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Recordkeeping Advice No. 17

Implementing Better Records and Information Management

Issued:   26 November 2007 

Recordkeeping Advices issued by the State Archivist provide advice on the management of records of State and local government organisations and support or explain recordkeeping requirements set out in formal State records guidelines.  

This advice has been developed by the Inter Agency Policy and Projects Unit (IAPPU), Department of Premier and Cabinet, as a project sponsored by the Inter Agency Steering Committee with input from the Archives Office and other Government Agencies.  The project outcome is now issued as a Recordkeeping Advice by the State Archivist

 

 

Ian Pearce

State Archivist


 

Table Of Contents

Introduction  3

Purpose. 3

Definitions Within This Guide. 3

Strategic Focus Of This Guide. 3

Design and Implementation Methodology. 4

Project Management Methodology. 6

Work Process Analysis For Recordkeeping  8

What is it?. 8

Why do it?. 8

How do I do it?. 9

Relevant Standards, Guidelines And Advices. 10

Business Analysis  12

What is it?. 12

Why do it?. 12

How do I do it?. 13

Relevant Standards, Guidelines And Advices. 15

System Design  16

What is it?. 16

Why do it?. 16

How do I do it?. 16

Relevant Standards, Guidelines And Advices. 22

System Implementation  23

What is it?. 23

Why do it?. 23

How do I do it?. 23

Relevant Standards, Guidelines And Advices. 25

Operational Integration  26

What is it?. 26

Why do it?. 26

How do I do it?. 26

Relevant Standards, Guidelines And Advices. 28

Where can I get more information?  29

Glossary Of Terms  31

 


Purpose

The purpose of this Advice is to provide practical information and assistance to the Tasmanian Government public sector on implementing better records and information management practices.

The intended audience is Records/Information Managers, IT Managers, Project Managers and Business Managers involved in the implementation or improvement of agency recordkeeping systems.

It is not intended to be a comprehensive or definitive guide to Records Management, nor is it intended to replace formal Guidelines and Advices issued by the State Archivist.

This Advice has been developed through consultation with Tasmanian Government records and information management practitioners.

Definitions Within This Guide

For the purposes of this Guide:

              A recordkeeping system is the interaction of technology, people, policies, methods, processes and business information systems that capture, maintain and provide access to records of business activity over time. 

              A business information system is a combination of people and automated applications organised to meet a particular set of business objectives.  It includes the traditional paper records system, web content management systems, network file servers and other business applications such as the Finance and HR systems. These systems do not necessarily employ recordkeeping functionality in managing the business information.

Strategic Focus Of This Guide

Agencies need to view recordkeeping as part of their broader information and risk management frameworks.  Taking a comprehensive view of records and information management is important because useful and important records can be contained in any type of information asset. 

At the core of better practice in records and information management is the design and implementation of a quality recordkeeping system that:

             Protects the agency against unacceptable risk and future uncosted effort

             Is usable and user-friendly

             Is efficient and effective

             Is aligned to the needs of the business

             Is adaptable to meet emerging and future business needs

Why focus on quality? One simple answer to the question is that quality is always 'designed in' from the beginning.  Retrofitting is expensive and time consuming.

It relies on the identification of relevant standards and the ongoing commitment of all stakeholders to developing strategies for ensuring those standards are achieved.

The Australian Standard on Records Management (AS ISO 15489) provides a descriptive benchmark against which agencies can assess the capability of their recordkeeping systems and identify areas of strength and vulnerability.

The Australasian Digital Recordkeeping Initiative (ADRI) is also progressing a common framework, comprising standards, guidelines and tools, with which all jurisdictions, including Tasmania, will seek to conform.

Design and Implementation Methodology

A methodology for the Design and Implementation of Records Systems (DIRS) is set out in the Australian Standard on Records Management Part 2: Guidelines (AS ISO 15489.2 – 2002)

The methodology has been endorsed by the State Archivist as a model for better practice for Tasmanian State and local government organisations.

The eight stages of the methodology are described in the diagram below:

Figure 1 - Design and Implementation of Records System

 

 

Within the context of this methodology, 5 key components of a project(s) to implement or improve a recordkeeping system have been addressed in this guide. 

These components are:

             Work Analysis for Recordkeeping: Quality recordkeeping Is not about keeping everything forever. Agencies need to focus scarce resources on managing useful and important records.  Understanding where, how and by whom records should be created, and how they should be managed is a vital first step. 

             Business Analysis: The electronic environment is complex. Agencies should identify all business information systems that contain records that need to be managed and identify areas of recordkeeping strength and vulnerability.  A conceptual model for integrating a recordkeeping system with other business information systems (BIS) is shown below.

             System Design:  In the electronic environment a reliance on policy to guide recordkeeping has not worked effectively.  Recordkeeping often has a low profile and records management is not perceived as supporting agency business.  Based on the previous two activities, agencies should prioritise needs and choose strategies that will work.

             System Implementation:  Implementing a quality recordkeeping system will inevitably involve many changes in approach, practices, attitudes and behaviour – for both end users and for records and records specialists – that will be vital for the future operations of Government.

             Operational Integration: Implementing or improving a recordkeeping system is not a 'once and for all' set of decisions and investment.  To remain effective over time a recordkeeping system requires sustained commitment from senior management and a collaborative approach between Records, IT and Business Units to ongoing maintenance and enhancement.

