iManage Govern Records Manager 10 File Share News

iManage has shared more exciting information about their upcoming iManage Govern Records Manager 10 release. iManage Govern Records Manager (also known as IRM) will now be able to manage electronic records retention on file share content. This is big for Records Managers!

IRM allowed Records Managers to “manage-in-place” electronic documents and records in the iManage Work document management software (DMS). Firms did not need to separately file their declared records into a records management software, but could leave it where it was in the DMS. Firms were advised to move other electronic content into the Work libraries to manage their security, collaboration and retention. This left a gap, because firms were not saving all electronic content into iManage Work. iManage’s expansion of the Policy Service to manage retention on file share content is exciting because it addresses this gap and indicates IRM is no longer confined to managing just iManage Work content. This is the beginning of IRM managing content in the many places firms create documents and records. So, you could say IRM’s “manage-in-place” will now be expanded to mean “manage-in-more-places” to include file shares.

Records Managers will be able to create an IRM File Part that represents a file share location. The File Part will need to specify the UNC path for the location (for example, \\\\servername\\sharename\\directory\\).  Records Managers will be able to destroy the File Part as per the specified Retention Schedule, similar to a Workspace in iManage Work. This allows Records Managers to track retention, perform destruction and have an audit history on file share content actions.

The set up for the file share File Part can be manual, or IRM will be able to leverage the Standards and Templates feature to automate the file share File Part creation. The Template File Part creation does require the file share naming convention to be standardized. I hope to learn more details about this once the software has been released.

iManage is targeting the release of IRM 10 for end of 2017.

Nitza Medina-Garcia, Certified Records Manager, Records and Information Management Consultant

Contact us today! Let us help you create a plan to meet your firm’s needs. To be notified of new blog posts and news, sign up for our email newsletter.

Looking to upgrade your version of IRM? Check out my free webinar to learn what you need to do to prepare: REGISTER FOR WEBINAR HERE

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iManage Govern Records Manager 10: Web Client News

I met with Ian Raine, Product Manager for iManage Govern, and asked him about what we can expect with their next major release of Records Manager ( also known as IRM). One of the first is that iManage will be skipping from Records Manager 6.5 past 7 right to version 10 (to be more in sync with the numbering of iManage Work that is currently on version 10). This will certainly simplify understanding which is the latest version of each product and shows iManage is working to more tightly integrate the two products (iManage Work is the document management software and iManage Govern Records Manager is the records management software).

One of the most anticipated new features is an updated IRM Web client. The current Web client has been available for several years, but had not been updated as regularly as the IRM desktop clients. It is my understanding it was used primarily to see what physical files existed, request delivery of files and create files using a default form only. In my experience, not many customers had deployed the Web client. I can see this changing really soon.

The IRM 10 Web client is easily accessible from iManage Work web. The Web client has a refreshed modern look that is very similar to Work 10 in icons and layout. This will help users navigate the file plan. Features iManage is targeting to include:

  • Browsing Clients, Matters and File Parts
  • Requesting physical File Part delivery
  • Checking in/out File Parts
  • Creating new File Parts from basic or template forms
  • Printing File Part labels
  • View Legal Holds and Matter Instructions
  • Print File Plan Summary Report

If you have not upgraded to iManage Work 10, you will still be able to use version 10 of the IRM Web client.

iManage is targeting the release of IRM 10 for end of 2017.

Nitza Medina-Garcia, Certified Records Manager, Records and Information Management Consultant

Contact us today! Let us help you create a plan to meet your firm’s needs. To be notified of new blog posts and news, sign up for our email newsletter.

Looking to upgrade your version of IRM? Check out my free webinar to learn what you need to do to prepare: REGISTER FOR WEBINAR HERE

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Looking to Reduce Paper in Your Office? Start with Talking to Your Staff

 

Many business owners want to be nimble and responsive to the market place, but find that paper is slowing down their progress. Doing business “at the speed of paper” will continue to be a drag on worker productivity, collaboration and their ability to provide exceptional customer service. So, what is a business owner to do?

Say It Is a Priority

One of the biggest keys to success is for business owners simply to state that reducing paper is a priority. According to the AIIM Research Report “Paper-Free Progress: Measuring Outcomes,” a major reason businesses are not successful in reducing paper is the lack of management initiatives or mandates to reduce it. Staff need to know this is a priority for the business, including allocating resources to move the business in the paper light direction.

