Information Management - Knowledge Area

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National Project Management System
Business Projects-IT-Enabled


Information Management Knowledge Area


December 2010


This policy-related document is issued under the authority of the Deputy Minister, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC).


This knowledge area is to be implemented in conjunction with the PSPC National Project Management System (NPMS) policy, and is mainly extracted from the Information Management (IM) Project Plan template which is the source document and should be consulted in order to ensure up-to-date information.


To describe the components and requirements of NPMS, as applied to the management of project information.


The Government of Canada (GC) creates a vast amount of information that enables the delivery of programs, services and products to Canadians or on behalf of Canadians; supports the reporting of results to Parliament, and ensures accountability and transparency of actions. As these information resources are valuable and critical factors in the success of any endeavor, structured planning of their management must occur to meet corporate goals and to successfully deliver programs and services.

Purpose of the Information Management Plan

  • Identify all information assets related to the project;
  • Facilitate compliance with government policy and standards, using best IM practices and Library and Archives Canada (LAC) requirements for the disposition of GC records;
  • Facilitate the safeguarding, storage and retrieval of information resources generated in the performance of this project; and
  • Establish a balanced IM solution for the project.

Objectives of the Project Information Management Plan

  • Ensure all project team members understand and share the responsibility of managing information;
  • Ensure information is properly classified, retained and stored for future use and in compliance with legislation and policies; and
  • Ensure information is accessible, consistent, reliable and accurate to support effective delivery of the project.

Information Management Principles

The following IM key principles promote the efficient use of institutional resources, make information easier to find in the future, and ensure its protection and preservation - all in accordance with business, legal and policy requirements:

  • avoid collecting duplicate information;
  • share and re-use information, respecting legal restrictions;
  • ensure information is complete, accurate, current, relevant, and understandable;
  • support access to information, respecting privacy, policy and legal requirements;
  • safeguard information against unlawful access, loss and damage; and
  • preserve information in accordance with its operational, legal, financial and historical value.

The following diagram illustrates the seven (7) stages comprising the life cycle of information assets.

The image illustrates the seven (7) stages comprising the life cycle of information assets. See link below for the long description.

Figure 1 - Information Management Lifecycle

A larger image of this diagram - Information Management Lifecycle, is available on a separate page.

Creating the Information Management Plan

Use of Information Management Plan Template or
Component Plan in the project management plan

The Information Management Plan template is to be the standard planning document for IM planning requirements. The project management plan template contains a component Information Management Plan that can be used where a standalone document is not warranted by the purpose, size or complexity of the project.

Information Management Plan recommended contents include:

  • Data, records and document management: In this section, list all data, documents and records to be managed during the project lifecycle;
  • Information flow: In this section, clearly identify the flow with a diagram, from point of creation to point of storage for each type of document to be managed;
  • Metadata: In this section, for each data, record etc., the project creates a chart, containing elements such as description, owner, storage medium, date created etc.;
  • Document versioning: In this section, it is recommended the project use the ITSB_Naming_Numbering _and Metadata_Standard.Doc;
  • Classification and naming conventions: In this section, it is recommended the project use the ITSB_Naming_Numbering _and Metadata_Standard.Doc;
  • Storage medium: This section is covered in the next section of this document;
  • Access and security access: In this section, provide a description of controls for authorized access to data, documents and records based on need to know in accordance with legislation and regulations. Refer to DP 002-Policy on Access to Information and Privacy Acts;
  • Retention: In this section, identify how long the information will be required; how essential records will be protected; discuss business continuity and recovery, etc.,
  • Disposal: In this section, define the approach, processes, disposition authority and schedule for each data type, records or documents;
  • Knowledge Management (KM): In this section, identify practices to identify, share and document knowledge;
  • Strategy and tools: In this section, define the KM strategy and tools that will be used to manage the project's knowledge;
  • Considerations and processes: Corporate or legislative considerations. For example, discuss how the project will comply with the Official Languages Act, document scanning requirements, etc.; and
  • IM standards: This section of the Information Management Plan describes project-specific IM standards to be followed by all members of the project team.

Information Management Solution Approach

When creating and implementing the Information Management Plan, the project information management solution approach is to map the type of information to the storage medium or tool that best meets the requirements for each type of information.

Team members who have access to E-DRM should store their documents in E-DRM according to the proposed project file structure found at the end of this section, unless a well-organized alternative structure already exists in the organization. This will simplify project Close-Out activities and aid in records management activities. In the case where some of the team members do not have access to E-DRM, it is important to contact an information specialist at to identify the most appropriate information repositories and storage mediums. Use the following table to define storage mediums, which will be used in the context of this project.

Storage Medium Example

Define the storage medium, which will be used in the context of the project lifecycle.

Table Summary

The table describes the storage medium, rationale for use, location, resumption plans and service provisions.

