What is Records Management? A Simple Description
How Records Management can benefit your business.
A common question we hear is, “ What is Records Management?”
To better understand what Records Management is and what it does within an organisation it is important to understand some of the terminology connected with Records Management.
What are Records?
Before answering the question, “ What is Records Management?”, let us try to define ’Records’ and how they concern your organisation.
- Records are essentially the memory of the organisation. Records serve as proof of activities and actions within the organisation. Some activities may be regular daily activities such as emailing, other activities may be yearly, as in membership signups or financial statements.
Records can be thought of as core memories as they are important and often subject to industry or legislated retention periods, meaning they must be kept for a specific length of time before they can be legally disposed of.
In short, Records are your organisation’s most valuable pieces of information. They may exist as paper records or digital data records. Loss or damage to your Records then can be costly and have serious consequences and so every effort should be made to keep them in good condition and secure.
What is Management?
Next, let us look at the term Management.
- Management is concerned with the control and administration of activity. In any activity whether within an organisation or within your personal life management takes place to a greater or lesser degree.
Within a business, there are multiple activities that combine to create and deliver the business’s products and services.
The finance department has certain activities, the Sale & Marketing departments have certain activities, the Records Management department has certain activities. Management is the direction of, and alignment of these activities and their sub-activities.
Without effective management, the activities within an organisation would be nothing more than chaos and random action.
- Management also refers to those persons who are responsible for controlling and administering activities.
So What is Records Management?
Records Management Defined.
- Records Management then, is the controlling of and administration of all the activities that concern ‘Records’ within an organisation.
To add more detail… Records Management is concerned with controlling the creation, distribution, access to, use of, storage and eventual destruction of ‘Records’.
How control or administration of an organisation’s ‘Records’ is done is outlined in documents such as Records Management Policy and through Records Management Programmes. These documents define the rules, procedures, processes and those responsible for managing an organisation’s ‘Records’.
Now that we have defined, ‘ What is Records Management ’ you will no doubt understand its importance within your organisation and all others.
Failure to properly control and administer your organisation’s records is an invitation to inefficiency, increased risk and rising operational costs.
Implemented early, effectively and consistently, proper management of your records can unlock a wide range of benefits that will enhance your organisation immensely.