4 Common Misconceptions about Records Management

Posted by Kevin D'Arcy on Jun 26, 2014 3:04:00 PM

Records ManagementAny organization that has tried to improve an existing record management process, or create an entirely new one, has likely run into a number of issues. Many of these issues stem from a few common myths associated with business record management, and re-evaluating perspectives on record management could very well be the first step towards overcoming such problems. Here are four commonly-held misconceptions about records management that could be hindering improvement to your record management process.


Myth #1: Records Management is not role-critical

In many positions, the document management process is given lower priority than other tasks. It’s common for employees to take the stance that there is no time in their day to attend to records management when they have more pressing priorities. However, the average worker spends around 40% of their time looking for the information they need to do their job. If document management continues to be perceived as unimportant, the processes will become even more inefficient, thus eating up more time.


Myth #2: Records Management is separate from the management of other content

From an organizational perspective, viewing document management and the management of other documents as separate entities can result in confusion and disorganization. While the nature of records that are retained for administrative or legal purposes may differ from other business documents, having separate systems for the two often results in duplicated efforts, or worse the mismanagement of documents. That’s why comprehensive document management solutions allow organizations to store, file, and administer both within a single system. 


Myth #3: Records are defined by format

In the eyes of many, records are defined by their format, rather than their function. For example, there is a common misconception that only physical or paper-based documents qualify as records. With electronic documentation becoming increasingly popular, this perspective is archaic and misguided. Format and medium have no bearing on what constitutes a record; rather, it is the function of the particular document. Through this lens, records are any documents that contain certain data and are retained to meet particular organizational needs.


Myth #4: Document Retention Policies are unimportant

People in your organization may not view your document retention policy as unimportant, per se, but they may not fully understand the vital role it plays. For a business, records can be both assets and liabilities. On the one hand, records are retained because they are important for business operations and legal compliance. On the other, once the retention time for records has been exceeded, they quickly become a liability, as such documents can be requested and must be produced in the event of a lawsuit.


In the end, improvement to business record management requires overcoming these misconceptions. If you want to implement a more efficient record management process that is followed throughout your organization, you need more than software or systems: you also need attitudes toward records management to change.


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