Storage medium Rational for use Location Resumption Plan identified
Web site Provides information on project developments and communications PSPC Information Technology Services Branch (ITSB) hosted Internet City provides 12X5 support at 99.5%
E-DRM Departmental tool Provides access to all draft and final versions of documents PSPC-ITSB hosted Service provision - 12X5 support at 99.5%
Filing Cabinet Paper-based documents PSPC-ITSB/
Corporate Services, Policy and Communications Branch (CSPCB)
Standard working hours
E-mail System used for information exchange PSPC-ITSB hosted Service provision - 12X5 support at 99.5%
Shared drive (not recommended) Other alternatives do not meet information requirements ITSB hosted Service provision - 12X5 support at 99.5%
Databases   PSPC-ITSB hosted  

IM Retention and Disposal Schedule

During project disposition, project documents and records may need to be disposed in E-DRM and/or other repositories. This may include retention, transferrals, archiving and destruction.

The Project Manager should determine the list of deliverables that will be produced throughout the project and document them in the IM Retention and Disposal Schedule (to be attached to the IM Plan). Once this list has been finalized, the IM manager should contact the departmental IM specialists at in order to determine the disposition/retention rules appropriate for each deliverable.

Language Requirement Consideration

Project Managers have a responsibility to ensure that the Official Languages Act and related official language regulations are taken into account in the creation, transmission and management of documents and records, as well as in their information content.

Document Version Control

The standard for versioning a draft is v0.1. The version is incremented by 0.1 at the discretion of the author, or at least once per version issued. If the content of a document changes, the author or the staff member responsible for the document's maintenance must save it as a new version. If a document is entered in E-DRM, the application will automatically apply version control and log user access and actions by name and date. The E-DRM version number becomes part of the title and should be maintained on the cover page of the document.


This knowledge area applies to all PSPC Business Projects-IT-Enabled. For projects carried out for and funded by other government departments (OGDs), the NPMS practices are to be applied in keeping with client approvals and governance, as per the Business Projects-IT-Enabled OGD procedure.


Classification/Record Classification
The Departmental Subject File Classification Plan is a comprehensive and structured system used to organize and locate records throughout their life cycle. At PSPC, records are organized numerically under two main subject categories: administrative and operational.
Note: Employees are not responsible for assigning numbers to records from different categories. For assistance in this area, contact your Branch Record Centre or the Records Management Directorate.
Data is a set of discrete facts about events. Most organizations capture significant amounts of data in highly structured databases such as service management and configuration management tools/systems and databases.
A document can be a word processing file, a spreadsheet, a project management schedule, a graphics file, a CAD or engineering drawing, paper scanned as an image, a slide show presentation, audio and even video, or any similar item that can be contained in an electronic file.
Information comes from providing context to data. Information is typically stored in semi-structured content such as documents, e-mail, and multimedia.
The key knowledge management activity around information is managing the content in a way that makes it easy to capture, query, find, re-use and learn from experiences so that mistakes are not repeated and work is not duplicated.
Knowledge is composed of the tacit experiences, ideas, insights, values and judgements of individuals. People gain knowledge both from their own and from their peers' expertise, as well as from the analysis of information and data. Through the synthesis of these elements, new knowledge is created.
Knowledge is dynamic and context based. Knowledge puts information into an "ease of use" form, which can facilitate decision-making. In service transition, this knowledge is not solely based on the transition in progress, but is gathered from experience of previous transitions, awareness of recent and anticipated changes, and other areas that experienced staff will have been unconsciously collecting for some time.
Metadata is data about data. It describes how and when and by whom a particular set of data was collected, and how the data is formatted. Metadata is essential for understanding information stored in data warehouses, such as databases, and has become increasingly important to Web-based applications and sites.
A record is any documentary material other than a publication, regardless of medium or form. Records include any correspondence, memorandum, book, plan, map, drawing, diagram, pictorial or graphic work, photograph, film, microform, sound recording, videotape, machine readable record and any documentary material regardless of physical form or characteristic and any copy thereof. A record that does not exist but can be produced from machine-readable records that is subject to regulations and is also included in the definition of a record.
Transitory Records
Transitory records consists of records of temporary usefulness that are not an integral part of an administrative or operational record series, not regularly filed with standards records or filing systems, and are only required for a limited period of time for the completion of a routine action or the preparation of an ongoing record.


All parties responsible for developing the project Information Management Plan are strongly encouraged to consult with other Project Leaders/Managers and Senior Project Managers.

It is also recommended that Project Managers seek advice from technical experts and other Subject-Matter Expert (SME)s within PSPC. They should also consider historical information and lessons learned from similar projects within PSPC when updating the Information Management Plan, and conducting their version control and archiving processes at the end of the Identification and Delivery stages.

Roles and responsibilities related to the management of information in the Government of Canada are listed below:

Client/Business Line Owner

The Client/Business Line Owner is responsible for:

  • overseeing compliance with all federal legislation and departmental policies and directives
  • championing the principles espoused in the Treasury Board Policy on Information Management, including facilitating the use of electronic systems for creating, using and managing information resources throughout their life cycle;
  • overseeing the strategic planning and resourcing activities related to the management of information resources;
  • ensuring that information management requirements, such as including records management, systems development, etc., are identified and addressed at an early stage of any operational program design; and
  • designating a senior manager who will be an active member of a committee on the management of records and information holdings and an advocate of the records management principles.

