My Research on File Plan and Records Management

some Research was found here

But the most important part in records management is the file plan. A file plan describes every type of records in the organization, the location where they should be stored, the rules applying to them, the retention schedule and timeline, manner of their disposition, and the person or persons responsible for their management.
A file plan is the original and required document used for records planning, and that document can differ from company to company, but it usually consists of:

  • Description of the kinds of documents identified to be records
  • The classification of the records into wide range of categories
  • Details about the location of the stored records
  • Description of the retention schedule and period
  • Making the distinction and assigning the responsibility for certain types of records

Sample of a file plan:

Records: Shipping forms
Description: Configure the shipment of materials.
Media: Print
Record Category: Shipping Materials
Retention: X years
Disposition: Destroy
Contact: George Humphrey

Second Description

found here

A file plan lists the records in your office, and describes how they are organized and maintained. It can help you:

document your activities effectively
identify records consistently
retrieve records quickly
disposition records no longer needed
meet statutory and regulatory requirements

3rd description  from here

1. An Artifact or Document that provides details such as Policies, Processes, Procedures, Rules, Standards, Definitions, Roles and Responsibilities for specific Record Types, including all aspects of how such Records are to be organized and handled, throughout any and all phases of their Life Cycles, specifically with the intent to meet the Records Management obligations and requirements of an enterprise.
2. The Plan for how to administratively or clerically handle the filing of one or more specific Records.
3. An ordered or sequenced set of clearly defined and governed Tasks, Activities or Work that are often date and/or time bounded and which exist to facilitate in the strategy, delivery or operations of one or more specific File Items or Entities.

4th this one from ms

The file plan is the primary records management planning document in SharePoint Server 2010. Although file plans can differ across organizations, they typically:

  • Describe the kinds of items the organization acknowledges to be records.
  • Describe what broader category of records the items belong to.
  • Indicate where records are stored.
  • Describe retention periods for records.
  • Delineate who is responsible for managing the various kinds of records.

The computer giant, IBM

defines a file plan as a "list of classifications that can be used to classify records." File names should be easily accessed months, maybe years, after the work has been done.

Once you have created the file plan you have to make sure that your personnel becomes familiar with it. You may also need to update the file plan at the end of every month when the records schedules are changed. The file plan should be inspected at least once a year in order to ensure that all office functions are covered. But before you start working on the file plan you first need to realize the basic difference between records, archived records and active documents.

  • Records are documents in your organization in physical or electronic forms that have a purpose of being an evidence of the activities of the organization. The records need to be kept a certain time period according to the retention schedule.
  • Active documents are documents that are in use like e-mail or specification of a printed product, documents in the library or archive, or any page on a website. Active documents are called active because in time they will change, maybe they will be shared, all in all they will travel some distance inside the organization.
  • Archived documents are documents no longer used but still can’t be considered as records, which can be because they were never identified as records or because there is no more need for them. Those records are mostly kept by some organization without legal reasons, mostly historical archives for preservation of the documents.

Once you know that and you determine what a record is, you can continue with the file plan. Start with the file structure, which is the first thing you need to do. File structure is essential since it is the core of any file plan. A basic file structure should be placed in order by record schedules, business functions and disposition. Every function has a code and every disposition has a title, both of them have a file code. A file code is used to represent lengthy titles.

  • function code (e.g., 102-007-03)
  • schedule number (e.g., 068)
  • disposition item (e.g., g)

The entire agency file code would be ‘102-007-03 068g’, where ‘102-007-03’ is the function, ‘068’ is the number and ‘g’ is the item. All of those numbers have a purpose.

  • 102-007-03, provides public information, education and outreach
  • 068, publications and promotional items
  • g, routine publications or promotional items

When you construct your file structure you continue with making the file plan. You need to make folders or levels for documents on various details for the records you posses, you also need to provide information on the level of their management and how are they managed. Your file plan needs to have the presented information for every document or folder:

 

Who?

  • Describing the person and the company that maintains the records

What?

