Retention and Disposition in SharePoint

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Hello everyone,

We’re looking at implementing retention/disposition capabilities in SharePoint. Does anyone have any experience with third party software or native SP capability? We’re on SP 2016 Enterprise, for reference.

Thanks!

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Mariana Coles
Records and Information Management Coordinator
HomeStreet Bank
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Hi Mariana,

What is it you’re looking for?

Aria

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Hi Mariana,

I worked on a retention disposition project for SharePoint 2013 last year. We implemented our retention schedule using base content types per record series we found being used during our content audit. Not the whole schedule. Then we added the standard content templates as children to the base types of the series they belonged to. The “New” document dropdown menu for the template library was then updated so that everyone had to choose that template to inherit the correct information policies.

It was a lot of work for a departmental effort and doesn’t work if people copy old templates they have saved on a network share somewhere. If I had to do it again, I would update the information policies when the content is declared a record by trained content managers.  That is probably the benefits of a third party tool which may already implement standard record series for various industries known to use record management, like banking, legal, and the government. Wish I could recommend a good third party tool but I haven’t used any.

If you go the native SharePoint route, NARA has classes that are tool agnostic for several roles needed for performing records management.

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Dennis Flowers
Consultant
MicroSystems Automation Group
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Dennis’ response points out the fundamental issue with using SP natively for RM.  Because the Content Type is the only real functional object/container you have to work with to actualize your information architecture, unless you want to create a LOT of micro sites (which would be both an administrative and user experience nightmare), if you want to be able to reasonably control content from an RM perspective the IA you are forced to use is a retention-driven IA as Dennis described.  Versus an IA that is designed to meet  productivity and findability needs of the users.  And I have yet to see or hear of a use case where the retention-driven construct actually matches how users within the teams, departments, functions, divisions that make up the organization want to classify their information for ‘regular business usage’.

That is where the 3rd party solutions shine.  The leaders are Gimmal, Collabware, and RecordPoint.  I’m very partial to Gimmal as I find their suite to be the most innovative, powerful, and flexible.  But the other 2 are fine products in and of themselves.

For those who have limited/simple compliance and business retention needs due to a smaller size organization or that they operate in a low-compliance industry/location, and if affording E5 licenses for Office 365 is viable, the labels and new file plan capabilities may very well be enough.  However, keep in mind that those functionalities ONLY work on content stored in O365 (so Teams, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, and OneDrive for Business).  Whereas, the 3rd party solutions above all extend their capabilities outside of those environments.

 

Aria

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Lorne –

I’m going to disagree that you need micro-sites and that content types are the only way that you can manage retention.  I think that the end execution of it may best be handled by content types but like most things SharePoint it can be handled multiple ways.

I think that once you identify how you’re going to have users tag/identify content then you can decide how to implement that in SharePoint.  It’s easy enough to have a workflow come through and change the content type to match the retention schedule you need based on metadata that the users set.

Is there a reason why you believe you have to have micro-sites?  Is that just to manage the list of available content types?  I guess I don’t understand what problem you’re trying to solve with that approach.

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Robert Bogue
President
Thor Projects LLC
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Robert,

I didn’t say that Content Types were the only way to manage retention.  What I said is that Content Types are the only real functional object/container you have to work with to actualize your information architecture. Beyond using the hierarchical nature of a site/subsite (and now hub site to a degree) construct to instantiate levels of decomposition in your IA from broad to more specific.  Since MS made the decision (whether one agrees it was a good/right decision or not) to move away from the nested site/subsite within a few site collections approach to lots of site collections, it doesn’t seem viable to try to instantiate more than a fairly small aspect of an IA via your site relationships and naming, so that really leaves Content Types, which is what MS seems to want.

And, while I agree you could build workflows, either with Flow or old-school SP workflows, that can do manipulation in the background, workflows are not, in and of themselves, a persistent object (within the object model) with which you can represent an IA.

