Identify records management roles (Office SharePoint Server)

Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007

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Topic Last Modified: 2017-01-24

Effective records management requires an organization-wide commitment to planning, implementing, overseeing, and participating in the records management program. To achieve this, members of your organization with a range of records management–related roles and skills must support the effort. As you start planning your records management solution, identify who in your organization will fill the following roles:

  • Records managers   Usually members of an organization's legal department. They are skilled in the process of categorizing electronic and physical documents and in deciding which documents should become records. Records managers help determine organizational records management policies and participate in designing the records management solution. They are responsible for researching and writing the file plan and retention schedule, and they participate in writing the compliance requirements document. Records managers also operate the records management system, performing tasks such as putting records on hold during litigation and disposing of records at the end of their retention periods. The participation of records managers is essential to the success of your records management system.

  • Compliance officers   Also members of an organization's legal department. In some organizations, this role is filled by records managers. Compliance officers monitor every aspect of enterprise records management to ensure that the organization is closely following relevant regulations and guidelines. They are primarily responsible for writing the compliance requirements document, which describes the enterprise records management methodology, guidelines, and training plans.

  • IT professionals   Responsible for deploying, operating, and maintaining the computers and applications that implement the records management solution. They ensure that the records management solution is secure, that it is of the proper scale, that it is reliable, and that it communicates with the document management servers and e-mail servers that supply it with records.

  • Site designers   In a records management solution based on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, they are the experts in creating and configuring Web sites implementing a Records Center site.

  • Content managers   Manage teams that produce documents or that handle physical or electronic files that might be records. Their role is to supply leadership in identifying records, in planning processes for their teams that will ensure good records management practices, and in making sure that the information workers on their teams participate in the organizational records management effort.

  • Information workers   The participants in the records management system. They create or manage the electronic and hard-copy documents, memos, reports, messages, and other content that could be records. The success of your records management solution depends on the quality of participation by the information workers in your organization.


    How you design your records management system can have a big impact on how well information workers comply with it. For example, by creating simple processes for retaining records, you will increase participation because information workers will be less likely to see these tasks as impediments to getting their other work done. Also, effective records management training and documentation will increase information workers' active participation.

Your organization might have already filled all of the roles described in this article. If not, you might want to seek experts in records management and compliance. Professional organizations such as the Association of Records Managers and Administrators can be helpful in locating records management professionals in your area.

The initial tasks of the team designing your records management system include analyzing content usage in your organization, analyzing regulatory and other requirements that will affect records management decisions, evaluating hardware and application resources to use to retain records, and planning the best strategy for ensuring information workers' cooperation in managing records. Because this planning touches on so many disciplines in your organization, form a diverse team to plan your records management solution, including all the roles described above.