These components will be relevant to agencies seeking to implement new recordkeeping systems or improve their existing recordkeeping systems, including those in a print-to-paper environment. They can be modified to suit projects varying in scale and level, such as those focused on introducing new lines-of-business or improving recordkeeping for existing lines-of-business.

The diagram below provides a conceptual model for better practice records and information management. 

It describes the relationship between a recordkeeping system and other business information systems (BIS), as follows:

             A recordkeeping system encompasses all business information management systems, including electronic records management (ERM) and electronic document management (EDM) systems both of which are considered to be subsets of BIS.

             ERM systems present the best method for maintaining digital records over time, as they provide digital records with the necessary controls to assist in their long-term preservation.

             EDM systems support the creation, revision and management of digital documents. 

 

 

Recordkeeping System

Figure 3: Conceptual Model for Recordkeeping Integration

 

 

Recordkeeping System

Figure 3: Conceptual Model for Recordkeeping Integration

 

Project Management Methodology

The recommended project management methodology for Tasmanian Government agencies is that of the Tasmanian Government Project Management Guidelines V6.0 available at www.egovernment.tas.gov.au.

Critical to the initiative’s success will be the availability of the necessary project competencies at the right time. These competencies may exist within the project team or may need to be acquired through training and/or outsourcing.

Collectively the project team should have access to expertise in:

● Project management

● Records management

● Technical IT

● Business Analysis

● Communication/Change management

● Training

● Specific Software Product(s)

Project team members should be committed for the duration of the project or at least for the duration of their part in the project.

The project environment must also be appropriate. It may be convenient to deliver the project from the Records branch or IT branch, but it may be more productive to temporarily co-locate project staff or out-post them to business units.

The following diagram describes a transition planning model incorporating the 5 key components as follows:

Figure 2 - Transition Planning Model

 


 

What is it?

Recordkeeping employs two distinct types of analysis: functional analysis (decomposition) and sequential analysis (flow of work mapping).

Functional analysis is a top-down decomposition, which begins with broad goals and objectives, the functions that achieve those objectives, and then decomposes the functions to identify the activities and actions that constitute them. These can in turn break down to the level of recurring transactions.

Sequential analysis (bottom up) identifies and maps the sequence of actions or transactions of a work process and their linkages/dependencies on other processes.

Work process analysis precedes more detailed business analysis and informs the design and implementation of an agency’s recordkeeping system.

Outputs from this activity will include:

● First and foremost, a Business Classification Scheme (BCS) that shows the agency’s functions, activities and transactions in an hierarchical relationship

● A high-level information inventory showing the points at which records are produced, received or required as products of business activity: allowing an agency to prioritise effort and investment on managing useful and important records

These outputs in turn provide the basis for developing or applying tools at a later stage that will facilitate the ‘keeping’ of quality records, such as:

● An agency-specific Retention and Disposal Schedule(s) that defines the retention periods and consequent disposition actions for core business records

● A thesaurus of terms to control the language for record titling

● A metadata schema

● Security and access schemas

● A map linking the various tools such as agency-specific or general disposal schedules, security and access schemas with the BCS

Why do it?

Agencies typically create multiple electronic copies of a record and send it to multiple users who maintain it in various locations. This makes it difficult and costly to identify the essential records or versions of those records that document the activities of the agency and more broadly, government.

In the electronic environment, the process of appraising individual records by opening, reading and closing a sequence of electronic documents is far more cumbersome and costly that scanning a set of papers by eye.

One of the huge potential benefits of the functional approach is the appraisal of the business function, as opposed to the individual records themselves that it produces. This allows for the application of retention and disposal information and security and access criteria at a higher level and much earlier in the life of the record or information.

Secondly, any changes in agency structure or government administrative arrangements need not affect appraisal and classification of the records and information, as the actual functions of government tend to be quite stable and change little over time.

How do I do it?

This is a specialist activity that should be undertaken under the direction of an experienced Records Manager or consultant, in consultation with Archives Office of Tasmania.

Techniques include:

● Research

● Interviews – face to face or group

● Surveys and Questionnaires

● Inspections

Preparatory steps in the process are as follows:

● Contact the Archives Office of Tasmania at an early stage to discuss the proposed timetable and to enable an Archives Office project officer to be assigned.

● Translate the agency’s principles, goals and objectives into a list of high-level functions across your agency. You should also take into account relevant legislation.

● Analyse the business plans associated with your agency’s lines of business. Try to identify the activities and transactions documented. In the early stages you may only need to outline one or two levels of classification eg function and activity.

● Identify the relationship between structured and unstructured records. For example, the source record of information maintained in a Business Information System (BIS) is likely to have a different retention and disposal requirement to that of the BIS information. For evidentiary purposes you may have to maintain a link between the data components of an invoice and the invoice itself.

● Seek endorsement of your Business Classification Scheme (BCS) from your project’s Reference Group and Steering Committee. This will help develop ownership at the executive level.

