Your organization has decided to move forward with converting your documents into an electronic format via a document imaging process. But is your RM program ready? Do you know which documents you will be able to discard? Would your converted documents stand up in court?
Before you launch your conversion, you’ll need to:
- Ensure your imaged documents meet record-keeping requirements
- Evaluate how your existing RM program will support an imaging and retention program
- Understand which records—once scanned—can be destroyed and which need to be retained
This blog will help you answer these questions. Part 1 will help you understand RM program requirements for any imaging project, while Part 2 looks at the imaging process requirements needed for a smooth transition.
RM program requirements
If you really want all the benefits of a conversion—efficiencies and improved access, as well as reduced storage fees, for starters—you have to make sure your records management program can support it. The following questions will help you determine that.
1. Does your organization have an Information Management Policy or similar governance document that assigns organizational accountability and individual responsibilities for the management of recorded information?
2. Has your organization developed records retention schedules that assign standard time periods for keeping different categories of records, based on legal and operational needs?
3. Has your organization implemented records disposition processes, authorization forms and secure destruction protocols to support disposal of eligible records, including any paper records which might be destroyed once they are captured by an imaging system?
4. Has your organization developed classification schemes, taxonomies, metadata protocols, and other tools that can support the retrieval and indexing of records once imaged?
5. Does your organization have privacy and information security standards that protect the confidentiality and integrity of information and information systems?
6. Has your organization implemented back-up procedures and strategies to ensure continued system functionality and information access even in a large-scale disaster scenario?
7. Has your organization developed formal migration strategies and other program tools to mitigate the risk of hardware and software obsolescence and help guarantee long-term accessibility of electronic content?
8. Has your organization implemented training programs and communication channels to ensure that all levels of staff are aware of and able to understand applicable information management requirements?