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Best practices

April is Records and Information Management Month

Campus and Community

By Sandy Woolfrey-Fahey

The Faculty of Business Administration has made significant strides in managing and protecting its information.

The Faculty of Business Administration building
The Faculty of Business Administration building
Photo: David Howells

The progress to date has served it well, particularly during the university’s shift to remote work due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

These accomplishments are being reflected upon during Records and Information Management Month, ongoing during April.

Information Management and Protection unit

The faculty embarked on a journey towards implementing information management best practices back in May 2015.

The work of the information management committee up to that point meant that the faculty was already nearly paperless. Centralized records management was in place on the shared drive, with appropriate security access established.

“This is a good news story,” said Susan Gardiner, the faculty’s senior administrative officer. “All the work that we did allowed us to start working remotely quickly with everyone using the shared files.”

Ms. Gardiner acknowledges the support the faculty received from the Information Management and Protection (IM&P) unit, housed in Memorial’s Office of the Chief Information Officer.

Process in place

Collaborating with IM&P, the faculty established an information management committee comprised of Ms. Gardiner; Karen Roche, web specialist; Michael Taylor, programmer consultant; Colette Rogers, manager of accreditation, from the Faculty of Business Administration; and Christy Walters, information management consultant, IM&P.

First, the committee defined the scope of the project and identified tangible and practical key deliverables. Next, members drafted and reviewed naming conventions for electronic files and folders.

Once approved, the naming conventions were printed onto cards and distributed to all staff for quick reference. The cards helped set the stage for the next steps.

The committee then reviewed the university’s MUNCLASS Classification and Retention Plan with a view to restructuring the existing shared drive directory.

This would ensure consistent naming of folders and files going forward. The committed also reviewed and revised security permissions.

Establishing a standard

The shared drive cleanup and re-organization project took about a year to complete.

Information and Technology Services generated a detailed file share report to review the existing folder and file structure and worked with sub-units to re-design the shared drive structure in line with MUNCLASS’s 11 functions.

The committee also used IM&P’s website for guidance throughout the project.

With the new shared drive structure complete, faculty sub-units gradually began transferring records into the new folder classification system. They purged irrelevant files at the same time.

Work is ongoing

To maintain its momentum, the faculty organized events to celebrate the completed work and to review its progress on other information management initiatives.

Guest speakers like Ken Forward, IM&P’s information protection and security manager, shared his knowledge with the faculty, as well.

In recent months, the faculty completed even more work on its electronic records systems.

“Our system continues to evolve,” said Ms. Gardiner. “We still have more work to do.”

Memorial has a dedicated IM&P team that can help your unit. If you’d like to take the opportunity during Records and Information Management Month to learn more about shared drive cleanups and how to conduct your own, watch the office’s presentation, The Magic Art of Tidying Up Shared Drives, and email the office for advice.

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