  • File code of the agency
  • Title of each record
  • Medium (electronic, paper, digital media)
  • Restrictions of access
  • Status of the vital records

Where?

Where the records are located (everything from address of the storage to the number of the room where they are kept)

 

When?

  • Dates of the records (when were they archived and the current date)
  • All dates of the records, when were they retired, closed, destroyed or transferred
  • Disposition status (hold, inactive, active)

Other information may be included:

  • Records description
  • Records arrangements
  • Records schedule link tree
  • People, employees in charge of the file plan
  • The date when the file plan was last revised

During the process you will be in a position to decide how those records should be maintained.

  • Who has the responsibility for the "official record" and who is in possession of the copies?
  • Are the "drafts" of the records included?
  • Is the copy of the record kept in an electronic or paper system?
  • Deciding in the centralization of the record system

File plan in sp 2010 Q/A

e.g. 200 content types, and a deep nested file plan of around 500 potential nodes.

In order to route documents a piece of metadata called ‘File Plan’ has been created as a Managed Metadata field which corresponds to the eventual location within the Records Centre folder structure. We will set up various rules on the Content Organizer that will route the documents when they are declared a record using the File Plan metadata to match to a folder. The issue is that within the Content Organizer you have to assign rules that depend on a specific content type. So in our case we have to create identical rules for different Content Types, for example if Content Type = Contract and File Plan = 1.2.3.4 -> Go to specific folder. Unfortunately this is obviously not feasible since there is going to be 200 X 500 rules! I was under the impression that maybe we could create a rule for a parent content type (in our case document) that would apply to all inheriting Content Types but that is not the case. It seems like the Content Type Organizer works well in a small scale scenario but it will be very problematic in larger cases.

Answer

You can create a content organizer rule that will route the document to a directory with a folder name corresponding to one of your fields, creating the folder if necessary. So potentially you could solve your requirement with a single content organizer rule. I’m guessing your file plan is more complicated, but I am sure you can work out a fairly manageable set of rules using this technique.The column you are using will need to be a required column. To create the routing rule, select the destination document library and enable the checkbox to allow automatic creation of folders based on metadata, and select the column. If that isn’t flexible enough, you can consider chaining content organizer routing rules where the document hops between two or more send-to locations, and remember that you can also have rules to automatically set values of columns based on the destination library.

Problem/Answer

When i move the document with let say 3 or 4 versions it moves only final version of it hence my all previous versions got removed from system without any warning. Answer: Enable versioning on the document library where you are moving to.

Problem/Answer

Content Organizer routes uploaded documents (per defined rules) one at a time. I’ve uploaded a huge list of documents and want to route to 20 different folders in a document library. Answer:

if we start the Content Organizer Processing timer job (which is a daily job), our uploaded files will be dispatched->Workaround: we can schedule this timer job several times a day.

This is recommendations from Microsoft

This article describes the contents of a file plan and summarizes how to create a file plan for your organization. The article also directs you to a worksheet in which you can record the file plan.

In this article:

Identify kinds of records

Determining which active documents in your organization might be declarable as records requires the collaboration of records managers, lawyers, compliance officers, and content managers. Note that, even if your enterprise is not in a highly regulated industry, there are general laws that might obligate your enterprise to keep records. Along with general business laws, you must evaluate legal requirements that are specific to your enterprise.

It is beyond the scope of this article to provide more than general information about how to determine what is a record in your organization. Most likely, your enterprise is already doing some form of records management and has filled most of the records management roles that you need, and you might already have a taxonomy of records.

Generally, to determine what are records in your organization:

  1. Understand your enterprise’s legal obligations and business needs.
  2. In a collaborative effort across the divisions of your organization, analyze how active documents are used.
  3. Develop a list of the kinds of documents that should become records. For example, you might determine that the following should be retained as records:

    • Contracts to rent corporate space.
    • Documents related to employees’ benefits.
    • Documents related to product research and development.
  4. Categorize the records. Records in the same category often have the same retention periods and might require similar treatment in other ways.

