Architecting SharePoint Records Center requires minimal effort. It can be built in less than four hours.

Getting Started with Records Center

Here’s what you need:

Executive support: By now, it goes without saying, doesn't it? But more importantly…

Executive engagement: Different animal entirely. If they’re not engaged, they’re confused. Go canny.

Expanded retention schedule: Build out the retention schedule to include SharePoint Records Management services. Sample columns include (note most of them can be responded to with a yes/no):

  • Content Type Created
  • Metadata
  • Managed Metadata Enabled\
  • Libraries Created
  • Custom View Created
  • Corresponding Records Center Library
  • Content Organizer Rule
  • Site Collection/Information Policy Defined
  • Information Policy Description
  • Information Policy Active
  • Barcodes Enabled Active Site/Records Center
  • Labels Enabled
  • Discovery & Holds
  • File Plan Report
  • Auditing Report
  • Linked to Other Collection Centers

Share the summation with all appropriate business partners. Post it on the Records site. Imbed it into team discussions. Market it extensively.

A Simple Architectural Diagram: Not the one from Microsoft nor the instructions on the front page of Records Center.

Here’s a simple one that explains everything:

simple architecture.jpg


Project Documentation for Records Center

This is essential. Create and share a program management portfolio.

  • Problem Statement: This is the business justification for the project. For example, how many times do peers approach the Help Desk for assistance in locating a document on SharePoint? Is the electronic discovery process broken? Hard copy managed by excel files?
  • Project Charter: This document codifies the entire project. It usually includes an opening statement and objectives, vision and scope statement, and a project organization and responsibility hierarchy. Since this project is special, the charter may also include baseline and audit metrics, draft schedule and approvals.
  • Work Breakdown Structure:
  • Communication Plan: Make sure the plan includes communication activities and distributions, constraints and assumptions, and decision and escalation strategies.
  • Risk Management Plan & Issue Logs: Describe all risks in stark detail. Define the analysis process, including the formula to determine the risk score, which defines the impact and probability of each risk. A simple value of high, medium, or low to each risk impact and probability will suffice. Also, define the roles and responsibilities for risk management for the project, including who will identify risks, who will score and interpret the risks, who will create the appropriate responses, and who will update and publish risk matrices.
  • Hard & Soft Skill Matrices
  • Responsibility Matrix
  • Metadata Analysis Phase (complete with unique PowerShell scripts) - Check out  Metadata Solves Your SharePoint Content Management Problems
  • Information Mapping Phase: Include sample interview questions. Collate descriptions of functional teams’ preferred storage locations and the objects stored therein. Interview team members for a maximum of 1.25 hours to create a preliminary draft of a sustainable information architecture including minimal object metadata. Request a second meeting for a maximum of 1.25 hours to verify the proposed architecture and metadata are correct, usable, scalable, and preferred by the team members. The interviews will inform the architectural relationship between department site collections and the SharePoint Records Center to facilitate automatic records transfer. Ultimately this exercise will create an overview of business processes internal to and amongst client departments. This exercise may identify enterprise content management vulnerabilities to be resolved via Records Management services.
  • Architecture Plans: These are more in-depth. They visualize the relationship between the information map, the basic architecture, and the expanded records retention schedule.
  • Usability Test Plan: Ask your peers to perform specific exercises and question them about the look and feel of the Records Center. Keep the questions simple. What do you think you can do here? Look over the libraries and share what you think they mean and what will happen if you click on them. What would be the first action you take? Are there any words or library titles you don’t understand? What’s your general impression of the site collection from this homepage?

Additional Documentation You'll Need to Develop:

  • Governance Plan
  • Policies
  • Forms & Templates
  • Executive Summaries
  • Training Decks
  • Project Close-Out

With the above in play, architecting SharePoint Records Center is a-couple-of-hours easy.

Editor's Note: Looking for more on Records Management? Check out The Problem with Leveraging SharePoint Records Management Services in Office 365 and Miles Ahead in the Roadmap of an Electronic Records Management Implementation.