Ongoing processes are as follows:

● Design/refine the various classification tools. For example, your agency’s file plan or thesaurus: a required tool for electronic document and records management (EDRM) software implementations. This is an iterative process and you will need to consult widely across the agency to ensure they are valid and usable. (See also EDRMS Implementation Tips and Tricks)

● Link the functions in the BCS to the various other classification tools such as agency-specific or general disposal schedules, security and access schemas. (See also EDRMS Implementation Tips and Tricks)

● Working closely with the Archives Office of Tasmania project officer, identify a reliable base for appraising and sentencing your agency’s records. Where an appropriate existing Disposal Schedule cannot be identified, begin developing your Agency-specific Disposal Schedule. Authorisation of the schedule by the State Archivist may take some time to achieve, but is a necessary goal.

Relevant Standards, Guidelines And Advices

AiansaacgS ISO 15489.2-2002 – Australian Standard – Records Management – Part 2: Guidelines

Tasmanian Government agencies can access the guide from: http://www.egovernment.tas.gov.au/themes/project_management/project_management/services/private/standards_select_online_service

AS 5090 – 2003 – Australian Standard – Work Process Analysis for Recordkeeping

Tasmanian Government agencies can access the guide from: http://www.egovernment.tas.gov.au/themes/project_management/project_management/services/private/standards_select_online_service

State Records Guideline No 1– Making Proper Records

This guideline provides a description of the recordkeeping principles and environment in which proper records are made, and the attributes of these records. It is available at http://www.archives.tas.gov.au/legislative/staterecords/guidelines_list/guideline_01

State Records Guideline No 2 – Retention and Disposal of State Records

This guideline provides further information about the obligations flowing from the requirements for agencies to preserve records until they are dealt with under the Archives Act 1983. It is available at http://www.archives.tas.gov.au/legislative/staterecords/guidelines_list/guideline_02

State Records Guideline No 6 – Developing a Functional Records Disposal Schedule

This guideline provides information for Tasmanian Government agencies developing a Business Classification Scheme (BCS) and Agency Functional Disposal Schedules. It is available at http://www.archives.tas.gov.au/legislative/staterecords/guidelines_list/guideline_06

Recordkeeping Advice No 2 – Records Appraisal

This guideline provides information on appraisal: the process of evaluating an agency’s business activities to determine which records need to be created and captured into recordkeeping systems and how long the records need to be kept, to meet business needs, the requirements of organisational accountability and community expectations. . It is available at http://www.archives.tas.gov.au/legislative/staterecords/advices_list/advice_02
 

What is it?

Business analysis has some overlap with the functional analysis activities described above and these two activities may be conducted concurrently.

However, it is particularly focused on scoping the business problem: identifying the needs of the business and gaps, overlaps, and inefficiencies.

Included in this activity is analysis of:

● How information is used to support decision making processes and business activity

● How information is managed within existing document management and other business information systems, for example email and file servers, databases and line of business applications

● How information may need to be managed in the future, for example identification of any proposed systems or changes to existing systems

● The performance of the existing and/or proposed systems in relation to any legal, business or recordkeeping requirements/risks

● The linkages between these systems and the functions of the agency

Why do it?

Undertaking an analysis of the business activity/processes of the agency is a time consuming process, yet a very necessary one. It helps to define how records and information are used.

It ensures that you have a complete and valid understanding of what staff do, why they do it and how they do it. Based on this information you can design and implement a strategy and framework for records and information management that meets the needs of the business.

Agencies have a growing number of 'virtual basements' of records and information that are managed 'outside' the traditional recordkeeping system.

When recordkeeping processes and procedures are not integrated into agency business processes, individuals slip back into old habits or invent new ways of ‘by-passing’ the recordkeeping system.

Emerging best practice defines two broad classes of data: Structured and Unstructured, that each require different management.

Structured data refers to records created from data that is collated and managed in a structured environment, often in database type business information systems (BIS). The most effective current strategy for managing information in structured business information systems is to extend recordkeeping functionality to these systems.

Unstructured data refers to narrative and contextually structured records such as word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, etc. Unstructured data needs to be captured into a specialised electronic records management (ERM) system designed to manage records over time, maintain metadata and links between records.

How do I do it?

This activity should be undertaken under the direction of an experienced Business Analyst in consultation with business units on a case-by-case basis.

Techniques include:

● Interviews – face to face or group

● Business process analysis

● Self-assessment surveys and Questionnaires

● Inspections

The steps in the process are:

Determine how information is used

Survey business units to determine how information is used. Generally information will fall into one of four broad information use categories. Is it:

o Produced internally and used internally? For example, HR policies

o Produced internally and used externally? For example, Outward correspondence

o Produced externally and used internally?  For example, Inward correspondence

o Produced externally and used both internally and externally? For example, Contracts

This analysis helps to define the processes required, for example, outward correspondence may need to be printed, faxed or emailed and the paper copy shredded.

Determine whether existing systems have recordkeeping functionality

Test whether business information systems have the necessary recordkeeping functionality as follows:

o Is information created or received by the system, captured and registered as evidence of business transactions?

o Is adequate recordkeeping metadata created, captured and retained for information created or received by the system?

o Is the information and associated metadata stored in a manner that will ensure they will remain accessible and retrievable for as long as they are required to be retained?

o Is access to information controlled by the system, and an audit trail of actions taken on them maintained? Does the system have sufficient security to prevent unauthorised alteration?

o Is search and retrieval of information controlled by the system?

o Is the retention and disposal of information managed consistently retaining what should be kept and disposing of what should not, whether by transfer or destruction?

o Can access be maintained over time?

