Compliant Public Disclosure Starts with Smart Records Retention

If there’s one message I consistently hear from customers today, it’s how big of a deal public disclosure is for the government and how we need better solutions around it. That being said, you would not believe how many of these organizations don’t feel that they have a good handle on their content.

In Washington State, public disclosure refers to the release of all documents and content to the person making the request. These documents at minimum need to be available for the requestor to view. There are some exemptions to this, such as sealed case files.

Good public disclosure practices really start with one thing: good record-keeping (and destruction). We hear time and time again from customers that they’ve never thrown anything away for fear that the document may be needed at a later date. While they may be thinking that this is the best way to avoid throwing anything away that should be kept, it also means keeping records that should have been destroyed.

Some aren’t aware of the fact that when a public disclosure request comes in, organizations are required by law to turn over any documentation pertaining to the request (as long as it is subject to disclosure). That means that if documents haven’t been destroyed and fall under the specific request, those documents need to be turned over as well, even though they are past the retention period. This poses a huge risk in regards to potential litigations.

Getting your records in order may seem like an overwhelming task, but here are some steps you can take to move toward better practices related to retention and disposition of records.

  1. Understand YOUR Organization’s Requirements for Record Retention and Disposition
    Every organization is different. Certain records have to be kept longer than others, some records might need to be sealed, others may need redaction before they can be turned over, etc. Each organization, each department, even each business process may have different requirements around records. Determine and document what the requirements are so that when you start to do an inventory of content, you have a definitive plan regarding what needs to be kept and for how long. Click here for a link to the Washington State Records Retention Schedules.
  2. Where are my Records?
    Identify where records are kept. Are they stored on a network share? In a file cabinet? In a content management system? Somewhere else? Are they in paper form? Electronic? Are there video files? Regardless of where the documents are kept, the regulations are around how you get the content organized, not the file format or how hard the collection process is. This will help ensure that there are not duplicate documents, and if there are, that only the pertinent copies are kept so as not to be a factor in a potential litigation.
  3. Perform an Analysis and Inventory of Your Records
    Some organizations choose to do this internally, some hire a contractor, and some take a hybrid approach. Regardless of which path you choose, determine what content you have, what needs to be kept, and what can be disposed of before evaluating any technology. This will keep you from bringing content into a solution that will need to be immediately disposed of after the initial analysis.
  4. Choose a Solution that is Flexible and Easy
    95% of organizations I work with are looking for a solution that is easy-to-use yet flexible enough to change with requirements. They want something that can easily set up to work with current retention and disposition schedules, yet can be updated without too much effort if laws or regulations change.
  5. Trust the System
    If you’ve done the prep work correctly, then what you need to do is trust what you’ve put in place is going to work. Choose a good partner with a track record of success to help you.

These are just a few ideas to get you thinking about what can be accomplished around public disclosure, records retention and your content. ImageSource has been assisting customer partners with these types of solutions for the last 20 years. We have done everything from initial consulting through implementation and support. Below is a short list of some of offerings:

  • Expert consulting to determine your “as is” state and develop a plan to get you to your “desired” state using industry best practices
  • Assessment of your current technology and how it can be leveraged
  • Solution evaluation to perfectly match technology with your requirements
  • Solution deployment, configuration, training and rollout
  • Document collection, conversion, scanning, taxonomy definition and automated classification and metadata extraction
  • Data Migration
  • Ongoing partnership for system/process tuning, growth and support
  • Managed applications services

The ILINX platform can assist any organization with getting a handle on their content.

Putting Together an ECM Project Team Part 3

Part 3 – The Project Team

In previous blogs on this same subject, we have discussed the role of Executive Management in the overall Project Team effort.  And what elements from the  internal organization would likely comprise an effective team.   In summary, vibrant and effective executive leadership is likely to be critical in solidifying the vision for the project.  The target of effort to achieve project acceptance and enthusiasm is cascading in that the focus of executive leadership is middle management.  The components of a project team may be different for each organization or type of organization – whatever best suites the particular organizational structure, and what special considerations there might be in the project (i.e. does it involve web content, collaboration, integration with ERP or SharePoint environments, etc.).

