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Organizing Your Archives

Jennifer Sample

For Campus Facilities and Construction Groups, the decision to move archival documents, both paper and electronic, into a comprehensive document management system is not one to be taken lightly.  Many facilities groups have thousands of documents, and the idea of scanning and entering metadata for each one is a daunting, seemingly impossible task.  It takes resources, and these can be hard to come by during this time of budget shifts, many due to changes that have to be made to satisfy COVID-19 guidelines.  It helps to have someone on your side with years of experiential knowledge to help guide you.

The first step is determining the number of archival documents and their relevance to the current status of buildings on campus.  It may be that only the floor plans hold any value based on the building's age or if a major renovation has been completed. There may also be state and federal requirements that must be met. Once all of this has been determined, document management systems can be investigated.

If there is an existing system, knowing what metadata and process required is already in place.  In most cases, no such system is in place, so determining which document management system fits the business processes will be necessary.  Once the preferred system has been found, the configuration planning is the next step in the process.

We recommend configuring the system to act as an archive and be used by everyone in the organization to store their current, living documents for projects.  This creates a system that becomes the single source of truth for all facilities' information.  Configuring the system in this way requires more stakeholders from different departments to ensure the metadata captured can be used efficiently to find the right documents for the task at hand.  Convincing people that the time and effort to implement a system is a long-term benefit can be a challenge without the guidance of people who have been down this road.

We can help determine the right strategy and system to accomplish your organizational goals while working within your resource constraints.  Hagerman & Company offers a variety of document/data management solutions to ensure the right solution. Let our knowledge and experience help you get those archives organized, searchable, and utilized!