What are You Using Your RRS for – Part 2?

By Helen Streck posted 09-24-2010 13:43


This is part 2 of my question to the community.  What are you using your RRS for?  I really don’t understand why organizations are in a hurry for a Records and Information Management Policy and Records Retention Schedule (RRS) when they are not going to use them.  What is the point? 

Maybe the problem is much simpler than the question – maybe you don’t know how it CAN be used.  A RRS is an amazing tool that relates and integrates so much information.  A RRS tells who and what data deliverables your organization either creates or holds in its systems.  It tells you how long each data deliverable or record category is to be retained. But, amazingly, if the RRS is developed right, it can also provide the organization with a standardized classification for indexing or creating a taxonomy for its information.  This classification is the key to automating retention requirements.  By standardizing how information or data will be indexed, you can assign the retention requirements to the folder level.  By assigning it to the folder level you can automate its deletion and also apply legal holds.

The reason applying retention and/or legal holds to electronic datasets seems so hard is that it is!  If an organization allows every employee to create and receive documents, and each of these individuals is free to store the document wherever they want, title it whatever they want, and define it however they want, how do you determine what category that document belongs to on the RRS?  You face a conundrum of epic proportion.  So most organizations play ostrich and bury their heads in the sand while pretending that the problem does not exist.  Then, when they face litigation and discovery issues, they become deer in headlights.  Do you see the forest issue here?

Come to the light!

RRS can standardize at a folder level how information will be classified.  It does not limit anyone from creating any needed business document.  You can even offer employees personal folders. The work done by the individual will limit the number of folders from the RRS they will need to choose from when saving a document.  Then as time passes, and litigation happens, the legal holds can be applied to all the documents in the folder.  Then the organization has further choices: save as is, copy to a discovery server, dispose of all obsolete documents together, etc.  But the organization will be able to demonstrate reasonable effort in preserving relevant documents.  The application of legal holds and retention requirements is automated and can save the organization millions of dollars.

Applying standards for employees to comply with is not a “limiting factor,” but rather one of minimizing risk and empowering management of one of the company’s most formidable assets – Information.

#classification #RRS #automation #RIM #Taxonomy #ElectronicRecordsManagement #legalholds