e-Records Conference 2014: ERM Case Study – Implementation of ERM Standards

erecordsslogo-300x261This is the fifth post of a multi-part recap of the 2014 e-Records Conference. Presentation materials from the e-Records Conference are available on the e-Records 2014 website.

By Michael Reagor, Government Information Analyst

Implementing StandardsTransitioning your processes from paper records to electronic records can be difficult enough, but when you have to coordinate the transition between three independent organizations (two in the private sector and one in government) it almost sounds impossible.  But as Barbara Mercer from INI Inc. and Stephen Sepulveda from PacoTech told us in their presentation Implementing Standards for Electronic Records Management it’s not only possible, it can even be . . . well, maybe not easy, but it is possible.

INI Inc., PacoTech, and an unnamed state agency have been working together to manage the agency’s 2.4 million records (with a 5% growth rate each year) and are undergoing a transition from managing the records in paper to an electronic format.  They discussed a number of steps that needed to be accomplished in order to facilitate the transition:

  • Developing an ERM Policy – This step involved working with agency representatives, including the Records Management Officer and the contract manager, to ensure that the plan met the agency’s expectations and requirements.
  • Defining Tasks – With three organizations involved in the project it was important to ensure that each organization was aware of their role and how it affected the other two organizations.
  • Defining Lingo – Similar to the above step, it was very important to ensure that all three organizations meant the same thing when they were discussing topics like “backfiling” and “electronic submittals.”
  • Defining Electronic Records Standards – This step involved ensuring that all three organizations were aware of, and following, electronic records standards.  And that those standards aligned with those already existing for the agency’s physical records.

By following these steps the three organizations have been able to begin a successful transition from paper records to electronic records. During the first month of the project they converted 9,000 paper records into an electronic format and are averaging 2,000 records per month since that time. This puts them on track to be able to scan 30% of all incoming records as soon as they are received.