Determine how structured data is managed

Survey business units to identify the business information systems they use.

Any system, which conducts organisational business activities from which you require evidence of its operations, needs to have recordkeeping functionality...The vast majority of business systems are recordkeeping systems but do not do it very well.

You may be able to use previous audits undertaken for other purposes such as development of the agency’s Information Security Policy as a starting point. Survey questions might include:

o Is the system the primary or secondary source of this data?

o How long does this data need to be retained, what for and in what form?

o What is the commencement date of the data and where was the original data from?

o Since the system started have you ever purged or deleted any data?

o Is the data passed to other systems and if so in what format (eg electronic records/printed reports etc.)

o For disaster recovery purposes how far back do we need to go?

o What are the processes (manual or online) used to create, amend or delete the data, including authorisations required?

o What are implications for technology infrastructure used to support the system?

Determine how unstructured data is managed

Collect information from business units on their document management practice (including file servers, email servers and web content management systems). Questions might include:

o What is the current volume of documents stored on your unit’s file server?

o What is its rate of increase?

o How are the documents created?

o How are the documents delivered/distributed/shared?

o How often and by whom are the documents updated?

o What is the role of the documentation in any compliance or quality assurance processes?

o What are the document’s workflow requirements?

Identify the barriers to adoption of better practice

The analysis should also include an investigation of the culture of the agency, particularly in relation to:

o Tolerance for ambiguity (eg lack of clarity at the start around nature/extent of change)

o Willingness to embrace change

o Preferred informal processes to administer files and documents

o PC/Desktop literacy levels

o Resistance to sharing of information between workgroups

Identify the priority issues most important to the business. Examples may be:

o Reducing the time spent searching for records

o Reducing duplication. Agencies typically create multiple electronic copies of a record and send it to multiple users who maintain it in various locations.

Some business units will have unique requirements that relate to the specific nature of the business activities undertaken. For example specific file types such as image files be required. Business units may also have their own specific processes that need to be incorporated in the design of systems:

For example, caseworkers might make paper or electronic notes that are critical in providing documentary evidence to support decisions made in relation to their clients.

It may be impractical to change work practices to collect the notes electronically. However, for the sake of a complete record it may be necessary to scan these electronically.

These documents will likely require implementation of access restrictions to secure sensitive personal information.

Relevant Standards, Guidelines And Advices

State Records Guideline No 1 – Making Proper Records

This guideline is available at http://www.archives.tas.gov.au/legislative/staterecords/guidelines_list/guideline_01

Recordkeeping Advice 18 Records within Business Information Systems

This is a companion Archives Office Advice developed through the Records – Better Practice in an Electronic Environment Project.

It is available at http://www.archives.tas.gov.au/legislative/staterecords/advices_list

 

What is it?

This activity draws together the previous two activities – Work Process Analysis and Business Analysis.

This phase is focused on scoping the solutions and prioritising information management needs, including:

● The recordkeeping requirements identified in the functional analysis phase

● The business needs, opportunities and risks identified in the business analysis phase.

It involves looking at the functionality your users require and determining the best way this can be implemented.

Strategies for design of the recordkeeping system include:

● Policy strategies - employing policies, procedures, practices, business rules etc. For further information see http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/recordkeeping/policy_strategy_1953.asp

● Design strategies - makes recordkeeping less obvious or intrusive to employees. For further information see http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/recordkeeping/design_strategy_1954.asp

● Standards strategies - employs the use of technical standards as a means of ensuring that recordkeeping requirements are met. For further information see http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/recordkeeping/standards_strategy_1955.asp

● Implementation strategies - involves considering the way in which you implement recordkeeping systems in your organisation http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/recordkeeping/implementation_strategy_1956.asp

NB Use of these resources must recognise that there may be jurisdictional differences to those of Tasmania

Why do it?

An agency’s recordkeeping system impacts every employee across the agency. AS ISO 15489.1, Clause 8.4 recommends identifying strategies for satisfying recordkeeping requirements, which may include adopting policies, procedures and practices, designing new systems, implementing systems in a way which satisfies a recordkeeping requirement, or adopting standards.

How do I do it?

This is a collaborative activity undertaken by the project team.

Getting the right strategy for your agency will require significant consultation with business units and other key stakeholders. Be sure you choose strategies that will work in your agency and that will enable you to address and resolve the gaps or issues you have identified.

Keep it simple. Focus on the priority gaps and issues your users have identified. This helps build ownership.

At a high level you should aim to have a common understanding of the answers to the following questions:

● What is the gap between where you are now and where you want to be?

● What are the acceptable ‘trade-offs’ between usability, efficiency and effectiveness?

● What impact might change have on the day-to-day operations of the agency?

● How fast realistically can/should change be implemented?

Some specific issues that should be considered in the development of your strategy are as follows:

Policy Issues

Do you require a fully electronic recordkeeping system?

If so, your strategy will need to:

o Establish processes to convert records from their native format to an electronically readable version eg scanning incoming paper to electronic form, scanning images

o Establish processes for storing and managing the native format copy where a specific need for retention has been identified eg for business or evidentiary purposes

o Train desktop users to use information electronically (search rather than browse)

Do you require a hybrid (physical and electronic) recordkeeping system?

