How We Learned to Love Event-Based Retention

By: Anthony Paille on February 16th, 2018

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How We Learned to Love Event-Based Retention

Retention  |  AIIM Conference

Allow me to introduce you to Wendy McLain, Manager of Enterprise Content & Records Management at Valero. Valero is a publicly-traded international oil and gas company, with revenue in the billions of dollars.

Wendy will be presenting at The AIIM Conference 2018. Her session is called "How We Learned to Love Event-Based Retention: A Valero Energy Case Study in Records Management." I thought this would be a great time to catch up with Wendy and ask her some questions.

Tony Paille: Before we get serious, tell me a little about yourself. What do you do for fun?

Wendy McLain: I like to travel, visit historic small towns, wander through antique stores in search of vintage Pyrex, and tour local wineries. Did you know there are over 350 wineries in Texas?

TP: Wow, I didn't know that! I suppose you'll have to visit them all. Tell me, what makes you excited about Mondays?

WM: I'm excited that several Mondays are holidays!

TP: Haha, that's true! Ok, this question might be a little more relevant then. What do you dread most about going to work?

WM: The noise of the open office concept.

TP: That's so interesting. In the past, we've talked a lot about creating environments for collaboration at The AIIM Conference and have had several advocates for the open office concept speak. We so rarely hear the other side.

You're the Manager of Enterprise Content & Records Management at Valero. What questions are you asked the most by your colleagues?

WM: I get a lot of questions about email management, legal holds, and our ECM design. Most of them boil down to "can I get rid of this?"

TP: I think that's a common one for most of our community. Where do you see the information management industry in 5 years?

WM: I see a wave of experienced RIM professionals retiring. I'm hopeful that we are preparing the next generation to move into those roles and keep evolving along with the profession.

TP: Do you have any advice to offer that next generation?

WM: Early in my career, a seasoned engineer advised me that no one would put as much effort into my career development as I would. If I wanted to advance, then I needed to be my own advocate first and then seek people to support me.

TP: What about when things just don't go your way. Do you have a mantra you repeat to yourself?

WM: 1. This will pass, 2. change is inevitable, 3. the dark chocolate is hidden behind the coffee.

TP: You're a fun and creative person. Tell me about a time where you really put your creativity on display?

WM: I once delivered a TED-style talk comparing Information Governance to yoga. I wore my yoga clothes and demonstrated each pose as I spoke to an audience of my peers. I think that qualifies as both creative and terrifying.

TP: Wow! I hope we get to see some of those moves at AIIM18. Can you tell us a little bit about what we can expect from your session?

WM: You will hear me say "consistency" repeatedly. In fact, my team has probably developed a game involving counting how many times a week I tell them that our goal is to document our processes and then consistently follow them.

I'll be discussing how my team and I set out to evaluate our existing Records Retention Schedule and analyze the Event-Based Retention periods. Attendees will learn how we performed our analysis and implemented critical changes that considered trigger dates and the volume of records affected by the EBR periods.

TP: Thank you so much for your time, Wendy. I know you'll knock 'em dead!

If you'd like to see Wendy's session, there's only one place to do it - at The AIIM Conference 2018. We hope to see you there!


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