The Destination: A fully electronic records management program within the next few years.
The Challenge: To reach the destination with a recordkeeping system that is integrated into your work processes and transparent to the users.
The Solution: A roadmap with expert guidance to help you navigate the curves and bumps in the road along the way. NetSmith Records and Information Management (RIM) Consultants specialize in successful strategies to assist customers in making the transition from paper-based or hybrid, to electronic business processes.
Many key milestones of a successful ERM program are technology independent and application agnostic. Agencies can begin to put them in place before making any technology commitment. We can help you achieve any or all the steps along the way to a fully automated recordkeeping program.
Knowing what records you have in paper, electronically and other formats, and where they are, clarifies the current state of your RIM program, informs decision making, and facilitates records processing. NetSmith consultants have extensive experience inventorying records in a variety of media and preparing them for transfer to NARA, digitization and addition to an ERMS, or disposal.
Many key building blocks of successful ERM are policy-based program elements that are technology independent and application agnostic. Agencies can begin to put them in place before making any technology commitment.
Perform a systematic needs assessment to identify the gaps between your current RIM program and your desired ERM program to determine the existing risks and prioritize solutions. Begin by gathering and analyzing information from agency policies, procedures, records inventory and key personnel interviews to define the state of your current RIM program.
Needs assessment and gap analysis results provide crucial data for developing a strategic plan and designing technology solutions.
Developing a comprehensive RIM strategic plan, with detailed goals and objectives for transitioning from a predominately paper based system to a fully automated recordkeeping system will help an agency identify all of the milestones along the way to the end goal, and define tasks that can be undertaken in advance of any technology decisions.
Clearly described milestones and timelines facilitate management buy in, and enable agencies to report progress towards full ERM as each milestone is accomplished.
Establishing a simplified records retention and disposition policy is fundamental to the successful deployment of any automated recordkeeping system, and is a vital first step that can be undertaken well before any technology application decisions are made. Our expertise with the “big-bucket” approach to records scheduling goes hand-in-hand with our knowledge and experience with configuring and implementing the schedules into an electronic records management system application
Records Policies and Procedures
In addition to routine policy reviews and updates, the transition to electronic records management will require revisions to an agency’s RIM policies. As business processes and systems are reengineered for emerging technologies, procedures will also need to be updated or rewritten. We offer professional consulting expertise to assist in the development of records management policies and procedures that support electronic business processes and facilitate designing automated workflows to reduce the burden on the end users.
Maintaining a current records management policy is required by law and regulations
Clear, well written procedures, revised as automated processes are adopted will aid in their adoption, and in successful change management
Technology Solution Selection
Develop detailed requirements for a system that integrates into the overall technology infrastructure, satisfies records management obligations and provides information governance. Consult with key stakeholders from records management, legal, information technology, business units and management to ensure that all perspectives are represented, and incorporate recommendations from the needs assessment. In addition to requirements development and unbiased evaluation and selection assistance, our consultants possess ERMS configuration assistance and pilot testing experience.
ERMS Administration and Customer Support
Electronic records management system (ERMS) administration, including file plan development, implementation, and routine maintenance can be a daily task at agencies that have a constant addition of new case files. Even for agencies whose mission and business processes support more ongoing work and fewer new projects, ERMS file plans and system usage require regular monitoring and support to ensure user satisfaction. In addition to many years of ERMS administration experience with daily system updates and routine file plan maintenance, our consultants also possess ERMS configuration assistance and pilot testing experience. Our ERMS administrators are also knowledgeable RIM professionals who provide not just skilled technical assistance, but will go the extra mile to make sure the customer’s questions are answered.
Federal agencies are required by PRMD Goal 2.4 to train all employees of their records management responsibilities in law and policy by December 31, 2014. NetSmith specializes in developing and presenting customized, instructor-led training at the client site. In addition to formal, large group training such as new employee classes, annual RIM refresher training (36 CFR), and records schedule implementation training, we are also experienced in conducting small group "help labs" and providing individual desk side guidance.