Companies, large and small, have procedures or rules that employees are supposed to follow to complete certain tasks. Each company determines the most efficient methods or methods that meet regulatory or compliance requirements. These rules can be written in a manual, part of a checklist or built into software applications.
Rules incorporated into the code of software applications are relatively easy to build and highly effective. One of the most difficult procedures to successfully implement, however, is document archiving. When is a document the final final version and where should it be archived? Making this decision and process easy should be every companies goal, but where to begin?
The first step is to make sure you simplify and standardize the archive hierarchy. Consolidate the silos of documents into one, organized repository. This should be separate and distinct from your active working directories or silos. For instance, users are going to keep active spreadsheets or Word files on their local drive, in the shared drive or out in a collaboration tool. Let those silos be for now. Get the archive repository set and organized.
Next, make sure that where possible, collaboration tools can push content directly into the archive. This might require apps or using APIs to facilitate the transfer and to guide users to select the right archive location. Ideally the app and machine learning can help with this task by using the current file location to give clues to the proper archive location. If possible, the transfer of the file can start a workflow that accomplishes tasks and has the benefit of archiving any attached documents upon completion.
Active files stored on a shared network drive or in one of the cloud storage solutions is a bit more of a challenge. The files most likely already exist in some file folder structure. When the user is done, its just assumed the file is complete – job over. But the reality is that users could use a gentle reminder every week or so that files have been untouched for say 60 days and therefore, might be final final. That reminder should make it easy to migrate the document to the correct location.
There is a lot of effort being spent on making the collaboration on work easy. A similar level of effort should be spent on making the transition of the results of that collaboration into an archive system easy also. Soon enough, tag and push will be as common place as drag and drop.
Millennia Group has simplified document management through FileStar, a robust yet easy to use SaaS model workflow and document management system. For more information, www.mgdocs.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or (630) 279-0577.