If so, your strategy will need to:

o Link paper and electronic records through metadata. Physical and electronic folders should use the same title and identifier, but with appropriate indicators marking which is physical and which is electronic.

o Establish processes to ensure records actions carried out on the hybrid folder are applied to both physical and digital components at the same time (where required)

o Establish appropriate processes for managing access to the repositories for each component, including advice on check-out location/procedure

o Ensure search interface retrieves physical folders and electronic folders

How will you capture electronic messages?

Your strategy will need to cover all forms of electronic messaging such as:

o Electronic mail

o Electronic document exchange (fax)

o Electronic data interchange (EDI)

o Voice mail

o Instant messaging

o Short message services (SMS)

o Enhanced messaging services (EMS)

o Multimedia messaging services (MMS)

o Multimedia communications, eg teleconferencing and video-conferencing.

Although many of these may not be utilised by the business now, they may be required in the future. Effective strategies for managing email in the current environment might include capturing messages in PDF format.

Design Issues

What EDRM solutions will be required to manage records?

Recordkeeping can be improved by integrating or interfacing traditional Electronic Records Management (ERM) technologies with:

· Standard office applications

· Standard electronic messaging systems, such as email clients

· Other mainstream applications already installed, eg imaging systems

· Particular business information systems (BIS) used by lines-of-business. These may include supporting document/content management solutions such as Microsoft SharePoint.

Keep in mind that providing enabling IT solutions is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Not all employees will require desktop access to the electronic records management (ERM) system: for example, Ministerial drivers.  It will depend on their work practices and how much electronic documentation they generate and use in their normal day to day activity.

Implementation will need to be supported by other strategies such as:

· Customisation/modification of the off-the-shelf product to fit a business unit’s specific needs and work processes. For example, customising forms and reports.

· Educating desktop users in application of the agency’s file plan/BCS

· Educating/training records staff in the support of desktop users (Helpdesk/FAQs)

· Implementing business rules within the EDRMS for security/access, sentencing, retention and disposal.

· Providing a holding area for saving documents pending building of a properly classified file

· Providing a personal space (folder) for each desktop user

· Identification of business improvement options and other means of making recordkeeping intrinsic to the task

Some business units may be better placed to transition quickly to automated recordkeeping solutions, others may require a lot of support before the need for change is accepted.

For some agencies (or business units) a more incremental approach may be appropriate, focused initially on implementing standardised processes and practices for document/content management within existing file server environments, before transitioning to an integrated solution.

File server strategies will need to be supported by other strategies such as:

· Educating desktop users in application of the agency’s file plan/BCS

· Educating/training records staff in the support of desktop users (Helpdesk/FAQs)

· Identifying security/access requirements. Generally, access to the file server should be open. However, where a specific security requirement is identified, a restricted file server will need to be set up. There may be a requirement for more than one restricted file server across the agency

· Establishing a manual process for sentencing and retention

· Establishing a manual process for appraisal and disposal

· Establishing a review and quality assurance process

· Providing a process for adding properly classified folders

· Establishing processes for legal discovery, eg FOI

Which BIS require recordkeeping functionality?

The ease with which digital records controlled by a Business Information System (BIS) may be identified and managed will vary depending on the type and complexity of the system and the manner in which the information is retained.

Incorporating or integrating recordkeeping functionality within a BIS, for example web content management, finance or HR system, may require upgrade or modification of some systems and may not be cost effective in some instances.

 

Standards Issues

What information standards are required?

The quality of information is enhanced when standards are available to support its collection and use. The development of these standards is not something that is done at the end of the implementation process. It is very much a part of the design.

Standards will most likely be required for:

· Document revision and versioning

· Document naming

· Scanning of paper-based documents

· Minimum recordkeeping metadata standards and protocols

Implementation Issues

Will you migrate/convert legacy records? Options include:

o Do not migrate. This is a ‘line-in-the-sand’ approach: agencies elect to retain existing documents within legacy file servers/records management systems for as long as necessary.

o Partially migrate/convert. Agencies elect to migrate/convert existing documents from legacy file servers/records management systems on a ‘case-by-case’ basis. In practice this is likely to be the default position.

o Fully migrate/convert. Agencies elect to migrate/convert existing documents from legacy file servers/records management systems. This is likely to be an extensive and time-consuming exercise.

There are no hard and fast rules in relation to migration/conversion of legacy documents. However it should be kept in mind that there are implications for the business.

What changes are required to existing business processes?

Some existing business processes may have worked well in the paper environment, but may not work as well in the electronic. For example, document review and approval processes, circulating copies of documents.

Business processes should, as far as possible, integrate recordkeeping so that records required are captured as part of the work process.

Your strategy will need to allow for modification of these processes or implementation of new, possibly automated, business processes.

How will recordkeeping roles and responsibilities be shared?

How much of the recordkeeping function is delegated to desktop users determines how much training and support they will require in order to adopt and use the system.

The more complex the recordkeeping process for the desktop user, the greater the level of training, support and change management that will be required. For example, if desktop users need to apply the classification tools and the business classification scheme when creating records, they will need specific training and ongoing support in their use.

The alternative is to centralise complex records functions, making them ‘invisible’ to the desktop user, at least in the initial implementation.

The diagram below outlines, in a simplified way, how functions can be separated, making adoption of EDRMS simpler.

