RecordsManagementMost recently a client asked me how I’d approach creating a FilePlan for their future records management system. After presenting I thought id would make a decent blog for future reference.

Creating a FilePlan involves working with Senior Records Officers, Legal and the Business units to create a FilePlan, Disposition Schedules and Security access plan. Generally the process is to first review State or Provincial government information management sites for a FilePlan and disposition schedule since most provide samples and guidelines. If your not fortunate enough to find such documents, you will have to begin from scratch by taking the following steps:

  • Consult with online sources such as ARMA for sample FilePlans and diiposition schedules.
  • Utilize ISO 15489 as your guide and best practices
  • If you dont have records managment expertise read “Information and Records Management’ ISBN 0-02-801793-5.
  • Meet with the Senior Records Officer to determine if they have begun any work.
  • Consult with the companies legal department to determine if they have begun any work.
  • Assemble a draft FilePlan based on the ARMA materials and the information gathered as a result of your interviews.
  • Review the FilePlan with the Senior Records Officer and Legal and get their feedback.
  • Incorporate their feedback.
  • Present the FilePlan to your clients team for review and feedback.

The design process can take anywhere from 2-6 months to complete depending on the clients culture and the size of the organization. Typical artifacts that result from developing a FilePlan are as follows:

  • FilePlan classification scheme
  • Meta data and controlled vocabulary
  • Record types (Email, Client Correspondance, Contract) and metadata
  • Disposition (Archival or dispose of) schedules
  • Protective markings guidelines
  • Security and Privileges plan and Guidelines

The following some best practices:

  • Consult with online sources such as ARMA for sample FilePlans and diiposition schedules.
  • Executive management must establish communications and measurement process.
  • Legal counsel must be available to advise on FOIP and regulatory compliance.
  • The team roles must include records mgmt, legal, knowledge mgmt, communications, project mgmt and technology staff.
  • Don’t under estimate organization push back and resistance to change.
  • Leverage provincial or state record and information mgmt guidelines to save time.
  • Use class, folders and parts effectively to maintain usability.
  • Incorporate the organizations lingo.
  • Think activities vs functional.
  • Avoid more than 100 object per container to simplify browsing and locating objects.

If you have worked with Records Management solutions and created FilePlans, I would be interested in hearing from you .