Record the information that you collected. You can use the worksheet mentioned in the section Worksheet for this purpose. Record the kind of record, the category that records of this kind belong to, and a brief description of the kind of record.

The following is a sample worksheet:

 

Kind of record Record category Description

Benefit plans, insurance plans, pension plans

Employee Benefit Descriptions

Descriptions of all employee benefit plans.

Payroll timesheets, supplementary payroll information

Payroll Records

Summaries of hours worked, overtime, and salary paid.

Vendor invoices

Invoices

Records of goods or services purchased from vendors.

Product surveys, questionnaires, training manuals, training videos

Training Materials

Provides internal or external training.

Shipping forms, shipping reports

Shipping Records

Documents the shipment of materials.

Press releases, newspaper articles

Press Releases

Public relations information about products and services.

Emergency contact sheets, medical plan enrollment forms, resumes, benefits status reports

Personnel Records

Records of individuals’ employment histories and related personnel actions.

Complete the file plan

After you determine which documents should be retained as records and after you create a set of record categories, complete your file plan by providing additional information about each kind of record. Indicate the following:

  • How long each kind of record should be retained.
  • How records should be disposed of when the retention period expires.
  • Who is the primary records manager for records of this kind.
  • What kind of media are records of this kind stored in.

The following is a completed sample file plan:

 

Records Description Media Record category Retention Disposition Contact

401k plans

Description of employee benefit plan.

Web pages

Employee Benefit Plans

X years

None

Kathi Flood

Insurance plans

Description of employee insurance plan.

Print

Employee Benefit Plans

X years

None

Reshma Patel

Pension plans

Description of employee pension plan.

Print

Employee Benefit Plans

X years

None

Reshma Patel

Payroll timesheets

Summaries of hours worked, overtime, and salaries paid.

Electronic documents

Payroll Records

X years

Destroy

Reshma Patel

Supplementary payroll information

Summaries of sick time, vacation time, and other non-salary payroll items.

Electronic documents

Payroll Records

X years

Destroy

Reshma Patel

Vendor invoices

Records of goods or services purchased from vendors.

Print

Invoices

X years

Destroy

Eric Lang

Product surveys

Customer satisfaction survey.

Web pages

Survey Materials

X years

Archive

Molly Dempsey

Questionnaires

Questionnaire to determine customer demographics.

Print

Survey Materials

X years

Archive

Molly Dempsey

Training manuals

Hard-copy training content.

Print

Training Materials

X years

Destroy

Molly Dempsey

Training videos

Video training content.

Video

Training Materials

X years

Destroy

Molly Dempsey

Shipping forms

Configuration of materials shipments

Print

Shipping Materials

X years

Destroy

Eric Lang

Shipping reports

Documentation of the shipment of materials.

Electronic spreadsheets

Shipping Materials

X years

Destroy

Eric Lang

Press releases

Releases about products and services.

Electronic documents

Public Relations Information

X years

Archive

Molly Dempsey

Newspaper articles

News about products and services.

Print

Public Relations Information

X years

Archive

Molly Dempsey

Emergency contact sheets

Employee information.

Electronic documents

Personnel Records

X years

Destroy

Reshma Patel

Medical plan enrollment forms

Employees’ sign-up forms for health plans.

Electronic documents

Personnel Records

X years

Destroy

Reshma Patel

Resumes

Resumes received.

Mixed

Personnel Records

X years

Destroy

Reshma Patel

 

Records management overview (SharePoint Server 2010)

Published: May 12, 2010

In this article:

Elements of a records management system from Microsoft

A record is a document or other electronic or physical entity in an organization that serves as evidence of an activity or transaction performed by the organization and that requires retention for some time period. Records management is the process by which an organization:

  • Determines what kinds of information should be considered records.
  • Determines how active documents that will become records should be handled while they are being used, and determines how they should be collected after they are declared to be records.
  • Determines in what manner and for how long each record type should be retained to meet legal, business, or regulatory requirements.
  • Researches and implements technological solutions and business processes to help ensure that the organization complies with its records management obligations in a cost-effective and non-intrusive way.
  • Performs records-related tasks such as disposing of expired records or locating and protecting records that are related to external events such as lawsuits.