 

 

 

Transaction Undertaken (may include workflow)

File is created appraised and classified

Document is made Naming convention applied Inherits metadata attributes; security & access restrictions of document can be refined by user (where appropriate)

File is appraised and sentenced

Security/Access Restrictions Applied Audit Trail established

Disposal Action Undertaken

Document is discovered and retrieved

Desktop Document Management Interface

Records Management Interface

Business Activity (Desktop User)

Recordkeeping Activity (Records Unit)

Figure 4 – EDRMS Model

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Relevant Standards, Guidelines And Advices

State Records Guideline No. 8 – Management of Source Records that have been Copied, Converted or Migrated

This guideline informs agencies of their legal obligations for management of source records when migrating records from one format to another, ie from paper to electronic, electronic to paper, from old electronic systems to new electronic systems.

It is available at http://www.archives.tas.gov.au/legislative/staterecords/guidelines_list

Recordkeeping Advice 18 Records within Business Information Systems

This is a companion Archives Office Advice developed through the Records – Better Practice in an Electronic Environment Project.

It is available at http://www.archives.tas.gov.au/legislative/staterecords/advices_list

Recordkeeping Advice 19 EDRMS Implementation Tips and Tricks

This is a companion Archives Office Advice developed through the Records – Better Practice in an Electronic Environment Project.

It is available at http://www.archives.tas.gov.au/legislative/staterecords/advices_list

Recordkeeping Advice 20 Common Change Management Issues

This is a companion Archives Office Advice developed through the Records – Better Practice in an Electronic Environment Project.

It is available at http://www.archives.tas.gov.au/legislative/staterecords/advices_list


 

What is it?

This activity is about implementing the solutions (strategies) identified in the previous section. It involves transition planning, organisational change management and cultural change.

By this point you should have a clear strategy for addressing priority recordkeeping needs and issues, endorsed by Senior Management and accepted by users.

Why do it?

A recordkeeping strategy that is poorly planned and implemented across the agency will not be effective in :

● Reducing the risks to the agency associated with poor records and information management practice

● Ensuring benefits are realised from the investment of time, energy and resources

How do I do it?

Depending on the scope of your project, and the rate and pace of change, it may be more effective to engage an external Consultant to advise on or implement change.

The fundamental challenge of rolling out a recordkeeping system is that for it to be successful, it requires the active involvement of all staff. It touches all staff across the agency, so you need to actively engage with users to ensure widespread adoption.

You should take into account the availability of stakeholders to participate in the project. Some business units will have operational priorities that will affect their availability. Others may have close operational linkages with other business units, making it imperative that they transition together.

The model you select for implementing change will influence the level of time, effort and resources required to ensure widespread adoption of the new recordkeeping system.

Make sure you select the right mix of methods for your agency’s strategy. Options include:

Direct changeover

For example, use of EDRMS is mandatory (file servers de-commissioned). This will require significant change management as it forces adoption and for some staff, this may be challenging.

Parallel operation

For example, use of EDRMS is optional (file servers maintained). This is likely to delay broad adoption, as many users will continue their old practices and uptake may be serendipitous. Staff generally won’t use the new system until they see benefits, but won’t see benefits until they use the system.

Pilot operation

The choice of pilot implementation is critical. It must be selected carefully, to ensure that it:

o Demonstrates the value of the recordkeeping strategy

o Builds momentum for future activities

o Generates interest and enthusiasm from both end-users and stakeholders

o Delivers tangible and visible benefits

o Addresses an important or urgent business need

o Can be clearly communicated to staff and stakeholders

o Assists the project team in gaining further resources and support

Actions speak louder than words. Choose the pilot according to its ability to act as a 'catalyst' for further organisational and cultural changes.

In practice, this often involves starting with one area of the business that the agency as a whole would be interested in, and cares about. An example might be the Executive Unit who coordinates Ministerial Correspondence.

Phased changeover

For example, EDRMS and file servers are run in parallel for a specified period, before file servers are de-commissioned. This is likely to be the default. However, it will be challenging to manage and staff may still resist adoption.

How will you support implementation?

Recordkeeping is more likely to be done to the required standard if agencies support implementation by using recordkeeping specialists in new roles such as training, user-support and quality assurance.

Some effective techniques that can be used to support users include:

o Co-location of project staff within a business unit during roll-out.

o A project staff member remaining on site for a period following roll-out

o Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Sheets or Fact Sheets about particular topics that cause difficulty or concern

o Web-based self-directed training (tutorials) guiding users through specific processes such as workflow

o Tailoring training sessions for high-end and low-end users

o ‘Byte’ Sessions: short (1/2 – 1 hour) follow up sessions to address specific common issues

o ‘Leadership Sessions’: extension training to extend basic skills as users start to use the system

o Refresher training to reinforce good habits

How will you undertake migration of legacy systems or records

There are a range of complexities associated with migrating legacy systems or records that will need to be considered.

Relevant Standards, Guidelines And Advices

Tasmanian Government Project Management Guidelines

The recommended project management methodology for Tasmanian Government agencies is that of the Tasmanian Government Project Management Guidelines V6.0.

The guide and a range of support material is available at www.egovernment.tas.gov.au.

Records within Business Information Systems

This is a companion guide developed through the Records – Better Practice in an Electronic Environment Project.