Also, I freely admit to a significant bias against doing custom development when there are 3rd party addon solutions available that can accomplish what needs to be accomplished far better than a bunch of custom workflows and other changes that a customer must own and incur the technical debt on.  I used to have a quite different perspective back when most/all of this was on-premise, and significant changes to the product only came down the pipe from MS a couple times a year.  Not anymore though, as we now live in the age of “speed of cloud” with changes rolling down practically every week.  Even though recommending to clients that consultants, such as you and I and other small, medium and large firms up to the DXC’s and CGI’s and so on, build out customizations ranging from things like workflows/Flows and on up to entire applications that sit in/on top of SP and/or O365, can greatly increase customers reliance upon us and our billable.

The exemption to that, for me, is if the customization creates a competitive advantage for the organization.  Either through such significant cost savings/efficiency, additional revenue generation capability, or IP advantage.  A “Lean” type of approach basically.  Then, customization truly represents an investment versus sunk cost and technical debt.

Hope that helps clarify.

 

Aria

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Lorne –

I’m not sure that I agree that information architecture is only actualized through content types.  In truth content types are a simplification to make the management of information architecture easier.  The containers are sites and libraries.  They have the columns.  With a content type we’re only signaling to SharePoint what columns must be present in the library.

I’m not sure that I understand the point you’re trying to make about flows/workflows.  Really we’re talking about how automation supports the information architecture.  If anything we’re moving into a world where this is more important (i.e. AI) — not less.

I’m not actually recommending custom development.  We’re not that far.  I’d recommend understanding the requirements.  If a customer has one record class that has to have a specific disposition schedule and that has appropriate tagging then any of the third parties is overkill.  I’ve got clients on third party solutions — and ones for whom out of the box is the right answer.

In terms of speed of change, if you use classic SharePoint records management features they’ve been stable for a decade.  The O365 labels is a different story, but that isn’t the scenario in this case as it was identified as 2016 On-prem.

I’m not trying to be difficult here, I just don’t understand the points you’re making.

Rob

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Robert Bogue
President
Thor Projects LLC
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Robert,

“I’m not sure that I agree that information architecture is only actualized through content types.  In truth content types are a simplification to make the management of information architecture easier.  The containers are sites and libraries.  They have the columns.”

Lorne: From a technical point of view, you’re correct.  Sites are containers.  Lists/libraries are containers inside the site containers.  But, the functional object is the Content Type.  Here’s how I prove that: every library/list must have, at minimum, the base system Content Type otherwise you can’t create the list/library; nor can you create query rules based upon a list or library; nor can you use a list or library as a search refiner easily or effectively; and I could go on.  But, Content Type is a key object in all those scenarios.  Which is how I get to considering it the base functional object.

“I’m not sure that I understand the point you’re trying to make about flows/workflows.  Really we’re talking about how automation supports the information architecture.  If anything we’re moving into a world where this is more important (i.e. AI) — not less.”

Lorne: Again, I agree with the statement of automation supporting the USE of information architecture (not supporting IA in and of itself), and I agree there’s lots more coming.  What I was addressing, however, was the practice of customers and/or consultants creating a bunch of workflows/Flows, to try to work around the inherent limitation from SP of really having to choose either an IA that is designed to service the needs of RM or an IA designed to service the needs of business users for productivity and findability reasons.  If you go back and review what I said, I think you will find this to be true.

“In terms of speed of change, if you use classic SharePoint records management features they’ve been stable for a decade.”

Lorne: I think maybe the word you might have been thinking in the back of your head was “stagnant” more so than “stable”, LOL!  But, yes, the ‘classic’ RM features, that are based extremely heavily on Content Types (which is my point!) haven’t changed much.  And, if an organization is happy to use those features by designing an information architecture to serve those purposes, then they are off to the races.  I just don’t happen to think that approach represents a successful path to wide/deep user adoption and satisfaction.

 

As you said, Robert, I’m not in ANY way wanting to be difficult either.  But, unless/until I see a SharePoint environment that can, effectively and with decent to high user satisfaction, provide IA that serves both purposes using native SP capabilities, AND can extend the capabilities to repositories outside of SP such as LOB systems and file shares, with the exclusion I clearly stated of organizations that operate in low compliance and low business retention complexity and therefore have simple needs on both sides of that discussion, I’m going to continue to recommend 3rd party products that can overcome these obstacles.  And my top recommendation is Gimmal., but with Collabware and RecordPoint absolutely needing to be included in any evaluation as well.

