Don’t be a file hoarder!

By Michael Doyle posted 03-28-2012 11:37


After watching an episode of Hoarders, I realized that there are many of those people (and whole departments) strewn throughout organizations across the world collecting and storing files for years and years even though nobody will ever look at them again. These people are clogging up SharePoint and making relevant information harder to find for everyone else. They are also increasing disaster recovery time, costs for storage, and making search ever slower. The only way to solve this situation is to confront the problem head on. The opt in scenario rarely works. Every hoarder thinks their files are important. If you do want to go this route, then I suggest creating a site column that is added to documents that flags the document as temporary so an archiving and deleting scenario can be implemented. This may have been said before but bears repeating if it has.

A file worth keeping is a file worth tagging.

If we don’t keep this in mind we are making all our files worth less and harder to find. A lot of companies have bought or looked at programs that automatically tag files. While there is nothing wrong with this and there are a lot of good programs out there, it makes it extremely easy to fall into the file hoarding trap. Everyone seems to be more and more busy these days and we are always looking for ways to save time. And maybe your organization wouldn’t benefit from cleaning up your files, but for the vast majority of mature companies keeping your files tidy will save you time and money in the long run. Since you already have SharePoint, take advantage of the record keeping capabilities and make that decision to really trim the file fat. This is going to take some human intervention to determine which files are worthwhile but you can set up some general guidelines to help you decide. For instance, you could say that everything that is over three years old gets dumped into an archive and then after a certain period of time it will get deleted. Obviously there are exceptions such as records that must be kept, but it is easy to mark these in SharePoint so they don’t get deleted. So get out there and start cleaning. You know you will feel better afterwards.

Michael Doyle

#files #tagging #ElectronicRecordsManagement #SharePoint