Educate Staff

Business owners may find resistance from staff before even beginning paper reduction initiatives. This resistance is to be expected. The AIIM research report noted 49% of businesses stated their staff prefer paper for handling, reading, or taking notes. The report also noted businesses feel there was a lack of understanding of paper-free options, or there was the perception that physical signatures were needed. The good news is that business owners can reduce staff resistance through educational programs. For example, does your staff sufficiently understand how to use your PDF software to make the best use of it? Or, when was the last time your staff was trained on your document management system?

Ask Staff for Recommendations

Your staff are working daily to perform various business processes. They understand where paper enters the business, where it is created in the business and where it leaves the business. Business owners should ask their staff for improvement recommendations as well as ask why they continue to rely on paper. Staff will tend to have more buy in if they are a part of the process, versus being told they need to change without input. If a business owner does not have the time or expertise to solicit staff answers, a consultant can be effective and provide an outside perspective.

People Can Change

Your staff has already accepted moving from paper to electronic in their personal lives, why not at work as well? Most people no longer fill out checks at the register, and instead use bank cards and electronically sign for purchases. It is just more convenient to use the electronic terminal versus digging out a paper checkbook and pen. Similarly, when introducing new electronic technologies, emphasize the convenience for your staff, and just as many software vendors do, you can reduce support for older paper based processes which will eventually make them less appealing.

Take action today: make reducing paper in your business a priority!

Nitza Medina-Garcia, Certified Records Manager, Records and Information Management Consultant

Contact us today! Let us help you create a plan to meet your firm’s needs. To be notified of new blog posts and news, sign up for our email newsletter.

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Are Your File Boxes Out of Control?

 

Are you struggling to manage your old paper files? I have worked with several businesses who have accumulated over the years several hundred boxes of business records. The businesses would periodically pull paper files not currently needed and place them into file boxes. They store the boxes in a storage location: maybe in a less used storage room or in a self-storage facility. Over time issues begin to develop.

Issue 1: Contents of boxes are a mystery

Allowing your employees to send files to storage without a formal procedure is risky. The quality of the contents, their arrangement and whether they create an inventory list can vary according to the employee. This can cause the business to lose control over the business records.

Don’t let your storage become a mystery. Before sending files to your storage area, employees should inventory the files. The inventory can be as simple as a spreadsheet that lists:

  • Box Number
  • Department
  • Record Type
  • Folder Name
  • Year of Record
  • Date Sent

The inventory will allow you to know what information you have and in which box the information is located. The inventory can also help the business track how long the records need to be kept. Boxes should not be sent to storage unless they are entered on the official business inventory list. The inventory list helps the business control the file boxes.

Issue 2: Files are missing from boxes

Be sure to develop a procedure to track files as they get checked out and returned.  When an employee needs access to a file in storage, be sure to record the employee’s name and the folder or box checked out to the employee. This tracking builds accountability with the employee and is an audit trail of a file’s circulation.

Issue 3: Storage location is risky

Your paper business files should be stored in a secure and environmentally safe location. Otherwise, your business files can become yellow and brittle from temperature changes. Or, they can become damaged from improper storage or weather related water damage. If you are storing your boxes onsite in a storage room, be sure that the room is restricted to only those who should have access to the files. The room should have a similar temperature as the rest of your office and not be at risk of the weather. If you are storing your boxes offsite, the same safety and temperature requirements apply. Consider using an official offsite storage vendor where you can rent just enough space as needed vs a self-storage unit that can require the rental of large unused units and less security.

Issue 4: Storage costs continue to increase

The more file boxes you retain, the more storage costs will increase over time. It does not need to be this way. All business records do not need to be retained permanently. Business records that have met their legal and operational retention requirements, and hold no historical significance, should be destroyed on a regular basis. Be sure to develop a records retention schedule that lists the types of records your business keeps, how long they need to be kept and how their retention period is calculated. For example, you may have a Record Type called Purchase Orders that is kept 5 years from the order date. So, Purchase Orders from 2015 can be destroyed in the year 2020.

Take Quick Action

Create an inventory spreadsheet like above, or contact us to get your free box inventory spreadsheet. Begin using your inventory spreadsheet today to keep track of your business information.

Nitza Medina-Garcia, Certified Records Manager, Records and Information Management Consultant

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Why Not Records Manager?

 

Records Management isn’t one of those careers featured on career day in elementary schools. That is normally reserved for community careers such as postal carriers, police, firefighters, and teachers. I sort of wandered into it myself. I bet it is like that for many of my records management colleagues.

