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records management

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This is actually the seventh entry within our NARA series. Browse the others below!

With regards to managing records, specific needs can vary extremely from business to business. Selecting an answer with features and components that effectively suit your needs can often be a daunting challenge.  

Since every organization has unique practices, policies, procedures, and regulatory compliance needs, your solution decision ought to be methodically evaluated tensure that it’s, indeed, your perfect records management fit.

Build or Buy?

To construct, or otherwise to construct, that is the question! 

Frequently, the very first question–and probably the most important–is regardless of whether you should develop a solution in-house or purchase one. You could theoretically buy a pre-built solution (or “point solution”) that will get you “most” of how there before filling in the gaps with custom-built features. Tlisted here are many benefits and drawbacks to every approach. 

With this article, we’ll ensure that it stays brief and concentrate on steps to make the best decision for your business, in line with the way you (and also the individuals your company) work.    


You’ve probably heard it stated that peopleprocesses, and product are the primary secrets of business success. Let’s assume that you’ve hired the best people and, in most cases, possess a documented process or Standard Operating Procedure through which you normally operateNow you just need to locate a appropriate solution which compliments your people and procedures to give your success. 

Although records management goals may change from business-to-business, there are several common needs that affect most situations. The most common include (but aren’t restricted to)

  • Identification of records 
  • Declaration of records 
  • Security of records  
  • Protection of record integrity/lifecycle 
  • Management and storage of records 
  • Destruction of records 
  • Auditing trails/reporting 

You might be able to identify more needs that should be met for your specific solution (and that i encourage you to do this)but these are most from the major concerns which are typically relevant overall. If you are able to effectively address these needs, you’ll considerably decrease your height of risk and enhance your efficacy within the regions of records management and compliance.  

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How to locate a solution that meets your requirements

When looking for a new records management solution, the first question to inquire about on your own is, “So why do I want one? 

A genuine look at the current condition

What is the specific government regulation that you have to comply? Are you within an industry that needs standardization around documentationOrconfirming? Do you want to get organized? These can be important aspects in figuring out the amount of investment you should think aboutsomething which will also lead for your “Build versus. Buy” decision.   

You’ll also need to do a genuine look at where you’re today in relation to your records management capabilities. Some quick questions to help you get began for the reason that evaluation include:     

  • How can you identify records today?  
  • How can you declare an archive once you’ve identified it?  
  • When you declare an archive, how can you lock it lower so it can’t be edited?   
  • Have you got a records management lifecycle plan?
  • Have you got a secure spot to store records and move them through each phase of the lifecycle?  
  • How can you identify records for destruction?  How can you destroy them?  
  • How can you track (audit) the suggestions above activity?   
  • With whom are you currently responsible for reporting these details?  
  • In relation to the suggestions above: So why do you do this stuff the way you do them today?   
  • Lack of people? 
  • Insufficient processes?  
  • Insufficient technology?   
  • Insufficient money? 
  • Combo/other?  

Assess the future condition goals 

Answering the questions above won’t provide you with a vivid picture of the items you’re presently succeeding, but itll enable you to rapidly identify areas (gaps) where you stand deficient and looking for improvement. You’ll want to consider solutions that permit you to Carry on doing that which you prosper and that facilitate or enhance the areas where you stand presently deficient or need improvement.   

To achieve success, think about the next questions regarding your brand-new (or suggested new) solution:   

  • Is that this solution flexible enough to let us work the way you are most effective 
  • Will it facilitate our current (or preferred future) process?  
  • Will it allow us to deliver consistency and control compliance?  
  • Could it be simple to use? Will we need to re-train everybody? If so, will the advance cost time and purchase of training everybody?   
  • Could it be effective? Does it get the job done well?  
  • Will it stop us accountable (through audits and reports)?  

In case your response to many of these is “yes,” you’re at least off to an excellent start! 

Evaluate your potential solutions 

Before applying your records management solution, think about a pilot program in which the option would be folded out in small-scale test atmosphere. The keys to the prosperity of your pilot deployment is going to be:  

  • Document your records management solution’s success criteria 
  • Assign Admin / Manager / User roles and responsibilities 
  • Train admins/managers/users to effectively make use of the solution 
  • Evaluate feature/functionality and usefulness from the solution in compliance together with your success criteria.  
  • Identify any gaps and address them.  
  • Re-evaluate until you are prepared for production.  

Blog Publish: New Survey Reveals Why Federal Agencies Aren’t Transferring Records to NARA

Implement and Measure Success 

Once you’ve selected and implemented your new records management solution, it should be meticulously managed. Admins, managers, and users should be sufficiently trained so that the answers integrity is going to be maintained indefinitely. This involves a time investment by creating a programmatic approach to the ongoing control over your solution.   

Evaluate the solution with regularity because it matures (i.e. begin with weekly, then progress to monthly and quarterly as necessary).    

Inside your weekly reviews:  

  • What’s running smoothly?   
  • What may go better?   
  • Who needs more training? On which?  
  • Continuous Improvement: Should we reconfigure (policies, workflows, reports, etc.)? 

Inside your monthly reviews:  

  • How’s the answer functioning?  
  • Could it be effective? Is it accurate?   
  • How good shall we be handling the solution?  
  • Could it be meeting our company’s needs? 
  • Continuous Improvement: Create a change management process  

Inside your quarterly reviews:  

  • Implement a change management cycle 
  • Reporting/management reviews 
  • Audit/audit defense reviews 
  • Policy reviews  
  • Continuous Improvement: Clean-up/regular maintenance  


When choosing a records management (or other) solution for the business, take time to evaluate your people, processes, and current technology, and determine set up recently-proposed solution will give your business to attain the best possible results.   

Whether or not this be a place solution, home-built solution, or maybe a mix of the two–the way to succeed will be finding and implementing an answer that seamlessly integrates together with your people, processes (workflows), along with other technology. It ought to leverage and increase your existing investments and should complement the way your people presently work. 

Within the finish, your success depends upon how you can identify, manage, secure, and records in their entire lifecycle. Your new records management solution should be simple for the finish users to make use of, simple for IT or Business Groups to handle, and really should safeguard your business by mitigating risks through audit trails and reporting mechanisms. 

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