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Part 1 – Where to Start and How to Setup

WesternIM AgileIM Webinar Series Fall 2020 – Number 1 “Where to Start and How to Setup” 

“If you don’t know what you have – you can’t manage it”. This statement relates directly to the first webinar in the WesternIM fall AgileIM tool series “Where to Start and How to Setup”. 

You may have some projects already in mind that you want to do with your team but I can not think of one project that would mean more than a clean inventory of existing information. Most of you has thought about doing that for quite some time. A physical records inventory/validation project would certainly be part of that. I know this because I’ve talked to many of you and this comes up in conversation on a regular basis. The real question is why haven’t we ever done the project? The answer is that without a tool designed to do that it would be almost impossible. With WesternIM’s AgileIM tool in hand there’s no more reason to delay.

So let me first ask some questions about physical information first?

How long has your organization actually been doing physical records management?

Well for a lot of you it could have been decades and you may or may not have been there when all of that got started but there’s a lot of paper information in most of the organizations I talk to across the country and not everybody is certain how accurate that information really is. Of course, the metadata describing those paper files and boxes lives in a whole lot of different formats. Probably many different spreadsheet formats and possibly a couple of different database forms and there are probably still pockets of information in filing cabinets, closets, under stairs and lots of other places that we just don’t have information about. We all know that over time things like summer students inputting information or just changes to our own classification systems and retention schedules as well as a whole lot of other reasons could have made the information, well, not quite as perfect as we might like. How much paper information is still coming in? I would say less and less all the time if you’re anything like everybody else and a lot of the processes in the organizations have been turned into electronic form so paper is coming in at a much lower rate than it used to in the past. How much is it costing to store all that paper now? If you have your own storage locations that’s maybe a little bit easier situation for you but in many instances, I know that corporate and government record centers across the country are way too small and that requirements in many cases have outgrown the record centers altogether. If you use a third-party records center there is a specific cost involved. Particularly now when some team members are working from home. How much does it cost to do a pull of information and send it off to a home address? It’s time to actually start to get rid of some of this paper if we can.

AgileIM is a very inexpensive tool that’s easily justified and although it can do dozens of projects cleaning up the paper is one of those great places to start. Whether you have your own records center or whether it’s in an offsite storage location such as iron Mountain or Access it is costing you money to keep all of the paper. There is no better time than now for a project.

Other reasons why a paper project may be good now include:

Assisting your company in potential downsizing of bricks and mortar locations – Paper information takes up physical space.

Using the expertise of long-term employees/subject matter experts that are close to retirement before that happens.

Reducing cost of storage.

A clean inventory will assist in any access requests, audits or litigation requirements.

Flagging of any PII encountered.

Applying a new security structure.

Flagging anything that should be scanned like high access/high value content in order to give appropriate staff access and also back up the information.

These are just a few benefits that might be achieved during a project of this kind.

How about electronic information?

Many are struggling with how much electronic information exists today in organizations. That can be coupled with exponential growth and no rule in place for IT to get rid of any of it.

AgileIM can easily ingest the metadata so that projects like classification, shared drive clean-up and reorganization, migration to EDRMS solutions like Microsoft SharePoint are now actually possible.

Once you have made that decision to do some kind of project and you have been trained on your new AgileIM tool the first job is to get all of that metadata into AgileIM as a source of truth. This is probably something that you wanted to do anyway. That consolidation of different metadata into a location so that it will be so much easier to deal with in the future. Although were not talking about all the possibilities for that consolidated metadata in this webinar, AgileIM is capable of assisting with all those projects.

Sign up for the entire WesternIM AgileIM fall series to see what else you could do with your AgileIM tool.