Project Lead (Business Side)

The Project Director is responsible for:

  • appointing resources to develop the Information Management Plan;
  • appointing an Information Manager to carry out assigned duties on a day-to-day basis; and
  • ensuring that the Information Management Plan is agreed upon, in place and being followed.

Project Manager

The Project Manager is responsible for:

  • ensuring all employees and persons engaged under contract comply with federal legislation and departmental policies and directives for the management of information (refer to Section 6. Scope of this document);
  • ensuring all employees and persons engaged under contract receive the required training in the management of information resources;
  • planning, resourcing and implementing activities related to the management of information resources, including the use of automation;
  • identifying and addressing requirements for information resources at an early stage of any program design; and
  • co-operating with departmental records management specialists on the efficiency and effectiveness of plans and activities related to the management of information resources.

Information Manager

Note: A specialized and dedicated resource may be required to fill this role on larger projects. On smaller projects this role is filled by the delivery Project Manager.

The Information Manager is responsible for establishing and supporting IM practices for the project. Specific duties include:

  • preparing an Information Management Plan, in coordination with the Project Director and the Project Manager and the appropriate IM specialists;
  • updating the IM Plan, as required and as new issues emerge;
  • advising project team members on issues related to the Information Management plan;
  • co-ordinating the implementation of the IM solution for the project;
  • co-ordinating training on any IM solution tools as required; and
  • liaising with departmental IM specialists or departmental IM advisors.

IM Specialists

IM Specialists - including librarians, archivists, access to information and privacy officials, records management specialists, Web management specialists, forms management specialists, and security specialists will support information management efforts by:

  • providing IM advice, tools, procedures, standards, and guidelines, consistent with direction provided by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) and LAC;
  • aiding the Information Manager in the implementation of the IM Plan;
  • identifying enterprise-level information requirements to IT personnel in support of the development and operation of IT processes, systems, standards, and tools; and
  • assessing specific IM resource and training requirements and working with the Information Manager to implement these needs.

IM Advisors

IM Advisors are the resources under the Knowledge and Information Management Directorate (KIMD) and will support IM efforts by:

  • providing IM advice and support on all aspects of managing the information resource;
  • providing advice and guidance on information architecture;
  • providing feedback on the IM Plan;
  • aiding the Information Manager in the implementation of the IM Plan;
  • identifying enterprise-level information requirements to IT personnel in support of the development and operation of IT processes, systems, standards, and tools; and
  • assessing general IM training requirements and working with the Information Manager to implement these needs.

Team Members

Team members are responsible for:

  • applying effective principles, standards, guidelines and practices for managing information resources in the ongoing performance of their duties, including the Policy on Information Management;
  • managing information resources throughout their life cycle and complying with federal legislation and departmental policies, directives, standards and guidelines regarding the management of information (refer to Section 6. Scope of this document for details);
  • maintaining audit trails by documenting activities and decisions, particularly with respect to electronic mail messages;
  • supporting program development by identifying information resource requirements and issues to their manager and departmental IM and IT specialists;
  • participating in training offered on information management, as appropriate, and
  • using electronic systems for creating, using and managing records and information holdings.


Stakeholders are responsible for:

  • managing information resources throughout their life cycle and complying with federal legislation and departmental policies, directives, standards and guidelines regarding the management of information (refer to Section 6. Scope of this document for details); and
  • maintaining audit trails by documenting activities and decisions, particularly with respect to electronic mail messages.


  • TBS - IM Strategic Direction for Government: Documents the approved strategic directions in the area of information management for the GC.
  • TBS - Policy on Information Management: Establishes the value of information resources to the GC and the requirement for all employees to be involved in their management.
  • TBS - Directive on Information Management Roles and Responsibilities: Establishes IM accountabilities for different levels of civil servants.
  • TBS - Information Management Guidelines: Establishes guidelines on departmental planning of IT and IM.
  • Department of Justice - Access to Information Act
  • Department of Justice - Privacy Act
  • Department of Justice - Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act
  • Department of Justice - Library and Archives Canada Act - Section 12 (1)
  • PSPC - DP002-Policy on Access to Information and Privacy Acts
  • PSPC - DP014-Protection of Personal and Private Information in the Workplace
  • PSPC - DP026-Audit and Ethics Branch Investigation
  • PSPC - DP044-Records Management & Information Holdings
  • PSPC - DP048-Advertising
  • PSPC - DP051-Departmental Security Program
  • PSPC - DP052-Corporate Security Program
  • PSPC - DP061-Forms Management
  • PSPC - DP062-PSPC Management Framework for Communications on the Internet and Intranet
  • PSPC - DP066-Departmental Library Services
  • PSPC - DP067-Management of Electronic Mail
  • PSPC - DP068-Ministerial Correspondence
  • PSPC - DP083-Verbal Enquiries from Parliamentarians
  • PSPC - DP086-Workplace Accommodation Policy
  • PSPC - DP092-Policy on Official Languages
  • PSPC - DP096-PSPC Internal Audit Policy
  • PSPC - DP102-Policy on Information Management
  • PSPC Information Management Plan template




Please direct enquiries about this Knowledge Area to the Director, Centre of Excellence, ITSB Project Delivery Office.