E-Records Institute

At IMERGE Consulting, Inc.

search engine by freefind advanced

Industry News

Connect with us:


Useful Links

About Us

Contact Us


New 2012 Report!

Developing & Implementing Records Retention & Disposition Schedules for E-Records

Building Retention & Disposition Schedules for E-Records

Including Inventorying, File Plans, Taxonomies, Metadata Consistency & SharePoint 2010 Tips

A Management Guide

Robert F. Smallwood, MBA IMERGE Consulting


Who we are

IMERGE Consulting is North America's largest and most experienced team of experts in the fields of enterprise content management (ECM) and business process optimization. IMERGE is also a leading provider of education courses in records management, electronic document capture and e-discovery through our alliance with Wexford Partners. IMERGE has offices in major cities including Boston, San Francisco, Toronto, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Seattle, New Orleans and Washington, DC.

What we have achieved

Our track record speaks for itself: We have completed more successful projects, published more articles and given more expert presentations than any other enterprise content management consulting firm in the world. We are proud that our organizations include some of the world’s best and largest public and private organizations. Learn more about us at imergeconsult.com or contact an IMERGE professional today to discuss putting our expertise to work for you.

About the Author

Robert Smallwood, MBA, Master of Information Technology, Laureate of Information Technology is a founding Partner of IMERGE Consulting and has been recognized as one of the industry’s “25Most Influential People” and “Top 3 Independent Consultants” by KM World magazine. Some of his past organizations include Bank of America, AT&T, Xerox and IBM. He has published more than 100 articles and given more than 50 conference presentations on document, records and content management. He is the author of the book, Taming the Email Tiger, and several others.


Table of Contents

Executive Summary
Introduction to Records Retention
GARP® Can Be a Helpful Guide
Records Inventorying: First Step
Records Inventory Purposes
Records Inventorying Steps
What is a Retention Schedule?
Why Are Retention Schedules Needed?
What information should be included in a retention schedule?
15 Benefits of Records Retention Schedules
Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA: 1999)
Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act
Types of Retention Schedules
Principles of Records Scheduling
Who Compiles and Maintains the Retention Schedule?
6 Key Steps: How to Compile a Retention Schedule
Event-based Retention Scheduling for Disposition of E-Records
Event-based Disposition
Creating an Organization-Wide Scheduling Plan
Determining Scope of Scheduling Projects
Interviewing Programs/Service Staff
5 Reasons Records Are Grouped Together
Identifying and Categorizing Records Series
Reviewing Collected Schedule Data
Transitory Records Schedule
Developing Records Series Descriptors
Assessing the Value of Records
Determining Closure Criteria, and Final Disposition
The Value of Classification for E-Records Management
Classification Tools
Why classify business information by function?
Are All Emails a Record?
5 Characteristics of Reliable Email Evidence
4 Key Email Archiving Functions
Ten Legal, Regulatory, and Business Reasons to Archive Email
Email Archiving in the Cloud
Email Archiving or Email Management?
Don’t Confuse Archiving with Backup
3 Best Practices for Email Record Management
Failure to Manage Email: Consequences and Impact
Introduction to Business Classification Schemes
5 Benefits of a BCS
What is a Functional Thesaurus?
Naming of files and folders
4 Key Advantages of a Functional BCS
Tagging vs. Taxonomy?
8 Steps to Successful Taxonomy Design
8 Things You Need to Know About Taxonomy, Metadata and Information Architecture in SharePoint 2010
Tools for Managing Taxonomies
Electronic Records Management
Document Management
Glossary of Terms

Executive Summary

A retention schedule sets out the amount of time that an organization needs to keep certain types of records. It applies to records in all formats, including paper and electronic information.

Retention schedules should identify and describe records series or systems, not individual records.

Records retention is the process of determining how long an organization needs to keep its records, taking into account the operational business needs, legal, and/or regulatory requirements. A records retention schedule provides an approved list of records series indicating for each series the length of time and format(s) in which records are to be retained and their associated disposition process at the end of their lifecycle.

Disposition processes include not only destruction but also the selection and protection of historical records for an organizational archival program. Event-based disposition directives may also include transfer of records.

Every U.S. state has laws governing the acceptance of electronic records and signatures with the legal standing of those on paper.

Email represents the greatest challenge for managing records. Email archiving software can help maintain a real-time audit trail of email. Not all email messages are records. Email nonrecords are a liability and should not be kept.

A business classification scheme (BCS) or file plan is a conceptual hierarchical representation of the business activity performed by an organization used to organize e-records and documents. A taxonomy is the underpinning and detail for a BCS. A taxonomy is the standard vocabulary a company uses to describe its business. Taxonomies should make information easier to find.

This Management Guide will assist senior managers, records managers, IT managers, compliance managers and others involved in electronic records and e-discovery implementations to make intelligent, informed decisions.


View more sample pages...


Bridging the gap between process and technology to help you work better, faster, smarter

Call us anytime: U.S. Toll Free 888-325-5914; Outside U.S. 504-324-2340
Learn more about our monthly subscription service plans. Stay current with new reports and save!

Subscription Information

Questions or inquiries: info@electronic-records-management.com

Webmaster: webmasterATelectronic-records-management.com