture and regional system integrators.]
Did any of us choose enterprise content management (ECM) as our career path when we joined the workforce?  While there are degree programs in information studies, I think most of our paths were accidental.  While we may have accidently entered ECM, the decision to stay has been our own choice.  Still we often don’t look at ECM as our career, but at “computers” as our career.  Yet I can hardly imagine a brain surgeon saying they were, “just a doctor.”  I know I don’t want to keep being asked if I can fix someone’s printer.  I think it’s time we own our career.
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Topics: cip, certified information professional, ecm, certification, AIIM17

Update! -- Defining the Information Professional of the Future

May 18, 2016 9:41:04 AM by John Mancini

Last month, I put together the following posts containing my thoughts about the future of Information Professionals.  

The first installment was called -- From Jurassic Park to Digital Transformation -- a Tale of Information Professionals.  Part Two was called -- A Short History of Where Information Professionals Came From.  Part Three was Disruptive Technologies Create Need for Information Professionals.  The last post follows in a moment after two updates...

Since I originally published these posts, 2 updates:

1 -- We've published a white paper on the Future of Information Professionals.

It's free.  Download it.  Send the link to your friends and colleagues.  Give it to your kids to show them what you do and why it's important!  Defining the Information Professional of the Future.

Future of an Information Professional

2 -- We've launched the brand spanking new CIP (Certified Information Professional)

Copies of the new study guide are FREE to AIIM Professional members and $69 to everyone else.  CIP Study guide is HERE.

CIP Study Guide

Defining the Information Professional of the Future

I concluded my previous post with this thought:

In the mainstream, the focus is still on on-premise applications built on and for the PC. The core skills that are valued in the mainstream are focused on building and developing systems. At the edge, the focus shifts to the cloud, mobile technologies become the Lego building blocks of systems, and the skill sets that are valued within our IT staffs shift from building and developing to configuring and connecting.

More to come in the next post.


So continuing....

So let’s return to our PEOPLE -- PROCESS -- TECHNOLOGY triad and think about how the world has changed -- and will continue to change.

On the PROCESS side, a revolutionary thing has happened. Process owners can now implement their OWN solutions. This creates incredible pressure to take monolithic business processes and turn them into applications. On top of this, the world is rapidly shifting to one in which most interactions will be on mobile devices. This means all processes must be reformulated from a mobile perspective.

This has interesting implications when we think about the world of TECHNOLOGY. As mentioned earlier, configuring, connecting, and mobile skills are now critical and in short supply. We need to rethink the entire notion of security. Security that was once defined purely in terms of what was inside and outside the firewall now needs to be reconstructed around individual information assets. And organizations are experiencing a massive Legacy drain on their ability to innovate.

Perhaps the most extreme change has been on the PEOPLE side of the equation. We have moved into a world in which usability is EVERYTHING. Even individual users can implement their own enterprise-like solutions, and if we try to get in their way they will do it anyway. There has been an enormous blurring of the lines between what is the home and what is the office. There is no way to put this genie back in the bottle, and organizations must understand that Millennials operate in a fundamentally different fashion than the email generation.

The implications of this relative to how we manage information are profound. The kinds of questions that are being asked in our organizations vary greatly depending on whether you view the world from a PROCESS perspective, a TECHNOLOGY perspective, or a PEOPLE perspective. And in an era in which enterprise-like capabilities are increasingly available without IT intervention, the short-term pressure for each of these people to actually communicate and cooperate with each other is decreasing.

Each of these players in the information management story has a different role to play in the organization, and in some ways they are all versions of information professionals. However their needs and requirements are vastly different.

End users need education on responsible computing practices and need to understand how their organization wishes to place boundaries on their use of information. Now that process automation solutions are available to a much wider range of companies than ever before through SaaS solutions, line of business executives must be educated to better understand what is possible. And technology specialists must keep up with a wide range of content and information management solutions, understand the relative strengths and weaknesses of each, and try to forecast the survivability of individual companies into the future.

But this still leaves the fundamental question of the role of the Information Professional in all of this.

Someone needs to own the big picture.

Someone needs to provide adult supervision to the process people, technology people, and end users that interact with content and information management systems.

Someone needs to help the organization think through what it means to manage information as a critical business asset.