I hadn’t planned on getting into records management as a career. But, I have always appreciated the beauty of keeping things in order. Even today when my home or office gets disheveled, I can feel my anxiety level rise. Order just feels good, what can I say?

I remember as a little girl going on a Take Your Daughter to Work day with my mom. I was fascinated with her typewriter, file folders with their sticky labels and desk. But, that did not immediately translate into a career in records management.  I actually pursued and obtained a degree in history because I loved to hear real stories about people.

So, how did I get into records management? Well, I had been pursuing a career in history, which led me to work on an archival project at Hunter College in New York City.  Under the tutelage of Idilio Gracia-Pena, former New York City Commissioner of Records, I learned how to process archival government records. Over the course of 7 years we converted the pile of dusty boxes into beautiful gray archival boxes with descriptive labels on their spines. We entered inventories of the boxes into an Access database, and periodically backed it up on a Zip drive (anybody remember those?). During my time with Idilio, he encouraged me to get my Masters of Library and Information Science at Pratt Institute. I followed his advice and obtained my degree.

My first professional gig after obtaining my Masters, was with the Episcopal Church headquartered in New York City. It felt familiar, in that they had a record backlog of hundreds of boxes piled high in 2 basements. With the help of Mark Duffy, the Director of the Episcopal Archives, and a team of assistants I hired, we were able to identify, organize, rehouse the records we needed to retain and dispose of items as needed. In less than a year, we had created a new records center with tidy rows of boxes that had been indexed. Joy!

So, if you find you have a kid who likes order, loves their label maker, and has a penchant for creating inventories, you might have a records manager on your hands.

Nitza Medina-Garcia, Certified Records Manager, Records and Information Management Consultant

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How to Create Retention Schedules in iManage Govern Records Manager: Part 3 (Electronic Records)

 

iManage Govern Records Manager (IRM) is records management software utilized by many law firm and professional services organizations. As a consultant with many years of experience in designing, implementing and teaching IRM, I have found similar questions arise on how best to use it. I will periodically produce posts on IRM topics I think each user should know to get more out of their iManage Govern Records Manager software.

Retention Schedules are one of the core functions of iManage Govern Records Manager. This post is Part 3 in the series “How to Create Retention Schedules in iManage Records Manager” where I will review how to configure a Retention Schedule in IRM.

In Part 1, I discussed gathering your retention information together, reviewing the information and how it applies to your current file plan.

In Part 2, I discussed how to configure a Retention Schedule and some typical Retention Events.

Let’s now take a look at the electronic Retention Events available to manage iManage Workspaces.

Electronic Retention Events

There are two types of Retention Events that are available to manage retention of iManage Workspaces:

  1. Workspace Clean Up
  2. Workspace Destruction

Workspace Clean Up

There are 4 Retention Event Types that can be utilized to do an iManage Workspace cleanup, which is typically done when the work for a Matter or Project related workspace has come to an end:

  1. Declare All Versions
  2. Declare Latest Version
  3. Declare Latest Version and then Destroy Undeclared Versions
  4. Destroy All Undeclared Versions

Declare All Versions: When a Workspace or Folder is selected in the IRM File Plan and this Event Type is selected during a Dispose Records action, the contents of the selected item will be declared as a record in the iManage Work DMS. Once the all versions of a document are declared as records, they will be filed in the IRM File Plan as individual declared records.

Declare Latest Version: When a Workspace or Folder is selected in the IRM File Plan and this Event Type is selected during a Dispose Records action, the last version of any documents contained within the selected item will be declared as a record in the iManage Work DMS. Once the last version of each document is declared as record, they will be filed in the IRM File Plan as individual declared records.

Declare Latest Version and the Destroy Undeclared Versions: When a Workspace or Folder is selected in the IRM File Plan and this Event Type is selected during a Dispose Records action, the last version of any documents contained within the selected item will be declared as a record. Any remaining versions will be destroyed from the Workspace or Folder in the iManage Work DMS. Once the last version of each document is declared as record, they will be filed in the IRM File Plan as individual declared records.

Destroy All Undeclared Versions: When a Workspace or Folder is selected in the IRM File Plan and this Event Type is selected during a Dispose Records action, any remaining undeclared document versions will be destroyed from the Workspace or Folder in the iManage Work DMS.