It is available at www.egovernment.tas.gov.au

Guide to Common Change Management Issues

This is a companion guide developed through the Records – Better Practice in an electronic Environment Project.

They are available at www.egovernment.tas.gov.au.

Acceptance Testing Kit

Provides a package of resources for evaluating a new or revised system. The process is undertaken by Business Unit Managers and end-users of the system to make sure it meets their business needs. It is available at http://www.egovernment.tas.gov.au/themes/project_management/project_management/knowledge_base/public/acceptance_testing_kit


What is it?

This activity establishes administrative arrangements that include planning for system and business process improvement that enable your agency to build on the investment it has made.

Why do it?

Implementing your agency’s recordkeeping strategy is not a ‘once and for all’ set of decisions and investment.

There may be gaps or weaknesses identified in the business analysis/design stage that still need to be addressed. Alternatively there may be issues raised during post-implementation review that require further action.

You also need to evaluate and regularly review the performance of your recordkeeping system (and your strategy) to make sure it is still valid and takes account of emerging business needs and changes in the environment.

How do I do it?

To remain effective over time a recordkeeping system requires sustained commitment from senior management and a collaborative approach between Records, IT and Business Units to ongoing maintenance and enhancement.

As agencies move to the use of enabling IT solutions, there has been a convergence of ongoing responsibilities between records and information systems management.

You should:

● Establish the service management policy, objectives and plans

● Communicate the importance of meeting the service management objectives and the need for continual improvement

● Ensure that customer requirements are determined and are met with the aim of improving customer satisfaction

● Appoint a member of management responsible for the co-ordination and management of services

● Determine and provide resources to plan, implement, monitor, review and improve service delivery and management

● Manage risks to the services

● Conduct reviews of the service at planned intervals to ensure continuing suitability, adequacy and effectiveness

Some specific issues that will require consideration are as follows:

Business Process Improvement

Users may identify changes to processes or opportunities for using the functions and facilities of the recordkeeping system to improve productivity (business process improvement).

For example, as they develop a greater understanding of the capability of the system, users may identify benefits from implementing an automated workflow.

Design or redevelopment of Business Information Systems utilising EDRMS

An assessment of recordkeeping requirements and capability should become part of the process for design or redevelopment of Business Information Systems.

Introduction of New Lines of Business

Over time new business functions are likely to be added or existing business functions transferred to the agency.

This can occur as a result of a government restructure or some other kind of initiative, such as a government project.

Upgrades of the Desktop Standard Operating Environment

The introduction of EDRMS changes the nature of the desktop environment as a mission-critical tool integrating it with other IT systems.

In the new environment, upgrades of the standard operating environment may have an adverse impact on other systems and applications integrated at the desktop.

Processes will need to be put in place to adequately test integration prior to rollout of upgrades.

Future Digital Archive Requirements

Currently, the Archives Office of Tasmania is unable to take custody of electronic records. However, agencies and the Archives Office need to plan for the day when there will be a digital archive. Importantly for agencies, records created today may end up in a digital archive.

Effective and efficient transfer of records between organisations requires the transfer of both records and supporting metadata in form that the record and its metadata can be quickly and easily linked.

For paper based information, this involves the transfer of boxes of files and an electronic extract of the metadata.

For electronic information, a number of approaches can be used to link the metadata to the record. The Public Records Office of Victoria’s approach is one example of an effective approach. This model uses XML to create a single object containing the record and its metadata. The National Archives of Australia uses a similar approach to store records in its digital archive.

At this stage, the preferred approach for Tasmania has not been developed. However, no matter which approach is adopted, there is the essential requirement to link each record to its metadata. One feature of EDRMS is their ability to do this, and a large number, including TRIM and Hummingbird, can support the Victorian model. TRIM is also able to support the National Archives approach.

Relevant Standards, Guidelines And Advices

AS ISO/IEC 20000.1 – 2007 – Information Technology Service Management – Part 1: Specification

Defines the requirements for a service provider to deliver managed services of an acceptable quality for its customers.

Tasmanian Government agencies can access the standard from: http://www.egovernment.tas.gov.au/themes/interoperability/common_node/services/private/standards_select_online_service
Where can I get more information?

(These resources were last accessed in September 2007. Use of these resources must recognise that there may be jurisdictional differences to those of Tasmania)

DIRKS Manual: A Strategic Approach to Managing Business Information

The DIRKS manual provides a comprehensive approach to good recordkeeping and information management. It can be adapted and scaled to suit most agencies needs and is available at www.naa.gov.au.

National Archives of Australia (NAA) Overview of Classification Tools

This guide provides information on the process of classification, including a comparison of classification tools. It is available at www.naa.gov.au.

It includes a chapter explaining classification levels and mapping techniques available at
www.naa.gov.au.

Appendix 11 of the DIRKS Manual – Risk Analysis in DIRKS

This guide provides an overview of risk assessment processes. It is available at www.naa.gov.au.

Table 2 on page 8 of the Guide provides a description of some adverse consequences associated with business information systems that can provide a useful starting point for assessing the risks. These risks then need to be validated both in scale and likelihood so they can be adequately mitigated.

NAA Digital Recordkeeping Guidelines – Managing some common types of digital records

This guide provides examples of common practices employed for managing electronic messaging systems. It is available at www.naa.gov.au.

