To Go Forward or Backfile? August 28, 2008

Files. Image by tanakawho on Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0There are many issues to consider when implementing a new recordkeeping / information asset management system. One decision that must be decided on early in the project is whether to go forward from day one or convert your back (old) files?

For example –  employee files in a medium sized organisation are in paper form linked by a number to the current recordkeeping system. With the introduction of a new system should all of these files be closed and digital parts are opened for each employee and hence the organisation goes forward with a digital folder and a closed paper folder (hybrid files)? Or should the contents of the paper folder be scanned and loaded into a new digital folder for each employee?

One Comments
Damon Harris September 12th, 2008

IF all employee files in a medium sized organisation are hardcopy records ONLY (no electronic information is kept against the files metadata) then it would be wise to close and re-create a related part. The new part file will provide information to all users the creation date and brief information on the previous part eg. Dates of the documents inclosed.

IF all employee files in a medium sized organisation are hardcopy records and including electronically attached information (word, excel, emails, PDF’s etc) then I wouldn’t close these files. I will still continue on with the same employee file. The metadata for each employee file will now read “Electronic Only”. this information is placed in the Current and Home locations. Each hard copy employee file will now contain a form which is placed inside the front cover of the record, stating this is now a electronic only file, no hardcopy attachments are now to be placed into this file.

Over time a electronic file will contain 100’s if not 1000’s of attached electronic information. Searching for a electronic file within a container cannot be easy if staff don’t title there information correctly. So I came up with “Sub Folders” which are linked to the metadata file. This helps break up the overloaded of attached information under just one container.

Example: Record Type – Personnel File (employees name staff number etc)
Attached to the personnel record type file are sub folders. Each sub folder will be titled to the type of information that is most likely to be captured on employee file. So when Human Resources go to save a electronic document to a employee file, they will attach the electronic document to a subfolder. The subfolder will carry the same file number as the employee file but with a difference.

Example: Employee File Number P/123
Sub Folder File Number OT/123 (OT meaning Overtime records)

Documents can only be captured onto the sub-folders. So searching for a electronic file is far much easlier even if the document is poorly title.

Each employee file can contain up to about 15 subfolders even more

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