One of the core concepts of records management is? the information life cycle? which goes through a variety of cycles.
This cycle starts with a single step of the creation of the record to the final disposition of the record.
The same could be done through the controlled destruction process or even by the designation of records as permanent.
What are the information life cycle?
It doesn?t matter if your team has an in-house system or outside records management service, one of the most important things is to understand the records life cycle.
Your organization needs the best practices to manage the personnel documents along with other records for the sake of complying with the statutory retention policies.
There are variations on the records life cycle at times. However, it could usually be broken down into the following five phases:
Phase 1: Creation
As soon as the information of any kind is received, it becomes a record. The information is received both in physical form or electronic form.
As soon as the information is verified, it has to be converted into a record in the correct formation.?
At this stage, the records are considered active.
Phase 2: Distribution
Distribution helps in the management of the records. These include both the internal and external distribution.
Because of distribution, records are sorted as per the parameters and schedule of the record management system you want them to be in.
The classification needs to suit your companies for easy retrieval. These fields need to be managed properly.
Distribution helps to ensure that the records that your team needs frequently could be accessed quickly and easily.
Phase 3: Use
This phase helps in the distribution of records internally in an organization.?
It also includes the after-effects of this distribution on a particular segment of a business or as a whole.?
Phase 4: Maintenace
With the record being active, data-integrity needs to be maintained at all costs.
One of the first steps is to ensure that the document storage method is credible and is organized in such a way that your team can access the same without any trouble.
Not only that but the storage method needs to be well-protected. This could include the safeguarding of documents, protection of servers etc.
When maintenance is considered, another important aspect is to create a log of use for all the parties that have access to all these documents.
Along with taking care of active records, the inactive or half-active records need to be retained as well till they reach the next stage.
One of the most important steps in this process is to have a process in place that?s going to ensure that the record is returned and is available to others as well.
Phase 5: Disposition
Now comes the final stage of the record life cycle. In this phase, when you don’t require a specific kind of information and the data is maintained as per the requirement, the same records are eligible for disposal or shredding.
This is usually done being aligned with the company policies of record-keeping and disposal.
Destruction of records is a normal part of businesses, in most of the cases.
However, at times these policies are altered. Ensure that your legal time is keeping the information management team aware of any kinds of development for the sake of handling the disposition properly.
Managing the Records Lifecycle (information life cycle)
Record-keeping varies from one business to another.
However, the common ground between record-keeping for different businesses is that the traditional methods of records filled in boxes strewn in offices are a thing of the past.
Documents and other records are one of the most important fundamentals of a business that could be accessed at any point in time.
As needed, the records could also be retrieved without any wastage in sorting and shuffling through boxes altogether.?
Securing the offsite records storage is one of the foremost important things that include a proper system of indexing the files.
This reduces the costs that are related to the management of files.
The second thing is to have a chain of custody which keeps tabs of every kind of documents over the entire record information life cycle.?