Someone needs to act as the translator of the unique language of each of the people who interact with our information systems, whether they are from a PEOPLE perspective a PROCESS perspective or a TECHNOLOGY perspective.

We believe that that person is an Information Professional, and the CIP ( Certified Information Professional) is his/her badge.

Free e-book -- What is the new Role of an Information Professional?


A bit more from my keynote at #AIIM16 on the Future of Information Professionals.


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Topics: cip, certified information professional, information professional, information professionals

CIP Redux

Dec 18, 2015 4:41:50 PM by John Mancini

Please accept our thanks for all of the comments around the future of the CIP.  They have been gratifying in what they reveal about the passion that people feel for AIIM. This is a terrific thing and a trust we do not take lightly.  

When the Board meets, they try to imagine the entire membership sitting around the table, and make decisions accordingly.  Sometimes those decisions need reexamination and modification, and the Board has done that.

In the struggle to make ends meet — and keeping any non-profit viable is no easy feat these days — it’s easy to forget that passion is the underlying force that keeps any association alive.  Given this, we would like to outline as simply as possible a path to retain and grow the CIP, and outline a path forward.

The AIIM training program represents an extremely wide net of information competencies; much wider than we originally anticipated when we launched the first two courses. The range of competencies covered by AIIM’s training program now includes content management, records management, information governance, business process management, taxonomies, metadata, capture, SharePoint governance, content analytics, and all of the underlying technologies that support these broad areas.  A “Master” is one who has a deep dive understand of one particular competency.  A CIP is one who has a broad grasp of all of these technologies.  Both are important.

The CIP was intended to cover a broad set of information management technologies — broader than our two training courses at the time.  The original body of knowledge for the CIP was defined separately from that of our training program, never fully realizing at the time how expansive our own content and information management training would become.  The lack of linkage between the two bodies of knowledge created a virtually impossible task in keeping both up to date and current in an era of rapidly changing technologies.

Given the above, we will proceed as follows:

  1. We will continue the CIP and begin work on CIP 2.0.
  2. For CIP 2.0, we will redefine its body of knowledge as the full body of knowledge represented across all of AIIM's training courses.
  3. We will launch CIP 2.0 at AIIM16.

Thanks again for all of the passion for AIIM.  If there are any comments or questions or confusion about your particular situation re the CIP (I know the past week has been confusing), please direct them specifically to me (johnmancini [at] and I will get them answered .

We look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of all of our Masters and CIPs at AIIM16, and we hope to see you there.

Happy Holidays.

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Topics: cip, certified information professional

Some thoughts on the AIIM CIP Program

Dec 14, 2015 3:06:59 PM by John Mancini

As you may know, the AIIM Board of Directors recently reached the decision to combine our Masters and Certified Information Professional (CIP) programs. A few of our members contacted me about this, and I thought I would expand upon my reply to them and give everyone the backstory on why and how that decision was reached.

For the past 12 years, AIIM has produced deep-dive skills development programs in a variety of information management disciplines, with Enterprise Content Management as the overall body of knowledge -- Electronic Records Management, Business Process Management, Information Governance, SharePoint Governance, Taxonomy and Metadata, and other courses as subsets. For most of these courses, we offered Practitioner, Specialist and Master level designations. As of this writing, there are 2,000 Masters, each of whom has successfully completed course work, an examination, and a peer reviewed case study.

We launched our CIP program a few years later, with the objective of assembling a broad base of knowledge extending beyond the realm of information management. This body of knowledge was captured in a series of videos offering a high level summary of dozens of topics. Individuals who felt they understood this body of knowledge were encouraged to take a proctored examination to demonstrate their understanding of these topics. As of this writing, there are 1,000 CIPs.

As these separate but parallel programs evolved, certain disconnects became apparent to us and our community:

