A robust records management program amongst other things, includes support for the personnel resources critical to the successful execution of records disposition.
Although there may be dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of individuals who play a part in an organization’s overall records management and disposition process, generally speaking, they can be grouped into one of three roles: records management, records owners, and records custodians. Although individuals may fulfill a single role, often they wear multiple hats.
Disposition Player 1: The Records Management Role
Record Managers are the individuals who are responsible for overall records management or information governance policy within an organization.
Their tasks often include oversight and maintenance of the corporate record schedule, tracking various types of document holds (legal, audit, executive, etc.), and managing distinct disposition batch processes.
Disposition Player 2: The Records Owners Role
Record owners are the individuals (or sometimes groups of individuals), usually department-specific, who in some way are considered the rightful owner of a corporate record, in the sense that it originated with them, and are the most familiar with the data it contains. They are the ones from whom to seek approval when it is time to disposition the record itself.
Disposition Player 3: The Records Custodian Role
For electronic records, this may be the IT and/or security compliance departments. For physical records, it could be the file room or warehouse manager, the warehouse personnel, or the offsite storage vendor. Generally speaking, the custodians have full access to the record and sometimes (especially as relates to physical records) bear responsibility for the actual disposal (i.e., usually destruction) of the record itself.
The Disposition Process
With some exceptions, when it is time for an organization to initiate a disposition batch, the process usually unfolds in the following manner.
- Player 1: Often in accordance with an established schedule or protocol, Player 1 takes the initiative to begin a disposition batch, corresponding to identifying which records are currently eligible (i.e., not previously dispositioned, not on hold, disposition time span having elapsed) for dispositioning.
- Player 2: Once initiated, Player 2 is notified of records eligible for disposition, specific to their purview. Ideally, they review such records and provide approval for their final disposition.
- Player 3: Finally, when approved, Player 3 steps in to execute the final disposition action on the record. For electronic records, this may be as simple as the click of a mouse, whereas, for physical records, there are usually several separate steps required to ensure the disposal of the correct records.
When reviewing your organization’s records management program and specifically the disposition process within, remember to accommodate the needs and responsibilities of the players crucial to a successful operation.
Some questions to keep in mind when strategizing disposition in your organization are:
- Are the policies in place defining who does what and when?
- Are your disposition roles clearly defined, including which individuals or positions fulfill which role(s)?
- Is the organization in possession of contemporary software tools facilitating compliance with the approved policies?
Want to learn how to streamline the disposition processes while accommodating the needs of each disposition player? Check out the on-demand webinar: Rethink Records Disposition: Optimize and Streamline the Process.
Gimmal provides industry-leading information governance software to help clients mitigate risks associate with records and information and increase organizational efficiency. To get a demonstration of Gimmal’s records management software, visit: https://www.gimmal.com/gimmal-records-demo-request/