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Real-World Records Management Challenges. Earl C. Rich, CRM. Agenda. Managing Electronic Information Real-World RIM Challenges Wrap-up RIM Glossary Q&A. Mission of Records Management. Asset or Liability. What is a Record?.

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Real world records management challenges

Real-World Records Management Challenges

Earl C. Rich, CRM


  • Managing Electronic Information

  • Real-World RIM Challenges

  • Wrap-up

  • RIM Glossary

  • Q&A

Mission of records management
Mission of Records Management




What is a record
What is a Record?

Information regardless of medium created, received and maintained as evidence and information by an organization or person, in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business.

ISO International Standard 15489-1

Information and Documentation – Records Management

Managing electronic information
Managing Electronic Information

Multiples of bytes
Multiples of Bytes

  • 8 bits = 1 Byte

  • 1,024 bytes = 1 Kilobyte

  • 1,024 Kilobytes = 1 Megabyte

  • 1,024 Megabytes = 1 Gigabyte

  • 1,024 Gigabytes = 1 Terabyte

  • 1,024 Terabytes = 1 Petabyte

  • 1,024 Petabytes = 1 Exabyte

  • 1,024 Exabytes = 1 Zettabyte

  • 1,024 Zettabytes = 1 Pottabyte

What does it mean
What does it mean?

1GB of data 80,000 pages of text

One full pallet 40 boxes of paper

One filled bed of a pickup truck

1DVD = 4.7GB 376,000 pages of text

Almost five pallets 188 boxes of paper

Half a semi-tractor trailer

Cost of data storage
Cost of Data Storage

  • Approximate cost for 1 TB of SAN storage costs between $1,500 - $4,500

  • The costs associated with managing data over its lifecycle is approximately 7x the acquisition cost of the storage hardware the data resides upon.

2009 e mail metrics
2009 E-mail Metrics

  • 90 trillion – The number of e-mails sent during 2009

  • 247 billion – Average number of e-mail messages per day

  • 10.27 billion – Average number of e-mail messages per hour

  • 1.4 billion – The number of e-mail users worldwide

  • 100 million – New e-mail users since 2008

  • 81% – The percentage of e-mails that were spam

Real life e mail nightmares
Real-life E-mail Nightmares

  • Potential size of the problem if left un-managed: (Real numbers from SFWMD)

    • 34 million new e-mails in the last 18 months

    • Total mail items in electronic storage vault 130,390,794

E mail classification
E-mail Classification

  • The content & size of e-mails can vary vastly, but they can all be grouped into one of the following buckets:

    • Transitory

    • Project Specific

    • General Correspondence

Transitory messages
Transitory Messages

  • Transitory e-mails are informal

  • Like a hallway or phone chat

  • Does not set policy, guidelines, procedures, certify a transaction, or become a receipt

    • examples: employee retirement notices or short term schedules changes like “Facilities vent cleaning of building 2 scheduled on 12/01/2008”

Project related messages
Project-related Messages

  • Project details, policies, procedures and unique business transactions

  • Can also relate to a specific business function

  • Create an official file for these records

    • examples: e-mails about a specific project, person, name, place, permit, project name, policy, rule, structure, agreement, order, or official meeting

General correspondence
General Correspondence

  • Routine e-mails and memos

  • Administrative, but not a receipt, policy, procedure or business document

E mail best practices
E-mail Best Practices

  • E-mail are subject to your Organization’s retention guidelines based upon their content and business value

  • Can either be printed and filed within a physical recordkeeping system (outside of the e-mail client)

  • The e-mail can be migrated to another application for long-term retention

  • Do not accumulate or archive a large number of unread e-mail messages

  • Whenever possible, send links to attachments in lieu of attaching the actual file to the e-mail message (internal e-mails only)

  • Most importantly… Treat every e-mail you compose as an official memorandum of your Organization!

Who is the e mail record holder
Who is the E-mail Record Holder?

  • The principal named recipient of an incoming e-mail is typically responsible for retaining the e-mail for retention purposes

  • The creator of an outgoing message is typically responsible for retaining the e-mail for retention purposes

  • For project-related e-mails, the Project Manager is typically responsible for retaining the e-mail for retention purposes (unless a mechanism currently exists for retention of this e-mail: i.e., specific project inbox, printed copies of messages retained within project file, etc…)

Real world rim challenges
Real-World RIM Challenges

Real world issues
Real-world Issues

  • Dichotomous views on management of electronic records by IT & Records Management professionals

  • “Packrat” mentality permeates the corporate culture (engineers, scientists, accountants, etc…)

  • “Security Blanket Syndrome” also known as CYA.

