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Subject: Re: agency re-organization and RM Issues
From: "Laiche, Elizabeth" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Records Management Program <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 14 Mar 2005 14:23:05 -0600
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You have quite a job ahead of you.  We are a sizable government contractor that reorganizes frequently, usually due to budget cuts and personnel reductions. In the 18 years I've been with this contractor, we have reorganized more times than I care to count.  The constant updates to documents to accommodate reorgs drove us records and document control people crazy. Here are two changes I made that help the company stay organized and productive during reorgs.

FUNCTIONS VS. DEPARTMENTS
The biggest (and hardest) improvement I made at our company 7 years ago was to: 1) break the entire company down into "functions" that are independent of departmental or organizational structures, and 2) developed clear records inventory and disposition schedules (RIDS) for all record and non-record documents in all media based on those functions.  Since we are a management and operations contractor with an extensive range of contract responsibilities, we had 63 separate operational (maintenance, construction, engineering, etc.) and administrative (personnel, payroll, travel, etc.) "functions" located under 8 directorates and 25 departments.  Now, when we reorganize, nothing changes except the department name and manager that has been designated to assume oversight of the various functions impacted by the reorg. I don't have to update RIDS to move documents from one department to another because the records are tied to a functional process, not a specific department.  The new departments/managers review the existing RIDS for the functions they have inherited to learn what documents (both record and non-record) for which they are now responsible and accountable. Everyone else in the function continues to do exactly what they did before, with the exception that they sometimes do it in a different building or on a different floor, they have a different department name, and they answer to a different manager.  OK... So they don't do EXACTLY what they did before.... but the business process does not change, nor do the documents and records associated with it.

BUSINESS PROCESSES
We are currently developing cross-functional business process flowcharts from a high-level company perspective all the way down to a detailed work instruction level.  By checking the cross-functional map for functional responsibilities, hand-offs and deliverables BEFORE reorganizations occur, it is easy to spot which functions will be impacted by the reorganization and how they will be impacted, allowing us to eliminate problems before they occur.  This works only if you define and develop functions first.  If not, your business process flowcharts will be cross-departmental instead of cross-functional, and will need to be revised every time the company reorganizes.

Hope this helps!

Elizabeth Laiche
Records/Document Control Manager
DynMcDermott Petroleum (DOE SPR Contractor, New Orleans)


-----Original Message-----
From: Records Management Program [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Aquino-Perez, Ana
Sent: Friday, March 11, 2005 5:52 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: agency re-organization and RM Issues


We are going to be going through a major reorganization in our agency shortly and I want to make sure that records management (rm) is being addressed as we move forward with the reorganization.

If you have gone through this process in your companies/agencies (and even if you haven't and have good recommendations) can you tell what were the major and your most critical RM issues that you faced as you reorganized and how did you solved them? What other issues I should keep in mind and bring forward to my management for consideration?  What could be any developing issues or policy questions that may need to be addressed? Do any of you have any service level agreements that you have develop for your rm services in your organziation?

RM has resurfaced as a high priority in the process.  Whatever I bring forward will be considered as part of the RM implementation plan for the reorganization. This is a major opportunity for me to bring RM to the forefront and I want to take advantage of it.

Any help and information you can provide will be much appreciated. Please, reply directly to my email address. Thanks much! Ana Aquino-Pérez Records Officer 4802 Sheboygan Ave Rm. 751 PO Box 7915 Madison, WI 53707
Tel.: 608-266-5290
Fax: 608-267-4892
E-mail: [log in to unmask]
"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

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