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Organizing Electronic Records. Unmanaged Electronic Documents. Total storage up 26% from April 2004 – April 2005 Over one-fourth of the storage is taken up by email Email growth rate is 59% (doesn’t include .pst growth). Steps to management . Create awareness

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Unmanaged electronic documents l.jpg
Unmanaged Electronic Documents

  • Total storage up 26% from April 2004 – April 2005

  • Over one-fourth of the storage is taken up by email

  • Email growth rate is 59% (doesn’t include .pst growth)


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Steps to management

  • Create awareness

    • Records are Everybody’s Business

      • Email may be records

      • Basic information on what to keep/discard

    • Records Coordinator Training

      • Discussions of file plans

      • Guidance on best practices

      • Information to use for working with departmental staff


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Next Steps

  • Tools

  • Continued awareness

  • Additional training

Departmental File Plan


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Organizing Files

File Plan

(taxonomy)

Email

Paper

Documents

Electronic

Documents

Documents

in FileNet

Retention Schedule

“Every Information Asset needs an identified life span”


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Goals

  • Find documents when you need them.

  • Find the most recent or final document in electronic form.

  • Control use of and edits to documents.

  • Create a tickler file for time sensitive actions.

  • Control the proliferation of superceded draft documents.

  • Organize existing shared workspace.


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File Plan

  • Structure for putting like records together

  • Classifying records into groups

    • File folders

    • Nested file folders

    • Indexes

    • Naming conventions

    • Dates

  • Written

  • Includes procedures


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Reasons to file/classify

  • Easier retrieval

  • Association of documents to provide continuous record of activity related to a particular matter

  • Put documents with same requirements together

    • Security

    • Same group of users need access

    • Retention requirements


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Reasons to file/classify

  • Makes disposition easier

  • Makes it easier to identify records with special requirements

    • Archival value

    • Need for confidential treatment

    • Vital records


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Good practices

  • Consistency in naming practices for files and records

  • Identify records and convenience copies – if possible, don’t file together, or else discard when records have reached retention expiration


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Benefits

  • Fewer duplicates

  • Use less storage

  • Eliminate inconsistencies

  • Everyone on same page

  • No rosetta stone needed to find someone else’s files

  • Easier to train new employees


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Best Practice

  • File plan in a database

  • Same file plan can be used

    • Email folders

    • Paper files

    • Electronic files

    • Committal to document management system


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Shared Folders

  • Confused, uncontrolled hierarchy of folders and document titles

  • Ad hoc management of documents

  • Little or no metadata

  • Access and security - too much or too little

  • Difficult to identify sequences of documents that relate to one business process


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The Problems with Sharing

  • Version control

    • Unnumbered drafts, evolving filenames, multiple users, editors, or writers

  • Accumulation of non-records

    • False starts, reference only material, personal notes, communication debris

  • Multiple copies of records

    • Incomplete versions, cut and paste additions


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Current Work Practices

  • Where do employees currently store electronic documents?

    • PC C-Drive (only personal files!!)

    • Shared Network Directory

    • Personal Network Directory

    • Removable - CD, DVD, flash drive

    • Portable - Laptops, PDAs


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Current Work Products

  • What kinds of documents do employees store, maintain, retrieve?

    • E-mail

    • Correspondence

    • Meeting Notes

    • Draft Policy Documents

    • Presentations

    • Forms

    • Reference


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Current Electronic Formats

  • What electronic formats do employees choose for stored documents?

    • Word Processing

    • Portable Document Format (PDF)

    • Spreadsheets

    • Digital Photographs (JPG)

    • The list goes on…


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Current Organizing Framework

  • How do the files now reside on the network? Are they organized by:

    • Project or Case or Function?

    • Agency File Plan?

    • Individual Preferences?

    • By the plan of the moment?


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Taking Control

  • Enlist Management Support

    • Awareness and plan

  • Designate an E-Workspace Coordinator

    • Central Source of Planning, Direction and Maintenance

  • Create a Network Plan

    • May already exist

  • Develop a File Plan

  • Create Folders

  • Train users


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Who will use the system?

  • Identify active users who

    • Create documents

    • Reference electronic documents

    • Work in groups to write and edit

    • Use templates and forms

  • Identify the E-Workspace Coordinator

    • Familiar with the records

    • Knowledge of records management

    • Will be assigned to maintain the E-Workspace


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Create a File Plan

  • Identify an organizing principle that will make sense to most of the users.

    • Functional organization

      • Project, Case Files

      • Administrative

        • Personnel

        • Training

        • Travel

        • Litigation


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Example - 1

  • Budget

    • FY 2002

      • Budget Projections

        • Drafts

          • 02PROJ_DFTA.xls

        • Final

          • 02PROJ_FINL.xls

      • Expenditures

      • Contracts

        • Closed, Completed

          • NAME01_CON.wpd

        • Open, In Progress

        • Drafts

        • Correspondence


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Example - 2

  • FY2002

    • Contracts

      • Closed, Completed

        • NAME01_CON.wpd

      • Open, In Progress

        • NAME99_CON.wpd

      • Drafts

        • NAME02_DFT_CON.wpd

      • Signed Correspondence

        • 03032002_LTR.pdf

        • 04152002_MEM.pdf


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Example - 3

  • Contracts

    • FY2002

      • Closed, Completed

        • NAME01_CON.wpd

      • Open, In Progress

        • NAME99_CON.wpd

  • FY2003

    • Closed, Completed

      • NAME03_CON.wpd

    • Open, In Progress

      • NAME02_CON.wpd


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Alternative plan considerations

  • Identify an organizing principle that will make sense to most of the users.

    • Mission related activities broken into sub-groups

    • Project Name

      • Drafts

      • Reference Materials

      • Documentation

    • Case Number

      • Document type

      • Date


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Naming Conventions

  • Consistency in naming folders/files

    • Assists in providing maintenance

    • Assists in locating files

    • Assists in determining ownership

  • Controlled vocabulary

    • Clear mnemonic filenames

    • Eliminates use of synonyms

    • Restricts use of personal names

    • Keep short

    • Relates to organization’s paper records indexes

  • Document procedure and rules


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Control Versions

  • Naming suffixes (DFT, FNL)

  • Numbering suffixes (001, 002)

  • Benefits

    • Indicates versions that can be deleted

    • Clearly identifies final documents


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Maintenance and Change Management

  • Actively oversee the life of the e-files

    • Maintain relevant documents.

    • Delete documents that no longer have a useful life.

    • Maintain an updated E-File Plan.

    • Train and engage the cooperation of new staff.

    • Add new folders for new program areas.

    • Go with the paper flow in electronic form.


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Basic Steps

  • The vocal support of management.

  • A written plan.

  • A written agreement on procedures and protocols among users.

  • Assign an E-workspace coordinator.

  • Get assistance from Records Manager or IT.

  • Maintain, update, change E-workspace as the paper workplace changes.


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References

  • National Archives and Records Administration

    • www.archives.gov

  • Electronic Desktop Management Guidelines. Harvard University Archives. 2001.

    • http://hul.harvard.edu/rmo/downloads/ElectronicDesktop ManagementGuidelines.pdf


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Demo

  • Rhonda Lands


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General Info

  • Revised timeframe for meetings/schedule revisions

  • Disposition logs

  • Time and leave records change in the works

  • Electronic Records Management team

  • Advisory committee

  • Fun meeting planned for next month

    • Interactive

    • Door prizes