 

Thanks for the discussion!

Aria

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Lorne –

The perspective on content types is interesting.  I think of content types as cookie cutters that are used to shape the containers.  The technical argument about requiring a content type is correct — but it gets more nuanced.  So an item is 0x01… a document 0x0101… but what gets instanced into a library is 0x010100{guid} … It’s just as accurate to say that SharePoint includes intrinsic metadata (created, modified, file size, etc.) but those are rarely what people mean when they’re referring to metadata on an item.  So I take your point that you need content types for the system to function.  I even accept that the end solution will most likely include content types to manage retention/declaration but it’s not precisely required.

With regard to effective information architecture (and seeing a SharePoint environment that implements one effectively), I think the primary problem is so few people do them — and those that do rarely use people who are trained to do it.  The simple truth is that most organizations view SharePoint as a technical implementation.  They use IT resources with zero training in how to organize for usability.  They most frequently copy the existing folder structure that grew in a haphazard way without appropriate pruning.  My observation is that organizations typically implement SharePoint expecting that it’s a silver bullet.  At some point after that, generally a few years, they realize that it didn’t work the way they intended.  The way that people save face is they say that SharePoint didn’t support what they needed.  They purchase an expensive 3rd party add-in and send people to training on how to do it, or they pay the vendor to come help them implement, etc.,  The net effect is that they get someone with information architecture expertise helping them to make the right decisions.  The success rate of the project is generally much better.  However, in this scenario it’s difficult to identify how much of that was the experience the organization developed, the introduction of information architecture experience, or the product itself.

I’m not trying to minimize the value of the 3rd party products in the market — I think they have a lot of value.  That’s most clearly, as you point out, when SharePoint isn’t the only place you’re trying to manage records.  (Which as the organization gets larger it’s less likely that even some of the series will be entirely managed in SharePoint.)  For me it, it is what is the scope of the problem that we’re solving and what are the right set of tools?  I can take a small toolkit to be able to assemble a bed frame for a child moving into college.  I’d want my full toolbox to work on a car.  Which is right?  It’s context dependent.

In rereading your initial response, I see that you were referring to a “retention-driven construct.”  I’d never do that.  That’s like not making any money so I don’t have to pay any taxes.  You structure to support the business by reducing user friction as much as possible and then ensure that you meet the retention/regulatory requirements (which generally adds friction.)

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Robert Bogue
President
Thor Projects LLC
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Robert,

If there was a way I could frame your 2nd paragraph and have it mailed to every organization on the PLANET that has, or is considering SP, I would!

And maybe a 2nd one with crazy glue on it to stick it on the forehead of the chief INFORMATION officer (the vast majority of whom know damned near NOTHING about information management!) of all those organizations!  Literally couldn’t be any more true.  And I blame Microsoft themselves the most for it based on how they sell it.  The desperately sad part is that it doesn’t have to be that way.

 

Unfortunately, the equation has turned out to be: SharePoint=modern day Lotus Notes��. (sorry for swearing in a public forum)

 

Aria

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Lorne –

I’m glad that my experience rings true to yours as well.  I’d offer one caution.  I think that there’s a natural human desire to assign blame or fault to someone (or some organization).  In this case, Microsoft for not doing a better job of helping organizations know they need information architecture.  In my opinion, the result is a systemic result.  The spot they play in the market is low-cost.  In that spot you’re going to have folks implement without any experience, knowledge, or wisdom.  As a result you get a lot of people who implement without the right guidance and the results are very uneven.

Consider that the houses that cost the most are the most well maintained.  It’s not that cheaper homes don’t need maintenance too.  At some level it’s that people in lower priced homes either don’t value them or don’t have the resources to maintain them like those in more expensive homes.  (Though one could argue that there are many people in more expensive homes they can’t afford.)  The point is that it’s not because the builders did something wrong that the lower-cost homes aren’t as well maintained.  It’s a natural side effect of the system.

I’ve come to the conclusion that there are some people that I can’t help.  Mostly the folks who are AIIM members and who show up on the forums truly want to do the right thing.  That’s why they’re making themselves vulnerable by asking questions.  My job is to help those people (and organizations) that want to be helped — and wait for those who aren’t ready yet.