DIRKS Manual: Step E – Strategies for Recordkeeping

This guide is available at www.naa.gov.au. Page 6 identifies a range of strategic approaches – policy, design, implementation and standards – that can be used to address different gaps or weaknesses.

NAA Digital Recordkeeping Guidelines – Managing some common types of digital records

This guide provides examples of common practices employed for managing electronic messaging systems. It is available at
www.naa.gov.au.

State Records NSW – Recordkeeping – Step E - Selecting Appropriate Strategies

This guide is available at

http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/recordkeeping/selecting_appropriate_strategies_1957.asp

It highlights the importance of selecting tactics that meet your requirements and that can be applied easily in your organisation. It provides a number of examples and a case study to help illustrate the various factors you should consider.

 


The following table provides a list of definitions used within this guide.

Term

Description

Recordkeeping

The making and maintaining of complete, accurate and reliable evidence of business transactions in the form of records.

In an electronic environment desk top users become record keepers.

Recordkeeping systems

A recordkeeping system is one kind of information system. They are distinguished from other types of information systems by the fact that they are organised to accomplish the specific functions of creating, storing and accessing records for evidential, business and/or archival purposes.

Business information systems

A business information system is a combination of people and automated applications organised to meet a particular set of business objectives. A records management system is a subset of business information systems.

Records management

The ability to apply controls to the creation, receipt, maintenance, use and disposal of records, including processes for capturing and maintaining evidence of, and information about, business activities and transactions in the form of records (which may include documents or aggregations of documents).

This functionality is usually provided through dedicated ERMS software, or through other forms of BIS that incorporate adequate records management capabilities.
http://www.naa.gov.au/records-management/index.aspx

Document management

The ability to apply creation, revision and management controls at the document level. Document management places limited controls over documents and is primarily concerned with the provision of access and version control.

This functionality is generally provided through EDMS software. However other types of business information systems may also support document management functionality e.g. case management systems, e-commerce systems, web content management systems.

http://www.naa.gov.au/records-management/index.aspx

 

Business Records

Records of electronic documents stored within a document management system, email, records stored in a relational database, scanned documents in an imaging system, HTML pages from a web server; etc. What is important is not the type of system they come from but their business value.

Structured data

Records created from data that has been collated and managed in a structured environment, often in database-type line-of-business information systems. The data captured is highly structured, predictive and repetitive. The most effective current strategy for managing information in structured business systems is to extend recordkeeping functionality to these systems.

Unstructured data

Records not usually managed in a structured database. It is narrative and contextually structured such as Word documents, emails, presentations, web pages or images, films. To be managed as a record, unstructured data needs to be captured into a system with recordkeeping functionality.


 

Work Process Analysis

Business Analysis

System Design

System Implementation

Operational Integration

What is it?

Process of identifying business functions of an agency and breaking them down into activities, transactions and perhaps sub-tasks

Process of identifying the needs of the business and gaps, overlaps, and inefficiencies

Process of prioritising business needs and determining the best way these can be met

Process for implementing change across the agency, endorsed by Senior Management and accepted by users

Process for establishing administrative arrangements that enable you to build on the investment

Why do it?

Provides a basis for:

● focusing scarce resources on managing useful and important records to an appropriate quality

● developing or applying tools to assist in appraisal, retention and disposal decisions

Ensures you have a complete and valid understanding of:

● what staff do

● why they do it and

● how they do it

Ensures you choose strategies that will work in your agency and that will enable you to address and resolve the priority gaps or issues

When recordkeeping processes and procedures are not integrated into agency business process, implementation can fail and users may slip back into old habits or invent new ways of ‘by-passing’ the recordkeeping system

Not a ‘once and for all’ set of decisions and investment. Requires sustained commitment from senior management and a collaborative approach to ongoing maintenance and enhancement

How to do it?

● Contact the Archives Office of Tasmania

● Develop BCS

● Seek endorsement of BCS

● Design/refine classification tools

● Link the BCS to the classification tools

● Identify/develop appropriate Retention and Disposal Schedules

● Determine how information is used

● Determine whether existing systems have recordkeeping functionality

● Determine how structured data is managed

● Determine how unstructured data is managed

● Identify the barriers to adoption

Strategies for design of the recordkeeping system include:

● Policy strategies

● Design strategies

● Standards strategies

● Implementation strategies

Select the right mix of methods for your agency’s implementation. Options include:

● Direct changeover

● Parallel operation

● Pilot operation

● Phased changeover

● Training

● Establish the policy, objectives and plans

● Communicate the importance

● Ensure that customer requirements are met

● Assign responsibilities

● Determine and provide resources

● Manage risks to the services

● Conduct reviews

Where can I get more information?

● Archives Office of Tasmania Guidelines and Advices

● AS ISO 15489.2 Guidelines

● AS 5090 – 2003 Work Process Analysis for Recordkeeping

● Archives Office of Tasmania Guidelines and Advices

● DIRKS Manual

● Archives Office of Tasmania Guidelines and Advices

● DIRKS Manual

● EDRMS Implementation Tips and Tricks

● Guide to Common Change Management and Cultural Issues

● AS ISO/IEC 20000.1 – 2007 – Information Technology Service Management – Part 1: Specification