Here are some tips for getting your company or personal electronic files and documents better organized in 2019. These tips will really make life easier if you are currently storing your company files and documents on a network drive or you use a document management system but never really configured it for your business.text
Millennia Group Blog
In essence, a good records management policy and effort helps companies continuously downsize and de-clutter. That is not to say that the company moves to a smaller space or reduces headcount. In this context it is the systematic process of eliminating information that is no longer legally required or relevant to the business. This sounds fantastic for every company and every employee doesn’t it?
It sounds great to have less irrelevant information to sift through and maybe clearer lines of site to people in cubicles around you, unless you like to work in a bunker. New office space configurations and the wave of digitization have reduced the chances of boxes piling up. But even those pesky digital files need to be purged every once in a while. So why is it so hard to do?text
Normally we don’t do a blog post on a Friday, but since this is Friday the 13th it seems like a good time to remind everyone that document disasters can happen any day. The cause of these disasters is usually us and we can screw up today or any day. So be careful, be diligent and try to be organized.
What are the typical disasters that can happen? Accidental deletion of a document, a file dragged and dropped into the abyss, version nightmares ie. V1, V2, V998 and counting, files that are too large to email or upload or download, and on and on.text
How will artificial intelligence (“AI”) impact our world? There are knowledgeable people talking up the potential positive uses of AI and there are knowledgeable people voicing concern over the potential problems. On the positive side are articles generally oriented towards business efficiency gains, of which IBM’s Watson is a widely seen example.
Many companies are looking for a better way to help manage the explosive growth files and documents and they are hoping that AI and Watson can benefit them. The rate of growth is exponential and that is creating increased user search times and poor results accuracy - inefficient. AI might help users find the information that they are looking for, but Watson is going to have to get to know each user and know each user very well first.text
There are many benefits to using electronic documents versus paper. One of those benefits is being able to do a search to quickly locate the one document that you are looking for. This takes only a matter of a few seconds in most any document management system.
But what if you are looking for more than one document? What if you need a collection of documents, like all of the contracts for customers with model number 123abc? What if you aren’t exactly sure what documents you need and only have a few pieces of information to go on? This is where you will get your money’s worth when properly configuring your document management solution.text
The good thing about this blog is that I don’t really need to have answers. That is especially good since I am re-visiting the discussion about working documents versus final documents. It comes up in most every discussion about effective document management – how do I have one system that provides the functionality that I need for both working documents and final documents.
Recall from our earlier post about how creators of working documents tend to like fast and simple – a system where the user can create any collection of folders and subfolders to suit their needs and drag and drop files at will. A user of final documents requires structure and certainty because having quick access to the right documents gets the job done. However, at some point the documents in that web of active folders become the source of final documents. So, is the method of transition from one status to the other the answer, are document police the answer or should there just be two systems?text
Recently we helped a client convert a small amount of paper documents related to a one time transaction into PDFs. The PDFs would simply be in a folder and viewed or emailed as needed. To keep it simple the files could be named in a structured format, ie. “ABCCo-Contract-060116-Brazil-Engine-D-JF.pdf”. Most of that short hand is clear except the "D" is for diesel engines and that the Sales Rep was John Franklin? Seemed simple enough and so we proceeded based on the clients requirements.
In this case, the volume of documents was small, but the documents had a significant amount of descriptive information that could be captured. Each piece of information could be captured in a document management system database and ready for user searches. For example, find all contracts for Brazil or all diesel engine contracts. So here is the issue – do you capture all of the rich information when converting the documents or do you keep it simple because sometimes simple is better?text
Records retention and records management are very important principles in dealing with corporate information. Records management being the overall guide book for employees on to how to store and classify information. It is also about proper management of that information including legal holds (don’t destroy if litigation is in process), access to information and records retention.
Records retention is basically an information destruction plan based on business or legal requirements. A business doesn’t necessarily want the burden of securing confidential, but outdated information for ever – ie. former patient records. Creating a records management policy and records retention schedule requires a lot of effort and yet the actual deletion of records is a very difficult step to take. Here are some thoughts on how to feel better about pulling the trigger.text
The tie in between the current media focus on the political conventions and several recent projects involving file naming conventions, was too good to pass up. The political conventions are all about delivering a consistent, patterned message. Naming conventions are all about consistent, patterned file names.Political conventions are noisy and full of bluster, but focused on getting a large group of people to back a single platform. Naming conventions, while preferably not noisy or blustery, must be developed on a platform that will be understood by a large group of people. But as we all know, one solution may not fit everyone’s needs. text
We have heard it from nearly every company that we have come into contact with over the past 20 years – “the entire office was recently consumed by the search for the Pensky file”. Most likely 15 to 20 years ago they were absolutely referring to a paper file. Now this reference is to a digital file, which in some cases makes it even harder.
If finding documents in your document system (SharePoint, network folders, Box, etc.) is painful and time consuming, you could call Sherlock Holmes or try to reorganize the files with the help of Martha Stewart. Reorganizing is of course the better approach and therefore, you should take some time to learn about Taxonomy.text
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