June 23, 2016

Common SharePoint Records Management Solution Implementation Mistakes

3 minute read

Here is a list of common mistakes when implementing a SharePoint Records Management solution. This list assumes that you have taken care of the necessary requirements such as having a File Plan and a Retention Schedule.

1. Education/Training - A lack of training is a common problem in gaining user adoption of a SharePoint Records Management solution. The training goes beyond learning "how" to use the system, the users must be educated on proper governance procedures and policies.  In addition, this training should be viewed as an on-going program.  If users are only trained once, the information overload of their daily job will soon push away the importance of data governance.  An effective training program will help ensure the SharePoint Records Management solution is adopted by the users.

2. Email - Don't ignore email. This is often a forgotten or maybe ignored data store.  AIIM reports that 73% of organizations include email in their retention policies, but most rely on manual methods to file them.  That only gets you half way there because relying on manual methods for filing email is creating a risk from a compliance standpoint.  Finding a solution that includes the ability to classify email is critical.

3. Enterprise-wide implementation - There is pressure to get the SharePoint Records Management policies implemented across the organization, so the Project Charter includes an enterprise-wide implementation. This may sound good on paper, but just like with any project that involves technology, it is often wise to take a phased approach.  Keep it simple and start with one department.  This will enable you to work out any issues and gain buy-in from your users.  You can use those lessons learned to ensure the rest of the roll-outs are smooth and the users from the first department can be your champions for gaining user adoption.

Read more: Records Management is Critical to Protecting Your Business

4. ROT (Redundant, Obsolete, and Trivial) data. Don't ignore your ROT.  Every organization has ROT data and frequently it is overlooked because nobody knows how to conquer the situation. Implementing and enforcing an Information Governance program is the first step towards gaining control.  In summary, stop buying more storage to accommodate ROT data and invest in a software tool that will enable you to identify and classify the data.

5. Ignoring Data Stores. Make sure you locate and classify all of your data.  Although the focus of this post is SharePoint Records Management, it is important to find a solution that will enable you to encompass all of your data stores; this includes File Shares and Email.  If you only focus on one type of data store or if your Records Management solution is limited in the data stores it can manage, you are setting up your organization for long-term failure of the solution.

6. Disposition - Don't forget to follow the disposition rules. Often the SharePoint Records Management solution is implemented and in use, policies are automated and being followed, but when it comes to disposition, people get nervous.  Typically there is approval tied to disposition.  The approval process should be automated to make it easy for the users to complete approvals, and once the disposition is approved, the final action should be automated as well, whether is it to dispose or transfer the records.

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