e-Records 2016 Conference Sessions Recap: “Process Mapping as a Best Practice” and “Email Redactions Made Easy”

This is the third post of a multi-part recap of the 2016 e-Records Conference. Presentation materials from the conference are available on the e-Records 2016 website.

1. At the Intersection of Technology and Records Management
2. “Accessing the Texas Digital Archive” and “Enterprise Information Management in Sharepoint 2016”
3. “Process Mapping as a Best Practice” and “Email Redactions Made Easy”
4. “Case Study: Disposing of Paper Records After Scanning” and “Digital Workflow Optimization and Automation”
5. “Vendor Neutral Data Management and Record Retention” and “Records Management vs. #recordsmanagementrocks”

Networking at eRecords Conference 2016.

Networking at eRecords Conference 2016.

“Process Mapping as a Best Practice” – Sarah Thomas, Project Manager, Gift Management at University of Houston

Are you at one of those offices that’s going paperless but don’t know where to get started? Can’t find anything on your shared drive because there’s no rhyme or reason to your file plan and you need to clean it up? Don’t worry, these are common challenges faced by local governments and state agencies in Texas. Conference speaker Sarah Thomas demonstrated how process mapping helped eliminate a 6 month scanning backlog in the gift handling process at University of Houston. You can download the presentation here to learn more about how to implement process mapping, from the initial planning stages all the way through measuring project success at conclusion.

The metrics are impressive. By identifying and addressing the problems in the scanning process, the project reduced batch scanning times from 20 minutes per 50 page batch down to 30 seconds per 50 page batch. Batches are now scanned within 8 hours after the batch closes instead of waiting 6 months. But it’s the less tangible benefits that really shine. By engaging different learning styles throughout the project, Sarah was able to change her team’s culture, increase their records management knowledge, and make them feel comfortable and engaged with the new technology and the changed process. I recommend taking a look at her presentation on process mapping if your office is planning any big projects or changes to workflow processes in the near future.

“Email Redactions Made Easy” – Theresa Scott, Town Secretary of Town of Flower Mound

If you work for a government office in Texas, public information requests are a routine part of the job. The 73rd Legislature made it the policy of this state to provide to the people complete information, unless an express exception in the law applies, about the affairs of government and the official acts of public officials and employees. One exception is for an email address of a member of the public that is provided to a governmental body for the purpose of communicating electronically with that government body. Redacting email addresses of members of the public from emails responsive to a public information requests can be a labor-intensive process. Closing speaker Theresa Scott delivered on her promise to make such redactions easier.

Ms. Scott described her office’s previous process for redacting. After identifying and compiling all the responsive emails, somebody had to read and review each line of text and manually apply redactions either by sharpie or mouse. To simplify the process, the Town of Flower Mound bought a piece of software. She demonstrated how, with a few clicks, email addresses for members of the public can be automatically redacted while government employee email addresses, even those officials and employees who use private email accounts instead of government-issued email, can be retained and disclosed in compliance with the Public Information Act.

Texas State Library and Archives Commission is prohibited from recommending vendors. However, if you’re interested in learning more about how software can make email redactions easier, check out Ms. Scott’s presentation here.

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