This is a long way of saying… I think Microsoft could do better at encouraging proper information architecture design.  However, I think that at their spot in the market they’re going to not get good information architecture designs.

Sidebar: The whole hub strategy and no more sub-sites is ludicrous.   It’s just shifting the problem — and doing so in a way that makes it harder for the end user.  I think hubs are a great feature.  However, I think they’ve become the solution for everything — and in information architecture that’s always a bad thing.

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Robert Bogue
President
Thor Projects LLC
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Robert;  I agree with Lorne and want to add that when you say”

“….I think that once you identify how you’re going to have users tag/identify content then you can decide how to implement that in SharePoint.  It’s easy enough to have a workflow come through and change the content type to match the retention schedule you need based on metadata that the users set…..”

You are grossly underestimating the appropriate levels of control, policies and procedures that need to be implemented ensuring consistency.  If anyone designs a system to function this way, it would fail any standardized records assessment, especially when it comes to the “principles”.  The retention schedule should be established and implemented allowing users to perform their work and not worrying about having to “tag/identify content” as in the real world the combination of the indices and other metadata combined are associated with the appropriate line item in the retention schedule along with the appropriate “triggers”, none of which should accessible by standard users, nor should they have to worry about it.  That is the job of the records manager.

R Blatt

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Robert Blatt, MIT, LIT, CHPA-III
Principal Consultant, Electronic Image Designers (EID).
AIIIM Fellow #175
Chair, Trustworthy Storage
Chair, Trustworthy Document Management & Assessment
Chair, ECM Implementation Guidelines
ISO Convenor: 18829, 18759, 22957, 18759)
US Delegate to ISO TC/171
TC/171 Liaison Officer to TC46 SC11
TC/171 Liaison Officer to TC/272
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Thank you Robert Blatt for replying.

I have been trying to follow this email thread over the weekend. Partially I am hampered by never seeing how third part tools implement Record Management. Secondly, as I have only had one project implementing Records Management using SharePoint 2013, and the inherent problems training end users to use the most recent templates which inherited the correct information policies from base content types.

In our implementation, Record Manager’s roles included working as department liaisons with higher level policy makers, reviewing revisions of retention schedules when new ones were published, and participating with Content Managers in a yearly audit to declare records not previously identified as such.

As designer for the department training, I specifically had all department staff view basic online training from NARA to become aware of Records Management, and their responsibility in the record management process. Which was learning what  Record Managers do and why.

I would love to learn more about third party products and how they work if there is a book anyone can recommend. My background is in Computer Science not Information Management, but even a book with an overview of the products Lorne mentioned earlier would be great to start. Otherwise, I will visit the vendor websites for each product.

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Dennis Flowers
Consultant Microsystems Automation Group
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​Dennis,
At my company we have implemented an ECM solution which ties records management classifications to the folder structure/taxonomy so that anything saved within a particular folder inherits the records management classification (and thus the appropriate retention). We then built a workflow that identifies content eligible for destruction and processes that content through a destruction approval process.  Hope this helps.——————————
Julie A. Fleming, CRM
CMS Energy
eGovernance Manager
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Wow,  I’m  glad this question  has  some traction  here.

I’m looking for something where  users can just go about their day and not have  to worry about declaring a  record.

One idea I have  is to either archive or delete things after two years, depending on the team. The trigger for archiving would be the date the  document was last modified.

For example,  say the  finance team has information on their site and subsites that must be kept for 5 years,  it would stay live for 2 years then  archived and  auto-deleted after 3.

I don’t know how/if that  would work OR what  we’d do about legal holds.

Another idea is to  build in  workflows,  but then users have to  declare records.  The workflow sounds like a lot of extra work  that  might be thwarted by a user incorrectly declaring a record (likely).

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Mariana Coles
Records and Information Management Coordinator
HomeStreet Bank
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Mariana,

If your organization truly wants “something where  users can just go about their day and not have  to worry about declaring a  record.” Then I have provided the suggested products to get you there based upon well over a decade of experience with SharePoint as well as my ECM and RM experience.  If you choose to ignore the advice, then, well, “your mileage may vary” as they say.

