Extensive knowledge and experience
Heather was involved in the process of recruiting and mentoring me in my new role as Information and Records Manager over the last 8 months. Her extensive knowledge in relation to information management, PRSA requirements and her experience with other organisations implementing digital solutions in relation to records was invaluable to me. Heather is also heavily involved in the wider RM movement and encourages shared practice across all local authorities and collaborative working. In addition to this her own personal knowledge of the challenges faced by RM professionals given the current legislative requirements is wide reaching and at all levels, professional and personal. This has been really helpful and has provided me with some much needed encouragement and support when I have needed it.
Heather makes retention schedules exciting!
It’s difficult to make retention schedules exciting, but Heather gave an absorbing and comprehensive presentation at an event I organised for a network of Information Champions. From start to finish - the importance of retention schedules, plus some practical advice, in 45 minutes. And all delivered to a mixed ability audience from absolute beginners to leading professionals.
We now have a robust records management system
When it was decided by my senior management that we needed to improve records management for our Housing and Social Work services and I was nominated to lead on this, I didn't know where to begin. Then I was introduced to Heather who at that time was supporting our ICT service. We then started to work together with service teams from across Aberdeenshire whose records were held in various formats and on local drives that were only accessible to local staff and without any agreed file structure. The outcome of the work that Heather completed with teams was a records management system now used by staff that supports service delivery. The transition was not easy and involved identifying business processes, creating file plans, educating and supporting staff to hold records using correct naming conventions in a shared drive, that were eventually migrated to TRIM with appropriate retention and access levels set up. The whole experience was a steep learning curve and culture change for myself and service staff but Heather has left us with a robust records management system and the ability to build on this for the future.
Heather Jack is one of the very few stand-up records managers who can be guaranteed always to raise a laugh. With her irrepressible grin and one hand held aloft, finger pointed to the sky, she makes what might appear the dull monotony of records management exciting. Something every sane person should aspire to.
Without a single note, she talks excitedly about her personal journey from the pastures of the library to the challenge of being an information management consultant in both the public and private sector. Like a female Bill Connolly she never falters, even if sometimes you wonder where she is leading her audience. Always she brings it together in a resounding conclusion that there can be no more rewarding career than helping organizations understand why effective management of their knowledge base can improve efficiency and add value. This may be management speak, but from Heather it is delivered with the passionate enthusiasm of a practitioner who believes whole-heartedly in what she does and the contribution she makes.
Long before government woke up to the knowledge economy, Heather was wittily advocating unlocking the value of records hidden in cupboards or computers. Each year for nearly a decade with her memorable presentations she has launched many students on the Information and Management and Preservation (IMP) masters programme at the University of Glasgow on a career in managing information.