SharePoint implementation at the Police Integrity Commission August 30, 2013

3x3-edge-based-brocade-sonobe-inverse-purinahedronI recently met with staff from the Police Integrity Commission (PIC) to talk about the PIC’s SharePoint implementation and see a demo of some of the functionality they have  implemented.

The PIC rolled out SharePoint 2010 across the organisation in 2013. This rollout was the culmination of a project to replace the PIC’s previous document management system, which had been in use for about 10 years. A review of this system in 2010 found that it was no longer meeting the organisation’s business needs, and its design and functionality was impeding the ability of users to easily capture records.

The PIC chose to implement SharePoint as the replacement system for a number of reasons, including:

  • its relatively low cost
  • its compatibility with other Microsoft products and software already in use within the organisation
  • its superior collaboration and search functionality
  • its relative ‘user friendliness’
  • the ability of the PIC to develop and manage it using in-house resources.

The SharePoint architecture was designed around addressing the key concerns with the existing EDRMS whilst retaining as many of the familiar concepts as possible. The core requirements of each business unit, with a particular focus on the Registry as the system owner, were identified during planning sessions at the beginning of the project, and then refined further during user testing.

The implementation consists of a single Site containing Document Libraries (which are largely hidden from users). Each document library contains Document Sets. This structure was chosen to minimise the administration of the implementation and to maximise its performance.

A new Document Set will be created for each project or piece of work commenced by the PIC (referred to as ‘matters’). For example, a Document Set will be created for an investigation into a police officer, a project to implement a replacement document management system and the management of the employment of a PIC employee.

The PIC has defined 12 Content Types, each of which is mapped to a retention period and disposal action. The PIC decided to ‘roll up’ retention periods instead of defining a Content Type for each class of records in relevant retention and disposal authorities.

A user generally creates a new document using a template that is associated with a Content Type. Most of the metadata for a document is automatically generated, based on the information a user enters into a small number of fields in the template (e.g. the document title will be generated by the information entered into a title field) and the user’s role within the organisation.

The PIC’s SharePoint implementation is also integrated with the organisation’s email system and case management system.

The PIC is implementing SharePoint 2010 together with RecordPoint (for records management), OnePlaceMail (for email capture) and Ontolica Enterprise Search (for enhancements to search).

The full case study of this project is available as part of State Records’ guidance on the recordkeeping capabilities of SharePoint 2010.

Thank you very much to PIC staff for so generously sharing their knowledge and experiences with us. If your organisation has implemented SharePoint and is interested in providing a case study of its experiences, please contact us.

photo by: Ardonik
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