There’s a New IGRM in Town…Almost

Written by Doug Austin, Editor of eDiscovery Today

Last week, I talked about how EDRM has updated the Information Governance Reference Model (IGRM) model this year with a new look and the v4.0 version will go into effect next week and will soon appear in the updated EDRM model as well, no doubt.

That will happen, but just not as quickly as expected. And that’s OK, because people have indicated they are invested in the new IGRM model – and in information governance in general. I’ll explain.

IGRM 4.0 Public Comment Version

Back in June, EDRM released the Final Draft of the IGRM 4.0 diagram for public comment (I covered it here). The IGRM Revision Project team established a deadline for public comments, extended it, but still stated “the following Information Governance Reference Model diagram (Version 3.0) will still be live and active through the comment and revision period and will be formally retired on December 1, 2021.”

I asked Mary Mack, CEO and Chief Legal Technologist for EDRM, about the motivation for updating the IGRM model and she said: “The IGRM team addressed the new diagram in the context of using it to move their information governance efforts forward within their own organizations and community wide. EDRM is very grateful for this updated visual representation, and a vocabulary to start building out elements.”

However, as part of E-Discovery Day activities this week, EDRM provided an update for several of the EDRM projects currently in progress and stated that the release of the final version of the new IGRM model has been pushed back – likely to January – to address the large number of comments they received during the public comment period. The new version of the model (after addressing the public comments) will likely be version 4.1.

While the delay seems like a setback, I think it’s actually a good sign as to how many people are interested in the new IGRM model. From my perspective, the number of comments that EDRM received during the public comment period shows just how many people are invested in information governance.

What’s New in IGRM 4.x (so far)

While there may still be changes, there are certainly some themes that have emerged from the new design of the IGRM model, including:

  • Change in Number and Representation of Stakeholder Groups: When I published six-part series on IGRM stakeholder groups my last year, there were five stakeholder groups. Now, there are seven – Legal, RIM, Risk, Privacy, Security, IT and Business – equally represented around the circle. As Mary told me: “each business function is represented as equal instead of legal having the lion’s share of the pie. Security and privacy get their own piece of the pie.” Makes sense to me.
  • Adding Receiving Documents to the Mix: Mary also noted that “in addition to creating documents, there is an element to ‘receive’ documents.” That also makes sense as a significant percentage of information governed by organizations isn’t actually created within the organization itself – it’s received from outside parties.
  • Change in Theme: The center ring within IGRM has changed from “Policy Integration/Process Transparency” to “Balancing Value, Risk and Cost”, which gets to the heart of what the goal is for any organization’s information governance program.


While I expected to write this post discussing a new finalized IGRM model, it appears that many of you had other plans and wanted your voice to be heard! I consider that to be a good thing and a strong indicator of just how important information governance has become – from a small box called “Information Management” on the early EDRM model to its own IGRM entity that may ultimately supersede the EDRM model (if it hasn’t already).

‘Tis the season for waiting! I’m willing to wait for something great!

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