In terms of your though of 2+3 years, retention in records management is generally determined to start AFTER the ‘active’ period for business records and after the event or activity date for compliance records.

As my colleague Mr. Blatt very correctly pointed out, there is a virtually zero chance of the workflows approach passing ANY sort of audit or standards review, let alone a legal challenge should one come your way.

 

Aria

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Lorne –

I’ll disagree about a “workflow approach” passing audit, standard, or legal challenge.  It happens all the time.  Generally the issues is people fail to do the work.  If the workflows are a standard part of the process they should be fine.

You don’t HAVE to have an ERM solution.  You have to have a solution and there were folks managing it on paper before ERM was a thing.

I’m not suggesting that the answers can’t get better with tooling … but it’s not required.

The key for me is not product … is design/architecture.

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Robert Bogue
President
Thor Projects LLC
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Robert,

While I absolutely respect your right to disagree, I was simply support the statements from Mr. Blatt, who, I believe, has vastly more experience and knowledge in that area than you and I put together.  Pretty sure neither of us is an AIIM Fellow.  Nor chair of 3 ISO working groups.  And I’m only hitting the highlights for Mr. Blatt��.

As such, you really need to challenge him rather than I.

Aria

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Lorne -You indicated that you agreed with his opinion and thus I’m free to disagree.  I’ve already responded to Mr. Blatt.  I’m happy to further discuss it with him should he choose to find the conversation useful.——————————
Robert Bogue
President
Thor Projects LLC
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Robert –

I wasn’t intending to imply an out-of-band activity for identifying content subject to different retention schedules.  Rather, my intent was to say that the system would be designed in such a way that the natural identification/tagging would be processed through a workflow (or batch process for that matter) to infer/determine the retention classification.

I agree that relying on users to identify records rarely happens.  There are, of course, special cases where the process itself surrounds the classification/declaration as a record.

The core of this conversation is whether SharePoint has the capacity to do records management, which it does.  We’ve evolved into a conversation about whether the configuration / customization required to make it work is better or whether purchasing a third party tool is more appropriate.  My answer is, it depends.  It depends on organizational size and complexity of the legal/regulatory environment.  Would I do SharePoint records management without support for a global 100K plus user organization, likely not.  Conversely, would I implement a 3rd party RM solution in an organization with 10 users — probably not.

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Robert Bogue
President
Thor Projects LLC
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Good summary as always, Lorne.  Mariana, if it isn’t obvious, you’ve brought up a subject that’s been discussed here many times over the years.  Hope it’s helping.

I’ve been on the front lines of implementing both Gimmal and RecordPoint, and I’ve done a few using OOTB E5 O365.  I’m looking forward to seeing the enhancements promised at SPC 2019 becoming fully available.

Lorne, I must disagree with your point on ‘a lot of microsites’.  The introduction and broad acceptance and use of Groups and Teams across O365 changes everything on that score, in my experience.

Unless you block the use of Groups and Teams, other words, you’re guaranteed to have a lot of small site collections.

The goal is to do Groups and Teams in a well-governed manner, so that the natural tendencies of the participants leads to good content and lifecycle management.

Doing that successfully requires tools and training.  You have to use the right tools to provision new Group and Team instances using well-designed templates and location-based defaults that make lifecycle governance possible.  It turns out that you can do that while still making use of content types on an appropriate basis under the covers.  It’s the reliance on content types for all things lifecycle-related that’s the path to insanity.

Gimmal has tools that do governed provisioning well, but so do others.  Those fall under the category of ‘plug and play site provisioning’.  You’ll also need good search-driven content roll-up tools to use that dispersed content effectively.  Lightning Tools’ Conductor is worth a look in that regard.

You don’t want to stand between the users and their desire to use modern tools to collaborate more effectively.  You’ll fail.  The goal is to make the path of least resistance for the users also the right path from a content governance perspective.  It’s possible, but it won’t happen by itself.

