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RECMGMT-L  November 2004, Week 2

RECMGMT-L November 2004, Week 2

Subject:

Re: E-mail management- best practices

From:

Gregory Wrighton <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Records Management Program <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 11 Nov 2004 13:22:38 +0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (68 lines)

This is an issue most if not all of us are trying to deal with, especially
if you don't have an EDMS or ERMS or EDRMS :), but I do assume even those
with them still have similar issues.

We have banned .pst files (with exception to non organisation records) to be
used for organisational records, no ifs not buts just fact and this is in
policy, the main problem is more do to with the many emails that are not in
fact records requiring to be kept and that's where the issue really sits.
We recommend, encourage and enforce where necessary that email records are
retained on the Exchange server and categories accordingly in
folders/directories in Outlook. Or if they choose setup a shared area for
all staff in their area to place the records for access by others.
Auto-archive is off be default.

Space obviously becomes an issue especially from the IT department and I can
understand that, and they constantly bag me about storage costs and the
like, I simply with a smile reply well give us the money to put into place
an appropriate system to manage it and we will move it out of the exchange
environment into the appropriate EDRMS system. Until then storage space
must be provided - how are we doing - well the battle continues :0.

Printing is/was an option, some do it, some don't, the practicality of that
is really not there, I know I receive bundles of emails each day and to
print and file each one well I'd have a job that was 95% printing and filing
and 5% sorting through them after they were printed :)

Education is a big factor, as said many emails kept are just kept for
convenience rather than because they are records (in accordance to
organisational procedures). We are taking our fight back to the people of
the organisation and ensuring they understand what are records and what are
not - i.e. what are ephemeral records and making sure that these are not
retained, at least on the exchange server, or are moved to local drives for
their individual reference only - and then these can be deleted when
reference ceases (in accordance to approved policies of course). It often
amazes me when I see someone complain they do not have enough storage space
when it is investigated the amount of crap, and I mean crap, that is
retained by some people, once that is removed there is often plenty of
space.

There are cases were legit cases occur and large amounts of space are
required, well if that's the case and until we get better systems I say give
them the space.

I am not 100% confident of exporting to .msg or .rft or .txt files, of all
of them when I have tried .msg seem to be the closest to what the original
was, .txt files often change their appearance and then loose the attachment
- ok we can save the attachment to but the link to the original record is
lost, and rft files, well to be honest have not tried but I'd be interested
and will test the attachment linking from an rtf. Even if these were done -
is there not a greater chance that some are missed, not saved, attachments
not extracted also (if txt or rft is used) and really all we are doing is
moving one storage problem to another we are not really solving are we?
Never mind if they save it to a local drive, i.e. C Drive - god forbid - how
often do your people do backups of their local drives?

My $0.05 worth :)

Cheers all

Greg Wrighton, ARMA
Perth, Western Australia

*** The above is my opinion and my opinion alone, they may or may not be the
opinion of the orgaisnation as to whom I work for or have worked for, its
not for me or you to assume that would or would not be the case. ***

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