Are you considering using SharePoint as Electronic Records Management System?

If so you have come to the right place.

While meeting the industry standards for records management systems, TRAC will configure SharePoint  to maximize the user experience by keeping the records requirements behind the scenes and exploiting the features for optimized functionality that make the users go:

“Wow, that’s cool!”

TRAC specializes in implementing SharePoint as an Electronic Records Management System (ERMS).TRAC starts working for you where the SharePoint integrators leave off with an implementation out of the box. Our approach has been developed based on our extensive experience of over 15 years in electronic records management and over 35 years in records management. At TRAC, we have worked with over 15 different ERMS and have embraced SharePoint as a great solution for many organizations.

Here’s our SharePoint  approach in a nutshell.

1. SharePoint Governance

Building on the Information Management policy this companion document outlines the vision; guiding principles; roles and responsibilities; design; practices and procedures to meet the evidentiary requirements.

2. Approach

TRAC works with organization to configure and customize SharePoint to meet document and records management requirements including but not limited to:

  • Design site architecture
  • Design and implement site collections
  • Sites- Set up auditing and logs on various activities and Document ID service
  • Navigation
  • Libraries
  • Develop security matrix for permissions
  • Back up and sustainment strategy
a. Methodology

TRAC’s approach is to work with your organization in a business model where knowledge transfer and coaching are key to the delivery of our services. In fact, we are surprised about how far we can go with clients by having virtual coaching sessions. This means bign costs savings to our clients and a pleasant change for us to stay home more.

b. In Place Records Management

TRAC’s preferred option is to use in place records management, this eliminates the need to move documents while the records are needed by the end users.

c. Corporate Memory Site

TRAC moves the records from their initial library once the disposition process has been completed and the records have been identified as having enduring value.

3. Implementing File Plans

a. Taxonomy and Retention Schedule

TRAC imbeds the organization combined file plan and retention schedule in SharePoint using the managed metadata.

TRAC creates content type categories in accordance with ISO standards and the organization’s specific requirements. In addition columns are created to supplement various categories of metadata. These are then imbedded in SharePoint libraries.

Categories include:

  • Base columns
  • Document control
  • Retention control
  • Vital and business continuity records
  • Business specific
  • Library specific
  • Email

TRAC’s approach enables organizations to leverage the out-of-the-box content type capabilities to use forms and templates to create new documents and documents sets.

b. Subject and Case Files Organization

TRAC’s approach is to utilize metadata to organize information instead of folders. Organizing information using metadata only requires that the records be event driven and that a specific column and supporting capabilities are present to manage the disposition process.

Folders are used where they support the business process of the organization. In addition folders are used when the subject matter has yearly or fiscal year cut off ensuring that the required elements are present to manage the disposition process.

c. Access and Permissions

TRAC’s preferred approach is to leverage roles in Active Directory to assign permissions, whereby, individual users do not have access to the system but their position does making transition and staff changes transparent to the system.

In addition TRAC implements various records security classification levels to meet your organization’s requirements.

4. Records Classification

a. Classifying Documents

TRAC develops functional file plans to help organization manage their records. Our functional structures are then imbedded in the relevant sites. A key concept in records management is organizing records within their context.

TRAC’s approach is to work with your organization to train the users to create records where they will reside. This is accomplished by presenting to the users templates for new documents; proper metadata fields to complete; supported by document centric business processes.

b. Managing Emails

TRAC’s preferred approach is to use a third party product to drag and drop email and/or attachments into SharePoint.

In addition libraries can be enabled to receive email directly and TRAC leverages this functionality whenever possible.

c. Auditing

TRAC’s approach is to work with your organization to develop an auditing program to ensure that SharePoint sites and libraries and where applicable folders are classified properly. From ensuring that all metadata is completed to reviewing the subject matter to determine if it is classified properly.

d. Legal Hold

TRAC’s approach is to work with your organization to develop practices and procedures on how to leverage the out of the box legal hold process.

5. Search and Retrieval

TRAC’s approach is to work with your organization to create a vision whereby the point of entry and the point of access are clearly defined and understood.

6. Applying the Information Management Policies

a. Declaring Records

TRAC’s approach is to declare records using the automated processes built in the information management policies. Records declaration is based on either an event date or a specific number of days after creation.

b. Retention Metadata

TRAC’s approach is to work with your organization to review the retention schedule to ensure that the business attributes driving the start of the disposition process are based on either an event date; a fiscal or calendar year.

In some instances it is necessary to develop practices and procedures to integrate with business applications to drive the retention schedule.

c. Applying Retention

TRAC’s approach is to apply the retention schedule at the library level only. Using a series of events chained together to obtain the desired disposition process results.

Key element in developing the information management policies is to have a clear understanding of the key elements involved in driving the various stages of the retention and disposition process.

7. Records / Retention Management Functionality

TRAC’s approach is to develop and customize a series of steps to manage the disposition process in accordance with your organization business processes for example:

  • Records manager queries the records ready for disposition, by format;
  • records manager is notified that the disposition process has been initiated;
  • records manager performs the initial review;
  • records manager notifies business unit;
  • business unit manager reviews records;
  • business unit manager may identify records not to be disposed on the list;
  • records manager reviews and approves, records are removed from list;
  • records manager resubmits list to business unit for final review and approval;
  • business unit manager approves revised list;
  • records manager selects records to be deleted;
  • metadata is left behind in SharePoint certifying the records have been deleted;
  • PDF list of deleted records is filed; and
  • records manager selects records to be transferred to the archives, initiates and confirms move.

8. Training

TRAC’s approach is to develop and deliver appropriate level of training to the following individuals:

  • End users
  • Executive Team
  • Field offices
  • Managers
  • Other
  • Records personnel
  • Scanners
  • Information technology staff


9. Workflows

TRAC’s approach is to develop document centric business processes workflows that can be initiated manually or automated.

Working with your organization, TRAC can assist your organization in mapping current business process and identify opportunities for leveraging SharePoint workflows to improve business processes.