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Mitch Shults
OfficeOptimus, LLC
Houston, TX
Mitch@…
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Mitch,

Great comments.  Admittedly though, you’ve sparked my curiosity as to how you conclude that Groups and Teams eliminates either microsites or(the other option) the profusion of libraries within sites since neither Groups nor Teams actually manage content bounded within individual file containers that could be referred to generically as ‘documents’. (to avoid further fuel on the file vs. document controversy!)

Could you expand on that?

Thanks.

 

Aria

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Sorry Lorne – I wasn’t trying to be mysterious on this one.  OOTB with Groups and Teams, you basically get a site collection with a default document library with one content type (Document), and no obvious way to define or apply metadata or tags via the default interface (for now).  Adding Channels to a Team results in root-level folders in the library.  No way to create sub-sites, which is how I interpreted your ‘microsites’ comment (please correct me if I misinterpreted).

Pretty basic.  Doesn’t do much for IA, though it can work for document-centric and people-centric collaboration.

Left to their own devices, a group of folks who work on multiple projects together will probably go down a folder-happy path in a single Group or Team instance.  File-system instincts die hard.

But what if, instead of the OOTB provisioning experience, you gave the users the ability to provision “smart collaboration spaces” – an interface that asked the requestor to provide some details as to the nature of the project (or product, or customer, or asset, etc.), including the status of the project.  You gave the users the ability to describe attributes about the project of interest to them from a findability perspective.  Under the covers, the provisioning tool translates that input into a single content type and associated columns that replaces Document in the resulting Group or Team.  Location-based defaults can be generated so that attributes are captured without user input.  Label configurations can be tailored as well.  There are many possibilities.

To the users of the space, everything still looks like ‘Document’.  They interact with content as they always have, simply in a defined context.  Under the covers, there’s IA going on.  Not as fancy as we can imagine, but fancy enough to get the job done from a lifecycle perspective.

If the above is accompanied by good metadata-driven search tools (I like Lightning Tools’ Conductor the best for that purpose, but there are other options), then users quickly come to see the value of keeping content separated by ‘containerizing’ everything associated with a major business object in the context of that business object.

Once you’ve got that, with users following the approach consistently on their own, out of their own self interest, you’re pretty much home free.

It doesn’t come out of the box, and it takes work to set it up, but the tools exist and it’s possible to get ‘er done.

Make sense?

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Mitch Shults
OfficeOptimus, LLC
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Mitch, very interesting: you propose setting up a customized provisioning experience, presumably for any request for a Team/Group and the associated site and library. But we received explicit advice from Microsoft not to tinker with the default ‘Documents’ library that is auto-provisioned when a Team is created. Have you experienced any issues/problems with creating customized, non-default libraries to replace the default ones, when provisioning a Team/Group?

Eric

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Eric Mullerbeck
Information Management Specialist
UNICEF
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I’m aware of the Microsoft guidance.  I understand why they say that.  I am not suggesting encouraging team owners to mess with things under the covers.

Sometimes, it’s appropriate to go beyond the guidance.  I’ve done that with the approach described, successfully, with several customers.

The key point is that as far as the users are concerned, everything is still ‘document’.  They only worry about what to name files and where to put them – within the confines of a single library that’s used for a single business purpose.

It’s possible to have multiple content types in the default document library for a Group/Team, but you can’t use anything but the default from the (current) Group or Teams native interfaces.

Given the direction that MS seems to be headed in terms of bringing more metadata-based richness to the Groups/Teams experience, I’d be surprised if future enhancements break this approach, but stranger things have happened.  To me, it’s worth the risk, since the benefits in terms of user engagement and enthusiasm to allowing the use of Groups and Teams are so great.

Remember that MS’s guidance is sometimes self-interested – they don’t want to support customer experiments, even if they have no plans to break things.

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Mitch Shults
OfficeOptimus, LLC
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One of the things I’ve done is to use the cloud storage virtual folder under the Files tab and point it to a drop off library which has the rules based on content types to be able to go and file stuff for users.  Gets rid of a lot of the thinking required.  Good for organizations (team, dep’t, division, whole thing, whatever) that don’t have the willingness to invest in solid change management.

 

Aria

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You should look into the Compliance Manager, If you have E3 version of SharePoint. It is part of the SharePoint suite that has records management capabilities.

