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Hi Doug et al,  

I am a proponent of the streamlined approach because as Fred said users
cannot understand 5,000 categories - not to browse/search/retrieve and
certainly not to declare into. I know of an organization that uses the
following "buckets" for RETENTION: Not a record, transitory/less than 1
year; 1 year; 3 years; 5 years; 10 years; permanent/10 year review. That's
seven categories and it works just fine for them. They are highly regulated
and what the did was to decide that if there is a statutory requirement to
keep something for 4 years, it goes into the 5 year retention bucket. Very
little of their stuff goes into the permanent/review in 10 years bucket.
There is an argument to be made that in keeping stuff longer they increase
their liability. Fair enough, to a point. But because their retention
schedule is understandable by their users, it gets used. Email get
classified. Everything that is kept longer than a month or so has a
retention period assigned to it, with the regulatory requirements rounded UP
to the next longer bucket. They believe the liability is reduced enough by
this approach and the virtual 100% adherence to it that the marginal
increase in liability from keeping something an extra 6-12 months is
irrelevant. I know that's anathema to some folks, but they are OK with it,
it works for me conceptually, and they haven't had any issues with their
regulatory oversight because they always have the stuff as long as they need
it for.

Now, how do they access this stuff? It's a combination of full-text and
keyword/metadata searching, with some of the profile fields having some
back-end stuff like controlled vocabularies. Access control is just another
metadata value. And they are starting to experiment with user-generated
"tagging" of information as an additional retrieval option (augmenting, not
replacing). 

Your mileage may vary HEAVILY on this one - but don't discount it just
because it's not the usual way you've always done it. 

Cheers on a gorgeous Colorado morning, 

Jesse Wilkins
CDIA+, edp, LIT, ICP, ermm, ecmm
Access Sciences Corporation
[log in to unmask]
blog: http://informata.blogspot.com
(303) 574-1455 direct
(303) 484-4142 fax

-----Original Message-----
From: Records Management Program [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
Of Allen, Doug
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2007 11:15 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: RAINdrip: SNIA and the IT Community has an epiphany!!!

We (ARMA) are continuing to work with SNIA and will have involvement in
their Enterprise Information World....including some outstanding speakers.
 
One of the items with which we continue to struggle is SNIA's view that
Records and Information Managers classify records into categories that are
far too numerous and far too narrow.  Their view (NOT mine), is that we need
to find some way to minimize the categories to .... say five (5).  I cannot
imagine that could possibly work, given regulatory concerns, and the need to
dispose of information that is no longer required, because my belief is that
a very small number of categories takes us right back to the "old
philosophy" of retaining everything forever.  Perhaps some who sell storage
might see that as something desirable for THEM, but I don't believe that it
will work for our employers.  The challenge as I see it, and as I have
articulated it with the "ILM crowd" (if there is one identifiable such
group)....is that Records Managers do not classify records into
exceptionally narrow categories because they "want to" or because they are
obsessive/compulsive when it comes to detail, but that we are responding to
two things: (1) the understanding of such categories by our end-users, and
(2) the regulatory needs that exist at local, state, national and
international levels.
 
I'd be interested in additional thoughts and comments!!!!  
 
Doug Allen, CRM, CDIA+

 

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