The Records Management Detective – Putting the Puzzle Together
Records Management Programme Creation Challenges Part 3
In our first article, ‘Becoming a Records Management Detective‘, we discussed some of the challenges to do with determining who would be responsible for creating your Records Management Programme and whether or not an individual or a team might be needed.
In our second article, ‘How to Play the Role of a Records Management Detective’, we looked at how you really need to think like a detective in order to discover more about what needs to be covered by your Records Management Programme.
In this, our third article we will take a look at the challenges relating to putting all the pieces together to create a workable and efficient RM Programme.
Bringing Your Records Management Programme Together
Having taken the time to uncover what records and information your organisation uses and how it is used you should have a pretty good idea of the path taken by each record type.
Among the things you should now know about your records are:
- The different types of records and information
- Who uses, owns, and bears responsibility for each record type
- Where your organisation’s records and information are stored
- What legislation applies to each record type
- The life cycle of each record from creation to destruction
At this point, you will now be faced with a whole new set of challenges. These will include but are not limited to:
- Can your records and information better classified and organised?
- What filing systems will be used and how can you make them more efficient, more secure and get everybody to use them?
- How can you improve electronic data processing and management?
- How will you store your records and information and can some of it be destroyed or sent to a secure offsite storage facility?
- How will you go about achieving compliance with your Records Management Programme and how will you measure its success?
Finally, it is time to swap your detectives hat for your Records Manager hat. Like Librarians, Records Managers and those working with records, have to be thorough organisers. This latest round of challenges should prove less challenging than the previous ones as you and your team should be in your element.
Of course, some of the above challenges may be a little more difficult to overcome. For example, once you have streamlined such things as records classifications, improved filing systems and introduced better procedures you have to get everyone to comply with them.
Compliance through Education
This is one of those challenges you have to overcome or all your hard work in creating your Records Management Programme will have been for nought.
A great way to deal with compliance and get everyone on board is to create an internal marketing campaign for your new Records Management Programme. At its core, the marketing campaign is really an education campaign.
Firstly, you need to communicate all the benefits of your programme to everyone in your organisation. Then you must show them how to easily and effectively follow the new procedures. Next, you monitor the application of the procedures and run refreshed programmes for those who are either not complying or are having a hard time understanding the procedures.
Promoting your RM Programme can never be a once off, it must be continuous to ensure everyone remains aware of the reasons for having the programme and that they remain compliant. There will of course always be new staff to be trained too.
Offsite Storage vs Onsite Storage
Another challenge will be deciding on where and how to store your records and data. Here there are many factors that you will need to weigh up, these include:
- Offsite storage costs vs office rental costs and cost-effective use of such space
- Security issues such as access control, record tracking and usage
- Disaster recovery planning
To help you with the above you may want to explore our blog articles. We have many articles discussing the above and more from many angles that should prove helpful to you in determining what route you will ultimately follow.
You should now be well on your way to solving most of the challenges that will come up.
If you have additional challenges that we have not covered here, then why not get in touch with us and let us know. We will do our utmost to point you in the direction of an effective solution.