Digital case study from the Department of Premier and Cabinet published January 27, 2016 No Comments

Last year, the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) gave a very engaging presentation to the Records Managers’ Forum about their transformation to a fully digital working environment. This has been a very successful transition, with significant improvements measured in process time and quality and full user uptake across the organisation.

We have recently published a case study on this project, developed from that presentation. The case study covers DPC’s strategy for digital information management, and their development of a brand, change management capability, and digital culture to support that strategy. The case study also looks at one of their signature projects, a digital approvals workflow.

Please head on over to the State Records website to read about it!

Records and information management FAQs – Things to think about when deleting backups January 20, 2016 No Comments

At this time of year, many organisations take the opportunity to clean out storage areas, including network drives and servers. We have received a few enquiries recently from organisations that would like to free up some space by deleting backups.

When making decisions about deleting backups, there are a few key things to consider:

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Decommissioning and digital archives – different models January 4, 2016 No Comments

We’re often asked how State Records NSW does digital preservation. Really the defining feature of our approach is its flexibility: we apply a project management-based methodology (the Digital Archives Migration Methodology) to all transfers of digital State archives. This means that we assess, define and document appropriate preservation strategies for each individual transfer (using project management techniques to manage scope and time-frames), rather than simply applying a predefined solution for all possible digital preservation challenges (which in practice often means having to limit transfers to a limited set of acceptable material).

A benefit of taking a proTailorject management-based approach to transfers of digital State archives is that we can tailor the projects to fit agency priorities, resourcing and workflows, as well as the size and complexity of the task itself. If you’re just looking to do a small transfer of a discrete set of digital State archives, we can arrange a very basic project. Conversely, if you’re involved in a major decommissioning, system implementation, or migration project, with numerous stakeholders, and where digital State archives are only a small proportion of the material involved, the digital archives project can be structured so as to dovetail into a larger project plan.

This post runs through some of the different models of digital archives migration projects that we’ve worked on.

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Decommissioning December – some light reading December 28, 2015 No Comments

After a huge Christmas feast, there’s nothing better for the digestion than some light reading on the topic of decommissioning!

For anyone who finds themselves at work in the dying days of December, we hope you enjoy this round up of articles and blog posts related to decommissioning systems: Read the rest of this entry »

Decommissioning business systems – lessons learned on the journey so far December 23, 2015 No Comments

3450478183_32004ee197_oWe have been talking with a range of NSW public offices about their experiences in decommissioning systems.

One of these organisations has a range of different business systems running on Windows 2003 servers, so has been involved in a number of decommissioning projects this year. Below they have very generously summarised and shared some of the lessons they have learned.

Please note, this organisation is not presenting any of their advice as definitive:

We have been on a steep learning curve and our projects have involved a lot guesswork! We would welcome feedback through Future Proof from others on how you have done things better or differently, but for better or worse, these are the decommissioning decisions we have made this year and some of the lessons we have learned in the process.

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Decommissioning systems – the benefits December 18, 2015 No Comments

5535732933_0e53c32f63_zA common problem for many organisations is the accumulation of digital records and information in systems which become obsolete. These systems either rely on legacy technology, or are related to non-current business processes. However many of these systems contain high value information, and their poor management can become a significant risk for organisations.

Decommissioning is a process by which a system is removed from use in an organisation. Decommissioning requires analysis of the data in the system, identifying the data, metadata and system documentation that must be brought forward and retained, and an accountable process for deletion of residual data in the system.

State Records’ Digital Archives team is working to ensure that digital archives, which need to be managed permanently, can be migrated from public offices’ systems. However there is a large amount of information which is going to be required for an extended period even though they are not state archives, and which need appropriate attention as part of an organisations’ ongoing information and records management approach. State Records has recognised that this is a significant issue. We have developed guidance which examines the key decommissioning issues, and some strategies to use for managing decommissioning projects accountably. You can look at the guidance over at the State Records websiteThe guidance looks at:

Many organisations we have talked to know the specific, tangible benefits they can get from decommissioning systems, but are unsure how to appropriately document these decisions. Alternatively, they have trouble making final decisions, or taking action, just in case. The following are what we think are some compelling reasons for government organisations to take a more planned approach. Read the rest of this entry »

Records and information management FAQs – Things to think about when it’s time to migrate (especially in relation to metadata) December 9, 2015 No Comments

During the month of December we are blogging on the topic of decommissioning.

Decommissioning legacy systems may result in the migration of data to new systems. We have published some advice on effectively managing the migration of records, which outlines some important things to consider when migrating records and information between systems. This advice notes that records and information professionals have an important role to play in any migration of records and information.

We have recently been contacted by a number of records and information professionals whose organisations are migrating data from legacy systems. This post summarises some of the recordkeeping issues that have arisen in these projects. Read the rest of this entry »

Decommissioning December – it’s here! December 2, 2015 No Comments

December is often described as the ‘silly season’, filled with end of year parties, hot days and getting Christmas carols stuck in your head.

Here at State Records we’ve decided to wrest control of this month from fun loving frivolity and focus on the wonderful topic of decommissioning!

All December long our blog posts will be focussed on decommissioning, in particular the records and information management considerations associated with decommissioning systems. To ensure that you don’t miss out on any of these posts, you might like to subscribe to our RSS feed or email updates, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

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New minimum requirements for metadata for authoritative records and information November 24, 2015 No Comments

In February this year, State Records published some advice on metadata for records and information. This advice gives an overview of metadata for records and information, establishes some principles for implementing metadata for records and information, and discusses what metadata for records and information can achieve.

We have revised and updated this advice, and included a new section: Minimum requirements for metadata for authoritative records and information.

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Insights from the Australian Society of Archivists workshop on arrangement and description November 19, 2015 No Comments

14441596804_6a0d069933_zRecently State Records staff from the Government Recordkeeping, Digital Archives and Archives Control and Management sections attended a workshop on arranging and describing archives run by the Australian Society of Archivists. The course was focused around the new challenges posed by digital environments, both in the creation of records digitally and in the way in which archives now operate.  Read the rest of this entry »