Retention Schedule Advice
How to Build a Flexible Retention Schedule
Once you have determined the required length of time to store information, you now need to do it in a way that allows flexibility. Every great plan deals with contingencies in stride and adjusts to achieve the desired outcome. In the arena of Retention Scheduling, the fundamental goal is to get control of the information in a way that you can revise the plan for whatever comes your way, including a litigation hold.
Information is King!
Tracking the nature or type of information within a particular file (electronic or paper), box, or tape is the messy part of retention scheduling. Destruction without a firm grasp on these details is more than risky, and it may even be criminal. Even if it is just basic information like Box 1, AP 2011, North American Div – this gives you a great start at gaining and keeping control.
Databases, not Lists.
Managing multiple variables is best done with a database, not a log or spreadsheet if you can avoid it. You will want to query multiple features, flag items for Litigation Hold, etc… (Corodata offers this tool at no charge to its clients.)
Start with the End in Mind.
Once you are ready to implement a schedule, begin with the end in mind – when should the material be destroyed? Record it now, and plan to get it done on schedule. You should always double check prior to destruction, but you are now managing a plan, not just reacting.
Organizations like Corodata offer great database tools and know how, and can get you off and running quickly and be there at the end to help just as much. Reach out and ask for help.