The Records Continuum

A consistent and coherent process of records management throughout the life of records, from the development of recordkeeping systems through the creation and preservation of records, to their retention and use as archives.

The International Council on Archives

The continuum concept eliminates the need for users to distinguish between records and non-records, eliminates the need to declare records and eliminate the need to manage a records and non records in different systems.

How it works

The management regime for records is based on the DIRKS methodology. Primarily through steps B and C, record types and recordkeeping requirements are identified through an analysis of business functions and activities. An appraisal  framework is developed where recordkeeping requirements are linked to the business (activity) classification scheme.

When the business classification scheme is incorporated into information systems, records created or captured in these systems have classification applied and any linked disposition rules are also applied. There is no need for declaration as disposition rules are applied to the “records” based on their classification. This means that all records are managed within the same regime regardless of whether they are “records” or “non-records”

Note: Disposition does not necessarily mean retention. Many classifications are assigned a disposition rule of  “destroy when reference ceases” which can be interpreted as destroy at will.

As draft and copies are included, these can also be managed within the same regime.

The benefits

Eliminates declaration in eDRM systems. Declaration creates extra effort for users who often postpone declaration, sometimes indefinitely. Delayed declaration results in unmanaged repositories holding undeclared records , and managed repositories holding both records and declared non-records. Pointless wrt Discovery. Furthermore the process of transferring business records into repositories and rearranging them according to a records management file plan creates significant user resistance.

Innovations

Many systems are now enabling auto-classification of records by linking the business classification scheme to document types and other metadata, and through business processes.  a.k.a.® software provides the means to connect contextual classification, metadata and disposition into a framework that can be deployed in multiple ways into a range of information systems.

First published April 4, 2012 on www.synerconblog.co, now merged with this site.

 

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