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Mariana –

The AIIM course “Implementing Information Management on SharePoint and Office 365” has an entire module on records and retention.  The coverage of records management in the course will work for your 2016 on-premises deployment.

As Lorne asked, are there specific questions that you have?

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Robert Bogue
President
Thor Projects LLC
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​Hi Robert & Lorne,

I don’t have specific questions just yet. This is just an initial “what is  out there” post before I start research on  the suggestions folks have. I’m hesitant to suggest a  complex solution to  our stakeholders because we 1) are fairly small  and 2) have  limited resources to  dedicate to  the project 3) have a fairly unsophisticated user base that we don’t expect to understand retention/disposition.

I have not heard  good things about SharePoint’s native capabilities onPrem or Cloud-based,  but was  hoping to  find some folks with  positive reviews.
I have heard  good things about  Active  Navigation  (perhaps  someone has  experience with them here?) and  with PerTempo (perhaps more folks can vouch for  this  product too?)

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Mariana Coles
Records and Information Management Coordinator
HomeStreet Bank
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​Hi Mariana

We also got rid of Content Types from our architecture as its to restrictive for non-IM users.  Our architecture uses sites (for functions) and libraries (for subjects) and metadata (for topics, sub-topics, document types, keywords). We assign retention classification via a combo of  Library > Subject plus document type and some keywords. Not a fan of using the SP as its too immature, missing the ability to apply multiple facets of IM requirements (country/state legislations and regulations and other country obligations e.g. SOX, etc).

We have created one BSC and reuse the guid’s for each farm to provide regional capability (search, retention, security, web page content auto population) our retention is based on the single “functional” BSC with only a few keyword dependencies e.g. project name, document type, etc  We are waiting to trial a combo of 2 products which we have provided input so we enable a metadata driven sentencing and disposal reporting.

We don’t use containers so not volume numbers just metadata. Hope this helps.

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Jacqueline White
Gold Fields Australia Pty Ltd
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I may been green and I apologize, but my first few questions about your needs are is this a check 23 application?, Does it need SOX/JSOX auditing? Also this a day forward need or a day forward and back file solution? Do you currently have data that needs to move into the new RM solution? In my mind these are critical to a clear path of resolution to a real RM solution.

Day forward I would suggest Nintex for record structure on day forward input to SP. Backfile I would want to know long term retention policies. Standard CPA being CPA is one thing, Living will management being another thing.

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Carl Street III
Self
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Hi Mariana,

Depending on the extent of records management lifecycle you wish to implement, native SharePoint can do a lot without having to purchase a 3rd party tool. The most difficult part of any RM system I’ve implemented for clients is to get the actual file plan. That’s where you need to start; understand the categories of content, the trigger that indicates the file is to be included in a records center, the retention period and disposition logic.

Once you understand the content categories, you need to determine what grouping principals you will be implementing. There are many ways to group content; site, web, library, folder, content types, metadata, etc. Let me give you an example.

I just developed a full lifecycle contract management system for a client. The RM requirements included, once the contract has reached its term (end date + 10 days), the contract was sent to a records center to finish its life. Lot’s happened before that but the end result is; once the contract is at term, send it to the records center and start its retention period. This is one example of a RM special case where the trigger is a (date) metadata column.

Most solutions combine many grouping principals, all dependent on requirements.

The most important advice I can give regarding records management is to not expect any general employee to be a records manager. If you do, something can go awry very quickly and force your organization out of compliance. For each and every category of content you are eventually moving to records, carefully consider the best process for automation.

If you have any other questions, please ask; this is a very interesting topic and something I have expertise in.

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Robert Mixon
Senior SharePoint Solution/Information Architect
Microsoft SharePoint MVP
bob.mixon@…
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Hi all,

There are still issues with the O365 implementation of RM but they have been rapidly maturing since E3…here is a link to the latest E5 article on implementing the security and compliance module.  Please reach out if you have more questions:  https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/securitycompliance/retention-policies

We had a ‘first to market’ solution in development for a while, but this is showing promise and we are finding ourselves recommending this model more and more.

Cheers,
-Rick

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Richard Molique
ECM Consultant
IQ Business Group, Inc.
804-614-6445
rmolique@…
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