Electronic information explosion
Electronic Information Explosion

  • 100%+ annual growth rate of e-mail archive (5 year analysis at an S&P 500 utility company)

Web 2 0 social media
Web 2.0 (Social Media)

  • Facebook

  • Twitter

  • Myspace

  • YouTube

  • Wikis

  • Blogs

Everyday rim challenges
Everyday RIM Challenges

  • SharePoint

  • Deduplication of redundant information

  • Lack of time & attention from employees

  • Training, training, training

Legacy data
Legacy Data

  • Antiquated file types (Lotus 123, etc…)

  • Non-supported storage mechanisms (floppy drives, aperture cards, “onion skin” paper, etc…)

Where do i begin
Where do I begin?

“A journey of a thousand miles

begins with a single step.”



  • Define success metrics as early as possible and very granular

  • Incorporate stakeholders throughout the organization on the front-end of a project

  • Oversize your anticipated storage capabilities

  • Budget for post-implementation support

  • Plan for the future (divestment or acquisition of new companies)

Rim glossary1
RIM Glossary

  • Active Record: Records that are frequently accessed. Active records are those usually accessed at least on a monthly basis.

  • Archival Records: Permanent records needed to document the history of an organization.

  • Archives: The set of permanent records of an organization. 

  • Audit: A formal examination of records management practices and documentation requirements conducted of financial recordkeeping, accounting, student records, and other mission-critical functions to determine accuracy, integrity, and the identity of initiating parties.

  • Audit Trail: Threads of documentation and evidence reflecting transactions, decisions, and outcomes in an organization's business operations.

Rim glossary cont
RIM Glossary (cont.)

  • Certificate of Destruction: A record that documents the disposal of specific records in conformity with an organization's formally established records retention policies and schedules.

  • Duplicate Record:The exact syntactic terms and sequence of information, with or without formatting differences.

  • Inactive Record: Inactive records must be kept for legal, fiscal, or historical purposes, but are no longer referred to during the course of daily business. Inactive files generally refers to those records that are accessed less than once per month. 

  • Life Cycle of a Record: The time from its creation, distribution, maintenance, access, use, and final disposition.

  • Litigation Hold: Temporary suspension of destruction for records believed to be relevant for litigation or government investigations.

Rim glossary cont1
RIM Glossary (cont.)

  • Microform: Film (microfiche, microfilm, aperture card) used to store highly miniaturized images of records/document. Generally used as an additional form of backup for permanent records.

  • Record: recorded information--regardless of its format, medium, or characteristics--made or received by an organization that is evidence of its operations and has value requiring its retention for a specific period of time.

  • Record Copy: the "official copy" of a record that is designated to satisfy an organization's retention requirements for information that may exist in multiple copies.

  • Records Custodian: the individual or department who creates, collects, maintains, uses, allows, or denies access to information and ultimately manages the disposition of records.

Rim glossary cont2
RIM Glossary (cont.)

  • Records Inventory: a fact-finding survey that identifies and describes records maintained by all or part of an organization. This detailed listing may include the types, locations, dates, volumes, equipment, classification systems, and usage data of an organization's records.

  • Records Management: a business discipline that specializes in the management of recorded information.

  • Records Retention Schedule: a schedule that identifies specific time periods for each record maintained by an institution. Its objectives are to provide definite dates of destruction for official records to ensure that an organization is not maintaining records beyond their effective date and to provide legal protection and validation for the destruction of official records.

Rim glossary cont3
RIM Glossary (cont.)

  • Risk Assessment: the process of evaluating the exposure of records to determine the level of legal liability to which an organization may be exposed.

  • Non-Record: items that are excluded from the scope of official records such as convenience files, reference materials, and drafts.

  • Vital Records: mission critical information identified as essential for the continuation or survival of the organization if a disaster strikes. These records are necessary to recreate the organization's legal and financial status and to determine the rights and obligations of employees, customers, stockholders, and citizens.

  • Vital Records Management Program: a set of policies and procedures for the systematic, comprehensive, and economical control of adverse consequences attributable to the loss of mission-critical information.

Thank you

Thank you!!!

Earl C. Rich, CRM