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Putting Together An ECM Project Team Part 2

Part 2 – The Project Team

I discussed in Part 1 on this general topic that the strong support of the intended Project by executive management is a critical factor for success – they need to support the projects sponsor, and smooth the path of challenges that sometimes occur when change is contemplated.  Vibrant and effective executive leadership is likely to be critical in solidifying the vision for the project.  The target of effort to achieve project acceptance and enthusiasm is cascading in that the focus of executive leadership is middle management, and then it effort fans out to focus on users and supervisors.

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Putting Together an ECM Project Team Part 1

Part 1 – Getting Started

From a user organization perspective, constructing an effective ECM Project Team needs to be on of the initial mandatory objectives and activities undertaken when implementing an ECM Project.  Achieving this objective in its totality directly links to the success of the implementation of any major ECM project within an organization – whether it be for a phased enterprise or a departmental initiative.

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Moving To The Cloud

For some interesting reading, range about the Internet for articles detailing the way the software world has changed in the past few years with the success of companies like Facebook and similarly ubiquitous, social-node technologies. Those companies have fostered the advent of the DevOps strategy, which is more a paradigm shift in corporate culture than merely a mechanical development/quality assurance/deployment strategy, and it demonstrates a new way of thinking about deployment scaling using the cloud (with an unbelievable number of servers available) while maintaining an aggressive development schedule. Sprint-cycle application development and cloud-based deployment are the order of the day for these newer entities. No longer does dev sit in a development cycle of a year or more, but rather a cycle that is measured in months at most, or weeks – even days. Getting customer-requested features quickly into the product and out to the customers is still job one, but – Oh, hey! – the difference in implementation! Ben Horowitz Article “How Software Testing Has Changed”
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Please don’t make this mistake in your business. It will RUIN you.

This is so true…lest we forget the importance of feedback, especially from our customer.

Please don’t make this mistake in your business. It will RUIN you.

by Derek Halpern | Follow Him on Twitter Here

Every now and then, you stumble on something that makes you want to hit your head against the wall.

And it’s often when people make a large, glaring mistake. A mistake that should be self explanatory, but they make it anyway.

Here’s the full story…

Over on Facebook, I republished my video about why I think discounting is for idiots. And someone shared their opinion of my video:

bob

Now this is remarkable.

First, let’s talk about the big elephant in the room. They tell me I’m an idiot, and that they suggest businesses LIE to their customers.

But that’s not even the main point.

Instead, they’re not paying any mind to what I’m sharing because they don’t agree with it.

I’m not surprised by this though. There’s something known as selective exposure theory in psychology, and the long and short of it is: people look for information that affirms their pre-existing beliefs instead of contradicts them.

Now here’s the thing:

The mistake I’m sharing with you today has nothing to do with discounting. And it has nothing to do with lying.

Instead…

When you’re running your business, you should NEVER – and I mean NEVER – shoot down the advice of other people. Even if you think it doesn’t apply to you. Even if you think the other person is wrong.

Now this doesn’t mean you should believe everything you read.

Far from it.

I’m cynical. And skeptical. And everything I read, I take with a grain of salt. However, no matter how smart or dumb people sound, I always approach every scenario with the mindset of, “What can I learn from this?”

That’s why I read books about art history, copywriting, memoirs of fashion executives, and more.

Even if something doesn’t apply to me, I make it apply.

And that’s the secret.

If someone presents something to you that contracts what you know, you don’t have to change your mind and believe them. But you should ask yourself, “What do they know that I don’t?”

Even in this example, maybe they know something about discounting that I don’t. And even if they don’t, I still used their comments as a teachable moment for you.

So from this point forward, I implore you to never make the mistake this person made. I want you to use every experience as an opportunity to learn something new. Because in my experience, the best ideas comes from the dumbest things.

And I don’t want you to miss out on any of it.

Now here’s what I want you to do…

What’s one comment or critique you’ve received in your business (or life) that you didn’t agree with. How can you turn that into a teachable moment or a lesson? Leave a comment.

You can read the original article here.

Best Regards,

Robert Hughet
Quality Assurance Mgr.
ImageSource, Inc.

Organizing Using Directives in Visual Studio

When it comes to removing and sorting unused using directives in the Visual Studio Editor, a useful feature that is not enabled by default is to place all System directives on the top.

Here’s what it looks like with the option disabled:
phong 1

And here’s one with the option enabled:
phong 2

Step 1: Turn on the option
phong 3

Step 2: Use the “Remove and Sort” option
phong 4

Phong Hoang
Director of Development
ImageSource, Inc.