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  • 1.  Retention of employee-generated information in M365

    Posted 01-25-2023 15:35

    Hello All!

    My name is Emily and I work in the Records department of an Engineering Consulting firm in Southwestern Ontario.

    A bit of background: We in Records are primarily concerned with information related to our projects, so we're not responsible for HR or Accounting info.

    Our company recently began the journey to implement Microsoft 365 across our company, with SharePoint likely coming soon. At the moment we're still using network drives to store our digital project information; staff have been directed to save anything significant there and only use OneDrive as a temporary location to facilitate editing & sharing. Any critical project related email should be saved by staff to project-specific folders within Outlook, and we advise that Teams chats only be used for conveying transitory information.  

    We have now begun working with IT to think about what retention rules we want to apply to an employee's email, OneDrive & Teams chat once they leave. (Note that this would be the employee's personal email, not the project email folder I mentioned above).

    Ideally we'd like to advise applying a short (6 months to 1 year max) retention rule across these platforms, since in theory any critical project material (and HR/Accounting material) should have been saved elsewhere to the correct location, where appropriate retention rules would then be applied to the material there depending on its classification. We don't want to store data that has limited to no value longer than we have to on the small chance that we might one day need it.

    I know there's no easy answer to this, but I'm wondering if anyone else is currently thinking about this question and has any nuggets of wisdom as to how they approached it and justified their decisions (bonus points if you're in the Engineering field!)

    Thank you and all the best,


    Emily Lancaster
    MTE Consultants Inc.

  • 2.  RE: Retention of employee-generated information in M365

    Posted 02-12-2023 14:50

    Hi Emily,

    I am currently helping a client with these same question as part of a broader M365 strategy, including an information architecture (IA) strategy for SharePoint. Some of the questions that you mentioned such as OneDrive as a temporary location, Teams chats for transitory information, off boarding employees, are the same for my client, too. Please reach out to me at your convenience and we chat. My contact details are below.

    Amitabh Srivastav, CIP, IGP, PMP
    CDO and VP, Compliance & Governance