changing recordkeeping culture at the university of western sydney
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Changing Recordkeeping Culture at the University of Western Sydney. Michael Smith Manager Records & Archives Mgt Services. About UWS. Approx. 4,000 staff 36,000 students 6 campuses on 9 main sites Major restructuring Broad range of activities/services. RM Structure. Devolved

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changing recordkeeping culture at the university of western sydney

Changing RecordkeepingCulture at theUniversity of Western Sydney

Michael Smith

ManagerRecords & Archives Mgt Services

about uws
About UWS
  • Approx. 4,000 staff
  • 36,000 students
  • 6 campuses on 9 main sites
  • Major restructuring
  • Broad range of activities/services
rm structure
RM Structure
  • Devolved
  • Some central functions
    • Storage
    • Destruction
    • Archives
    • Training/Support
    • Legal Documents – storage and scanning
paving the way
Paving the Way
  • Review/assessment of current practice
  • Building Relationships
  • Internal case studies
  • Records Management Policy
  • Business Case
  • ‘Sell’ Records Management
the problem
The Problem
  • Multi-site organisation
  • Email proliferation
  • Version control
  • Large number of staff
  • Lack of attention to recordkeeping in business processes
  • Simple scope
  • Drivers:
    • document management
    • compliance
  • Know your goals
  • Admit when you are beaten and find another way
the process
The Process
  • Memo to head of unit
  • Meeting with key staff
  • Recordkeeping analysis (DIRKS style)
  • Training
  • Go-live (as a unit)
  • Six month review of progress
  • Monitoring and on-going reporting
liaison support
Liaison/ Support
  • Assign RAMS staff to each business unit
  • Single point of contact – TRIM Coordinator
  • Build relationships
  • Understand functions & activities
  • Personalised service
  • Recordkeeping analysis
service centred approach
Service Centred Approach
  • attitude of support staff is critical
  • we are:Records & Archives Management Services
  • we do not expect ‘them’ to be the experts
  • we provide a solution
  • we are not the records police
  • never refer users to a guideline as a first response
[Rogers, E.M. (1995). Diffusion of innovations (4th ed.). New York: The Free Press]



Early Majority34%

Late Majority34%


who are the recordkeepers
Who are the recordkeepers?
  • TRIM Coordinators
  • End users
  • Managers?
  • Academic staff
  • Records management unit
Anne Pederson, “Understanding Society Through Its Records – The Records Continuum” []
attitudes and perceptions
Attitudes and Perceptions
  • It’s just filing.
  • Yes it’s important but I don’t have time right now.
  • When I leave it won’t be my problem.
  • How dare you tell me what to do with my records.
  • I need access NOW and I’m too important to attend training
  • Student files and locations
  • Staff files and locations
  • Student email auto capture (215,000 since March 2008)
  • Student forms scanning
  • Complaints system
non standard applications
Non-Standard Applications
  • Art Collection
  • Capital Works plans
  • Archives Collection
  • Historic photograph collection
what are the kpis
What are the KPIs?
  • Number of documents registered?
  • Impact on physical storage?
  • Staff satisfaction?
  • Recordkeeping compliance levels?
  • Vital records identified, captured, managed?
  • Raised awareness?
  • Raised expectations?
  • Improvements to business processes?
  • Changing roles for records staff
  • Our users know there is a problem with the system before we do
key factors for success
Key factors for success
  • High level project support
  • Well structured and supported IT infrastructure (esp. standard desktop environment)
  • Service approach
  • Managing change


what of the future
What of the future?
  • Jedi Archivist: “I hate to say it, but it looks like the system you're searching for doesn't exist.”
  • Obi Wan: “That's impossible - perhaps the Archives are incomplete.”
  • Jedi Archivist: “The Archives are comprehensive and totally secure, my young Jedi ... One thing you may be absolutely sure of: If an item does not appear in our records, it does not exist.”

[Robert A. Salvatore, Star wars. Episode II. Attack of the clones, based on the story by George Lucas and the screenplay by George Lucas and Jonathan Hales (Ballantine books, New York 2002) 155-160]