Records management in SharePoint server simplified

Sahil Verma
Sahil Verma linkedin | Updated On - May 23, 2023 |

Read time: 6 minutes

Every business strives to remain organized & efficient while managing vast amounts of data, but the challenge lies in finding solutions that are both secure & scalable. SharePoint Server is Microsoft’s premiere enterprise-level platform for records management & can provide businesses with robust tools to streamline their processes, protect invaluable information, & maintain all necessary records.

In this detailed guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about records management in SharePoint. From creating your own custom document library to tracking versioning history & setting appropriate auditing policies, we will provide an in-depth look at every step involved in effectively using the power of SharePoint Server for Records Management.

Elements of Records Management System

Here, we will discuss the elements of the SharePoint Online records management system, which will help you in SharePoint Document Management efficiently.

  1. Content & data analysis: The first element of any records management system is analyzing the content & data to determine their significance & the retention period. We recommend creating a retention schedule that lists every document & its retention period.Include the purpose of the record, its source, location, & the rules & regulations for storing & disposing of the record. SharePoint Server has several features that facilitate the organization of records, such as document libraries, content types, & metadata.
  2. File plan: It lists every document or record, identifies the retention period & the legal requirements for retaining the document, & includes instructions for disposing of the document after the retention period expires. It helps in a systematic & consistent approach to the management of records.
  3. Compliance requirements document: Every organization is subject to different laws & regulations regarding the management of records. An effective way to comply with every regulation is to create a compliance requirements document. You can use SharePoint Server to comply with industry standards & regulations.
  4. Method for managing inactive records: This element outlines how to move records out of circulation as they are no longer needed. Such records are moved to long-term storage after they have served their purpose.
  5. Record analysis & auditing methodology: Auditing records allows you to track changes made to documents & helps ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. SharePoint Server has an auditing feature that can track all changes that occur in a document library, list or site. You can use it to track any event such as create, delete, update & access.
  6. Metadata capture method: Metadata helps to classify, organize, & find records. SharePoint Server can capture various types of metadata such as text, choice, date/time, & people or group. You can also use content types to create standardized metadata fields for document libraries & lists.
  7. Structured record hold procedures: A ‘hold’ is a legal requirement to preserve records, such as during a litigation matter. SharePoint Server has a Hold feature that enables you to place all documents related to a case on hold. It makes sure that no one can edit, move, or delete those documents until the hold is removed.
  8. Monitoring & reporting system: Compliance risks are minimized while regulatory requirements are met, records are secure, & records management activities are continually monitored & reported. SharePoint Server provides the ability to create reports that give you visibility into record access, modification, & more.
Planning of Records Management in SharePoint Server

Here is a preview of the process of the records management in SharePoint Online Server:

  1. Establish the roles & responsibilities: Before developing a SharePoint management records management plan, it is crucial to identify the roles & responsibilities of individuals within the organization. Appointing dedicated personnel for managing records, setting up access control & privileges, & keeping the system remains up-to-date is necessary..
  2. Analysis of organization’s content: Next, analyze the organizational content to identify what needs to be stored as a record. This process has an evaluation of the existing file structure, organizational policies & regulations. After identifying what needs to be kept, you can proceed towards developing a file plan.
  3. Create a comprehensive file plan: A file plan can be easily customized to meet the specific needs & requirements of an organization. A file plan should include the categories, subcategories, retention periods, & metadata needed to provide relevant information about the records.
  4. Develop the retention schedules: Now, it is essential to develop retention schedules & follow the retention policies in SharePoint. Retention schedules define the duration for which records will be maintained in the system. These schedules should adhere to applicable regulations & legal requirements while keeping records accessible for future use.
  5. Evaluate & enhance document management practices: To effectively manage records, you need to have solid document management practices in place. This includes version control, document approval workflows, & metadata tagging. With SharePoint Server, you can improve these processes, such as check-in/check-out, versioning, & adding metadata.
  6. Formulate an effective records management strategy: After you have developed your retention schedules & SharePoint document management, it’s time to design your records management solution. This includes configuring your SharePoint Server site to support the file plan structure & setting up the retention schedules for each record type.
  7. Strategize how to turn content into records: In SharePoint Server, content can be automatically declared as a record based on certain criteria, such as metadata or content type. Organizations should establish policies & procedures for declaring content as records & also train your employees on these policies & procedures.
  8. Planning email integration: Email is a critical source of business records, & organizations must have a strategy for managing & retaining email in compliance with legal & regulatory requirements. Organizations can integrate SharePoint Server with email systems to capture & manage emails.
  9. Implement compliance policies for social media content: Social content is becoming an increasingly important source of records in many organizations. Planning for compliance for social content involves developing policies & procedures for managing social content as a record.
  10. Maintain up-to-date compliance reporting & documentation: Finally, you need to plan for compliance reporting & documentation. This includes identifying what types of reports are needed to demonstrate compliance with legal requirements, as well as documenting the records management plan & procedures.
Q. What is the difference between document management & records management in SharePoint?

A. Document management is specifically focused on the creation & organization of documents, providing a clear process for document creation & version control. Records management, on the other hand, is more concerned with managing the records that are necessary to conduct business.

Q. Does SharePoint have document management?

A. SharePoint is a reliable & versatile document management platform that can help companies streamline their workflows & improve collaboration. But, it’s important to note that using SharePoint effectively requires a significant investment of time & resources, particularly for larger organizations. To get the most out of SharePoint, it’s crucial to establish a clear site structure, create easy-to-follow content governance guidelines & regularly monitor and maintain the platform.

Final Say

After reading this guide, we hope that you have gained a better understanding of records management in SharePoint Online, its features, & how it can be used to manage your enterprise’s documents. With the right guidance, we are certain that you can now use SharePoint server in a more efficient manner.

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