Last time, I introduced the SharePoint 2010 Records Governance Plan to you. Today we continue the plan with the objectives section -- answering the question, “what are we trying to accomplish through our SharePoint 2010 implementation?”


If your organization has MOSS 2007 in production, and it uses site collections for records storage, you’ll need to think first about migration issues -- your organization isn’t transferring the same information from MOSS 2007 to SharePoint 2010, is it? What are the criteria for deleting or migrating?

Records and Information Technology will need a map. You, the Records department, have the perfect tool. Armed with updated citations, your records series include an information workflow (a.k.a. the line of custody) amongst departments. You know if creation date or last modified date will be a trigger for retention. This is the perfect moment to highlight usefulness of the records retention schedule.

Manage Metadata

Speaking of creation date and last modified date, we know what these are: Managed Metadata, one of the more well-known services in SharePoint 2010. Yes, it takes R&D time with departments to focus on the difference between taxonomies, folksonomies and ontologies (you can include the newly codified terms, “findability” and “putability” in your governance plan if you want to, but I feel a bit silly using them) but Managed Metadata permits enterprise-wide structures to be applied across site collections. This means metadata can be interpreted at the 50,000 foot corporate view or within each department or team function. Keywords can even be used for tagging social media tools and expertise levels! 

Also, the service includes content type syndication. A new content type called “hub site collection” leverages site collections in an organization-wide structure. Therefore, if the common keywords are there, beyond the initial set up time and regular monitoring for success, Records and Information Technology have a way to control information organization tools. Spend the necessary time with IT to determine the content of your organization’s Term Store, where metadata is held -- this will be extremely valuable to your organization in the future. REMEMBER TO DIAGRAM! It’s all just a few clicks from publishing through Central Administration.               

Managed Metadata is the opening salvo to explain the difference between records management and e-discovery to your General Counsel, if they don’t have a firm grasp on the difference (not all of them are on board yet, you know, with the “new” federal rules of civil procedure). They care very much about the threat of legal action against the organization though -- even if the organization has avoided The Big One so far.

Hint: Spend some time reviewing geographic boundaries of the United States Court of Appeals and the United States Districts Courts. Look over judges’ opinions. Would your company have to prepare for a “Meet and Confer” in the Southern District of New York, for example? That could be bad for you, if the company is unprepared for the rigorous demands of production. Be firm with your General Counsel, but be sure to request their feedback on this paragraph.

Managed Metadata contributes to de-duplication. That will make your CIO, your CTO, your CSO and the newly created CCO (Chief Compliance Officer) very happy. The less to manage, the better off you are. Long live digital shredding! Discuss the positives and the methodology here.

Introduce Communities of Practice

Despite their best intentions, these Chiefs are probably siloed. Verticals are not necessarily a bad thing; in fact, some are in place for very good reasons. These companies tend to be less dynamic, however. The organizational culture may denigrate over time, leading to lack of focus on corporate infrastructure as a whole. Create a plan to introduce Communities of Practice; submit the plan to the Chiefs for peer review; gain feedback from the executive leadership; express the extent to which the organization is willing to invest in infrastructure design in order to avoid further long-term technical debt here.

With Communities of Practice, an improved, stronger evaluation of your audiences emerges, which leads to better estimates on the number of active users and local, remote and distributed sites. Combine the system metrics with maximum file size stipulations and the positive impact on network and storage, security, archiving multiplies. Suddenly your metrics fall into place in a one-page report up the management chain.

Capture Electronic Records Metrics

But don’t neglect your electronic records metrics, either. Three metrics are ideal to capture throughout the implementation to audit against:

  1. Qualification rate (expressed as the percentage of total e-mails/documents per user): How many users are correctly, appropriately, and consistently identifying information that are corporate records and should be placed under records control?
  2. Declaration Rate (expressed as the percentage of the known qualified records physically stored in SharePoint): How many of the qualified e-mails/documents (qualified records) that have been identified are being stored (declared) into the Records Center?
  3. Classification Accuracy (expressed as the percentage of the total records that are known to have the proper retention rule applied): Of the records stored within SharePoint Records Center, how many have the correct retention rule applied?

Believe it or not, the three calculations are fine ways to predict early project ROI. 

Next time: commentary on Disaster Recovery; Information Security; Risk Management; Records Management & Document Control; Auditing & Compliance; Social Computing; Architectural Development…you know -- the usual. AND, the ties that bind to ISO 15489.

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