SharePoint Governance for E–Records and Documents

Monica Crocker, CRM, PMP; edited by Robert Smallwood

Microsoft's SharePoint server product has been a “game changer” for the content and records management market. At a basic level, it is a content repository, but it can be leveraged into much more than that. If properly implemented, SharePoint can eliminate duplication of content, automate business processes, create a common lexicon for categorizing content, provide a social media platform, give users access to current and historical documents, dramatically reduce network traffic loads (by cutting the number of e–mails with attachments) and stop the growth of shared drives.

That goes a long way toward helping organizations manage their documents and records. But it is not so simple to accomplish.

For SharePoint deployments, as with most things in life, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Since every SharePoint environment includes e–records, organizations can avoid a lot of headaches and future information governance (IG) risks if they invest time and deliberation in planning how they will deploy SharePoint. These plans should be based on the business objectives for SharePoint and include making all the necessary policy decisions before rolling out the solution to users.

SharePoint itself is a tool; it is not a panacea for poor document management processes or file plans, and it will not suddenly fix document sharing collaboration problems or records ...

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