You can add variations on the retention events in order to more closely match your desired process for workspace cleanup. For example, if you want to first have a designated person review the workspace and manually perform records declarations in iManage Work they can do so. Then, a records administrator can perform a Destroy All Undeclared Versions event to clean up any lingering documents in one bulk action at an agreed upon time. Your IRM event list might look like this:

  • Destroy All Undeclared Versions 60 Days after Matter Close Date
  • Destroy 7 Years after Matter Close Date

If you want to add bulk records declaration as a records administrator duty instead, your IRM event list might look like:

  • Declare Latest Document Version and Destroy Undeclared Versions 60 Days after Matter Close Date
  • Destroy 7 Years after Matter Close Date

Workspace Destruction

If you are one of the many firms or companies who do not declare documents as records within iManage Work, you are not alone. Rest assured you do not need to declare a single record within an iManage Workspace for IRM to perform a destruction.

The Destroy Event Type can be used to destroy a selected Workspace or Folder.

Destroy: When a Workspace or Folder is selected in the IRM File Plan and this Event Type is selected during a Dispose Records action, the object and its contents will be destroyed in the iManage Work DMS.

Want to learn more about iManage Govern Records Manager from Nitza Medina-Garcia, CRM and like-minded IRM users? Join the next Records Manager Mastermind Group that is starting this January! Register here: http://www.icbsolutions.net/products.html  Space is limited!

Nitza Medina-Garcia, Certified Records Manager, Records and Information Management Consultant

Contact us today! Let us help you create a plan to meet your firm’s needs. To be notified of new blog posts and news, sign up for our email newsletter.

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Managing Law Firm Records

 

It was my pleasure to speak at the Sacramento Valley Association of Legal Administrators this October on the topic: Managing Law Firm Records. Many law firms are inundated with paper and electronic information, but struggle to gain control over it.  One of the main tools to gain control over firm information is to implement a formal records management program.  I covered in my talk:

  • How to Design a Records Retention Program
  • How to Build a Records Retention Schedule
  • How to Implement a Records Retention Schedule

If you are interested in learning more, please join us at our next webinar.

Register here.

Nitza Medina-Garcia, Certified Records Manager, Records and Information Management Consultant

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5 Steps to Eliminate Your Paper Piles and Feel Calm Again

 

Stop what you are doing and look at your desk. Are there piles of paper surrounding your computer? Do you wish you could wave a magic wand and make them disappear? I know how you feel. My week starts with the greatest of intentions, but after a few days of back to back meetings my desk gets covered with piles of paper.

How do I get back on track? I do it one step at a time. Here are my steps to getting back on track.

  1. Trash it: One of the first things I do is trash the papers I no longer need. I may have convenience copies or marked up drafts lingering on my desk. So, I toss them in the trash.
  2. Process it: Sometimes piles of paper linger on my desk because they serve as a reminder of a task to be completed. A better way to track that task is to put it into a To Do list. I use Wunderlist a free cloud based app that you can access from anywhere. Once it is in Wunderlist, I can either trash the paper or scan it.
  3. Scan it: I have a Fujitsu ScanSnap personal scanner on my desk. At the end of a meeting I scan my paper notes with the personal scanner onto my computer and trash the paper. Most of my papers are project based, so they get scanned to a specific project folder.
  4. Keep it: One way to get rid of paper is to keep that document or email electronically. Do you really need to print out that email? Could you just bring it with you by accessing it on your smartphone or tablet? Or, for those of you that can, why not take notes electronically?
  5. File it: And for those documents you absolutely need to keep in paper, file them away in a folder. I have some paper project files. I also have an alphabetical subject file as well. I find that if I am going to go through the trouble of filing a paper document, I want to use a label maker (like Dymo) on my folders to make them look neat. It looks 100% better than handwriting and makes my organizer soul happy.

And, as with any system, it will need maintenance. Ideally you would want to take time twice a day to address your paper piles to avoid allowing them to creep back: once before lunch and once before leaving for the day. But, reality is you may need to book an appointment with yourself once a week to get caught up. I think of this as my simple desk time. It is an investment in my sanity. I actually feel better and energized when my desk is clear and organized.

What is your strategy for conquering your paper piles? I am always on the lookout for new tips and tricks. Please leave me a tip in the comments below.

Nitza Medina-Garcia, Certified Records Manager, Records and Information Management Consultant

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3 Steps to Creating Your Business Information Strategy

 

Has your business grown and so have your records and information piles? Do you need help figuring out the best way to control and organize your information? Where should you start?  Use my three step process to get started down the path to organization.