  1. There were overlaps and inconsistencies between the body of knowledge represented by the CIP and that represented by our deep dive training program. Naturally, this was confusing to many, who struggled to understand which of the two paths to pursue.
  2. A key challenge in our industry is that many members of our community are not members of a “profession” in a traditional sense, but business, IT, and IM people with a project-based business problem. We have had close to 30,000 training students, but only 1,000 CIPs.
  3. The key value proposition for certification programs is their incorporation into job descriptions, job qualifications, and ultimately, professional advancement. Growing this flywheel of professional certification and personal advancement is challenging in any profession; getting hiring organizations in our industry to standardize around a very broad certification such as CIP has been doubly so. We have had far more success in building recognition and appreciation for the single discipline Masters certification as a “badge” than the CIP.  
  4. One can argue that not enough marketing muscle was put behind the CIP, and frankly there is an element of truth to that.  As a small 25-person organization, AIIM needed key suppliers and large user organizations to embrace the CIP, and that never happened.
  5. While financials were not the driving force behind the CIP decision, at some point even a non-profit has to make sound business decisions.  Here are a few data points to consider:
    1. The original CIP cost $191,583 to develop. Given the rapid pace of technology change, the knowledge base needs a reset, and we faced a decision about whether to reinvest yet another $150K+ or find an alternate path for the CIP.
    2. Since the CIP was created in 2012, it has generated $271,964 in revenues. The net LOSS of the CIP to AIIM and to its members has been ($283,438).
    3. During the same period, our training revenues, driven by the Practitioner, Specialist, and Master designations, grossed $6,387,455, or about 23x more, and a significant net profit that was reinvested back in other member programs.
    4. Much as I personally love the CIP concept, the Board is right.  It hasn't meet the original projections for adoption by large vendors and users, and it's time to move on.
  6. As we thought about how to best maximize the investment made by our members in both programs, we came to the conclusion that our best strategy moving forward was to focus on one program and focus on the program with the more rigorous qualifications and with broader buy-in by hiring organizations – and that is the Masters program.
  7. By integrating the CIP into the Masters program, we gain more flexibility to add specific new courses and certifications as our industry evolves. The convergence of cloud, mobile, and consumerization is creating a perfect storm for information management. We need new best practices for dealing with these issues, and our efforts will be focused on filling this void. Our strategy moving forward will be to offer inexpensive quick study courses to introduce topics to newcomers (very similar to the CIP videos), and deep dive courses on key information management topics (with Specialist and Masters designations) for those who need to demonstrate their competency to current and potential employers.

We believe that having a unified network of 3000+ AIIM Masters will give us a much larger, critical mass of certified professionals, and allow us to focus on increasing the value of the credential in our industry. I hope that this helps to explain the iterative approach that the Board has taken. I realize and respect that this is a challenging issue for many.

I welcome your thoughts and opinions -- ping me at johnmancini [at]

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Topics: cip, certified information professional, certification

Eating More Fiber and Getting to the WHY? of Information Governance

Oct 17, 2013 2:13:59 PM by John F. Mancini

It’s time to have an executive “conversation.”  You know which one.  The one that is tied to personal and
organizational health.  Here’s a typical checklist:

  1. Watch my cholesterol.
  2. Get out of the office and manage more by walking
  3. Get my blood pressure checked.
  4. Focus on outcomes, not on dictating everything
    that must be done.
  5. Get more exercise.
  6. Travel less and spend more time at home.
  7. Eat more fiber.
  8. Get my oil changed every 3,000 miles.
  9. Get serious about information governance.

OK, OK, OK.  I’ll do 1
through 8.  I promise.  I’ll be serious this time.  I’ll do them ALL if you’ll just lay off number
9.  Just please, please, please, don’t
talk to me about information governance. 

When I talk to executives, I often explain the importance of
effective information management in terms something like this:

“You have financial systems in
place to manage your organization’s financial assets.  You have ERP systems in place to manage its
physical assets.  You have HR systems to
manage your people assets.  In the
Information Age, you need a system and a process to manage your information

Usually I get a lot of executive head nods when I say things
like this.  Yet when push comes to shove,
there’s a lot more good intention going on relative to information governance
than concrete action. 

According to AIIM’s Information Governance - records, risks and retention in the litigation age in only 15% of
organization’s is Information Governance “in place, important and communicated
and enforced.”  15%.

There are a lot of reasons for this gap between intentions
and reality:

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Topics: information certification, cloud, certified information professional, Compliance and records management

The #Obama Administration's RM Initiative - What Does It Mean to You?

Jan 31, 2013 6:51:07 AM by John F. Mancini

I recently did a webinar with Sue Trombley from Iron Mountain on the impact of the Obama Administration's records management initiative -- not just on the federal government, but on records management in general.  The archived webinar is HERE.

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Topics: Iron Mountain, arma, certified information professional, Compliance and records management, Obama, aiim, records management

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