Determining which documents and other physical or electronic items in your organization are records is the responsibility of corporate compliance officers, records managers, and lawyers. By carefully categorizing all enterprise content in your organization, these people can help you ensure that documents are retained for the appropriate period of time. A well-designed records management system helps protect an organization legally, helps the organization demonstrate compliance with regulatory obligations, and increases organizational efficiency by promoting the disposition of out-of-date items that are not records.

Elements of a records management system

A records management system includes the following elements:

  • A content analysis that describes and categorizes content in the enterprise that can become records, that provides source locations, and that describes how the content will move to the records management application.
  • A file plan that indicates, for each kind of record in the enterprise, where they should be retained as records, the policies that apply to them, how long they must be retained, how they should be disposed of, and who is responsible for managing them.
  • A compliance requirements document that defines the rules that the organization’s IT systems must follow to ensure compliance and the methods that are used to ensure the participation of enterprise team members.
  • A method for collecting records that are no longer active from all record sources, such as collaboration servers, file servers, and e-mail systems.
  • A method for auditing records while they are active.
  • A method for capturing records’ metadata and audit histories and for maintaining them.
  • A process for holding records (suspending their disposition) when events such as litigations occur.
  • A system for monitoring and reporting on the handling of records to ensure that employees are filing, accessing, and managing them according to defined policies and processes.

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 includes features that can help organizations implement integrated records management systems and processes.

Overview of records management planning

This topic describes the planning steps that you should take to help ensure that the records management system that you implement based on SharePoint Server 2010 will achieve your organization’s records management goals. The following is a preview of the records management planning process:

  1. Identify records management roles   Successful records management requires specialized roles, including the following:
    • Records managers and compliance officers to categorize the records in the organization and to run the records management process.
    • IT personnel to implement the systems that efficiently support records management.
    • Content managers to find where organizational information is kept and to ensure that their teams follow records management practices.
  2. Analyze organizational content   Before creating a file plan, records managers and content managers survey document usage in the organization to determine which documents and other items can become records.
  3. Develop a file plan   After you have analyzed your organizational content and determined retention schedules, fill in the rest of the file plan. File plans differ from organization to organization, but generally they describe the kinds of items the enterprise acknowledges to be records, indicate where they are stored, describe their retention periods, and provide other information, such as who is responsible for managing them and which broader category of records they belong to.
  4. Develop retention schedules   For each record type, determine when it is no longer active (being used), how long it should be retained after that, and how it should ultimately be disposed of.
  5. Evaluate and improve document management practices   Make sure that required policies are being applied in document repositories. For example, ensure that content is being appropriately audited so that suitable audits are retained together with records.
  6. Design the records management solution   Determine whether to create a records archive, to manage records in place, or to use a combination of the two approaches. Based on your file plan, design the record archive, or determine how to use existing sites to contain records. Define content types, libraries, policies, and, when it is required, metadata that determines the location to route a document to.
  7. Plan how content becomes records   If you are using SharePoint Server 2010 for both active document management and records management, you can create custom workflows to move documents to a records archive. If you are using either SharePoint Server 2010 or an external document management system, you can plan and develop interfaces that move content from those systems to the records archive, or that declare a document to be a record but do not move the document. You also create a training plan to teach users how to create and work with records.
  8. Plan e-mail integration   Determine whether you will manage e-mail records within SharePoint Server 2010, or whether you will manage e-mail records within the e-mail application itself.
  9. Plan compliance for social content   If your organization uses social media such as blogs, wikis, or My Sites, determine how this content will become records.
  10. Plan compliance reporting and documentation   To verify that your organization is performing its required records management practices, and to communicate these practices, you should document your records management plans and processes. If your enterprise becomes engaged in records-related litigation, you might have to produce these records management guidelines, implementation plans, and metrics on effectiveness.
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