  1. Make a List: Write a list of all of the records and information related challenges your business is experiencing today. Here are some challenges to get you started:
  • Paper files and storage boxes piled around the office
  • Missing files
  • Electronic documents hard to find
  • Electronic documents changed or deleted mysteriously
  • Paper and electronic storage costs are increasing at unexpected levels
  • Unsure which document is the official copy
  1. Decide the Time Frame: Review the list and assign a 1 year, 3 year or 5 year goal for dealing with the challenge.
  2. Prioritize: Review just the issues assigned 1 year, and pick the top issue. Write down 3-4 the reasons why this issue is such a high priority. If this issue is not completed/addressed in a year, what would be the result? Imagine that this item was completed, what would it do for your business? What would it do for you?

A typical stumbling block for businesses is doing all of the work to create a plan, but not following through to take action. Once you have your plan, it is critical that you take action. What can you do today that can bring you closer to resolving this high priority issue? Schedule it in your calendar as an action meeting! Then, do it!

Do you need help figuring out your next steps? Schedule a no cost introductory appointment today! Let us help you create a plan to meet your business’s needs.

Nitza Medina-Garcia, Certified Records Manager, Records and Information Management Consultant

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How to Create Retention Schedules in iManage Govern Records Manager: Part 2

 

iManage Govern Records Manager (IRM) is records management software utilized by many law firm and professional services organizations. As a consultant with many years of experience in designing, implementing and teaching IRM, I have found similar questions arise on how best to use it. I will periodically produce posts on IRM topics I think each user should know to get more out of their iManage Govern Records Manager software.

Retention Schedules are one of the core functions of iManage Govern Records Manager. This post is Part 2 in the series “How to Create Retention Schedules in iManage Records Manager” where I will review how to configure a Retention Schedule in IRM.

In Part 1, I discussed gathering your retention information together, reviewing the information and how it applies to your current file plan.

Let’s take the example Retention Schedule from my last blog post to create a Retention Schedule:

LIT001 Litigation Matter Records (Matter Close + 7 Years)

Create Retention Schedule

There are two required pieces of information to create a Retention Schedule in IRM: the Retention Schedule ID and Name. Follow these steps to create a Retention Schedule:

  1. Navigate to Administration Dashboard > New > Retention Schedule
  2. Enter Retention Schedule ID (LIT001)
  3. Enter Retention Schedule Name (Litigation Matter Records)
  4. Click OK

If you are like many organizations, and you have not finished researching the official retention period for your records, you can STOP RIGHT HERE and use the Retention Schedule as a placeholder. At a later time, you can add the specific Retention Event(s) that record the retention period you require.

Note: you must have the Retention Management privilege to be able to create Retention Schedules and Events.

Create Retention Event

The next step is to create the Retention Event.

  1. Navigate to Administration Dashboard > New > Retention Event
  2. Enter Name (Matter Close Date + 7 Years)
  3. Select Event Type (Destroy)
  4. Select Record Status to apply (Destroyed)
  5. Enter Retention Period (7 Years)
  6.  File Part Retention Date (Matter Close Date)
  7. Select OK

In its simplest form, all you need is:

The Retention Schedule + Retention Event = your working retention rule.

You can add variations on the retention events in order to more closely match your desired business process. For example, if you want to first capture an approval before an item is destroyed you can create a review for destruction event. The review event can be used to update the status of files to Approved if they have been approved for destruction. Your event list might look like this:

  • Review for Destruction 7 Years after Matter Close Date
  • Destroy 7 Years after Matter Close Date

If you want to add tracking for physical files to be moved offsite, your event list might look like:

  • Archive offsite 30 Days after Matter Close Date
  • Review for Destruction 7 Years after Matter Close Date
  • Destroy 7 Years after Matter Close Date

If you want to add any electronic workspace clean up events, your event list might look like:

  • Declare latest electronic record and destroy undeclared 90 Days after Matter Close Date
  • Review for Destruction 7 Years after Matter Close Date
  • Destroy 7 Years after Matter Close Date

In “How to Create Retention Schedules in iManage Govern Records Manager: Part 3”, I will discuss the special electronic event types in IRM.

Want to learn more about iManage Govern Records Manager from Nitza Medina-Garcia and like-minded IRM users? Join the Records Manager Mastermind Group that is starting this July! Register here: http://www.icbsolutions.net/products.html  Space is limited!

Nitza Medina-Garcia, Certified Records Manager, Records and Information Management Consultant

Contact us today! Let us help you create a plan to meet your firm’s needs. To be notified of new blog posts and news, sign up for our email newsletter.

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