The following steps were designed to help organizations not only improve how they are organizing electronic information but also overall records management. Each step varies in time depending on the size of the organization.
Please contact us if you would like a cost proposal on these electronic file organization services.
Understand the current IT systems along with how data is being currently managed electronically. This step entails informational interviews with IT support staff, management and key users to understand the following:
Current IT systems; what data type is being stored and understand capabilities and functionality as it relates to saving, managing and tracking data
Review current shared drives, SharePoint and other electronic data repositories and understand current structure, user filing habits and challenges
Review official paper files; interview key individuals and understand more issues surrounding paper files, paper flow and document management
Once this assessment and analysis has been provided then a formal written document will be prepared to provide recommendations and next action steps.
Assign a Team
The first step is designating personnel who would design the electronic file system along with the Officiency consultant. This team is usually assigned by each major department or division of an organization. Ideally, it is best to have all team members present. If a smaller designated team is assigned it is important to include individuals who have decision making authority and a good understanding of the organization.
The entire process takes from one to multiple days, depending on the complexity of the file structure, size of the organization, and amount of electronic data. Meetings (usually 4 to 8 hours) are scheduled with each division/ branch of an organization. During these facilitated sessions, electronic documents and files will be physically moved into the new file structure.
Document guidelines are developed and documented by the consultant that include:
Defining the file and sub-file structure from the first through fourth level
Determining the types of documents and information that are located in each line of files
Identifying specific document naming conventions, as needed
Determining record retention guidelines of files based on government mandates and organizational history (this is done in conjunction with organization's record retention guidelines and policy, if known)
Identifying which documents need to have official files saved in paper format
Defining permissions with files based on access, privacy and confidentiality
Upon completion of each session there will be a final written document on the new structure and file guidelines. There are always files that contain unknown documents that might require more research and time to determine use and value. These files will be assigned to team members to manage at a later time.
Consultants can provide efficiency training for personnel where the electronic file structure and guidelines are reviewed along with other efficiency topics. The following would be reviewed in the training:
Record management basics and the responsibly of government workers
Review of electronic file structure and guidelines for SharePoint and/or Shared Drive
Review best practices of managing data, documents and information
Learn strategies for becoming paperless and managing documents and data in an electronic format
Assignment of deadline dates to moving, purging and renaming electronic files from personal drives (i.e. C or H drives)
Address staff specific staff questions and issues, as it relates to records management, electronic file structure and managing information
Consultants can provide follow-up services that ensure the electronic systems designed are working properly and any outstanding action items or issues have been resolved. Consultants can also work one-on-one with key individuals to help them specifically convert necessary documents to a paperless process. The follow-up process is to ensure that staff have adopted the new system to managing information and feel comfortable in using the systems and structure provided.
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