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Create a file plan to manage records in SharePoint Server 2013

 

Applies to: SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise

Topic Last Modified: 2013-12-18

Summary:Learn how to create a file plan to identify what information that you will keep as records.

The file plan is the primary records management planning document in SharePoint Server 2013. Although file plans can differ across organizations, they typically:

  • Describe the kinds of items the organization acknowledges to be records.

  • Describe what broader category of records the items belong to.

  • Indicate where records are stored.

  • Describe retention periods for records.

  • Delineate who is responsible for managing the various kinds of records.

This article describes the contents of a file plan and summarizes how to create a file plan for your organization. The article also directs you to a worksheet in which you can record the file plan.

In this article:

Determining which active documents in your organization might be declarable as records requires the collaboration of records managers, lawyers, compliance officers, and content managers. Note that, even if your enterprise is not in a highly regulated industry, there are general laws that might obligate your enterprise to keep records. Along with general business laws, you must evaluate legal requirements that are specific to your enterprise.

It is beyond the scope of this article to provide more than general information about how to determine what is a record in your organization. Most likely, your enterprise is already doing some form of records management and has filled most of the records management roles that you need, and you might already have a taxonomy of records.

Generally, to determine what are records in your organization:

  1. Understand your enterprise's legal obligations and business needs.

  2. In a collaborative effort across the divisions of your organization, analyze how active documents are used.

  3. Develop a list of the kinds of documents that should become records. For example, you might determine that the following should be retained as records:

    • Contracts to rent corporate space.

    • Documents related to employees' benefits.

    • Documents related to product research and development.

  4. Categorize the records. Records in the same category often have the same retention periods and might require similar treatment in other ways.

Record the information that you collected. You can use the worksheet mentioned in the section Record categories worksheet for this purpose. Record the kind of record, the category that records of this kind belong to, and a brief description of the kind of record.

The following is a sample worksheet:

 

Kind of record Record category Description

Benefit plans, insurance plans, pension plans

Employee Benefit Descriptions

Descriptions of all employee benefit plans.

Payroll timesheets, supplementary payroll information

Payroll Records

Summaries of hours worked, overtime, and salary paid.

Vendor invoices

Invoices

Records of goods or services purchased from vendors.

Product surveys, questionnaires, training manuals, training videos

Training Materials

Provides internal or external training.

Shipping forms, shipping reports

Shipping Records

Documents the shipment of materials.

Press releases, newspaper articles

Press Releases

Public relations information about products and services.

Emergency contact sheets, medical plan enrollment forms, resumes, benefits status reports

Personnel Records

Records of individuals' employment histories and related personnel actions.

After you determine which documents should be retained as records and after you create a set of record categories, complete your file plan by providing additional information about each kind of record. Indicate the following:

  • How long each kind of record should be retained.

  • How records should be disposed of when the retention period expires.

  • Who is the primary records manager for records of this kind.

  • What kind of media are records of this kind stored in.

The following is a completed sample file plan:

 

Records Description Media Record category Retention Disposition Contact

401k plans

Description of employee benefit plan.

Web pages

Employee Benefit Plans

X years

None

Kathi Flood

Insurance plans

Description of employee insurance plan.

Print

Employee Benefit Plans

X years

None

Reshma Patel

Pension plans

Description of employee pension plan.

Print

Employee Benefit Plans

X years

None

Reshma Patel

Payroll timesheets

Summaries of hours worked, overtime, and salaries paid.

Electronic documents

Payroll Records

X years

Destroy

Reshma Patel

Supplementary payroll information

Summaries of sick time, vacation time, and other non-salary payroll items.

Electronic documents

Payroll Records

X years

Destroy

Reshma Patel

Vendor invoices

Records of goods or services purchased from vendors.

Print

Invoices

X years

Destroy

Eric Lang

Product surveys

Customer satisfaction survey.

Web pages

Survey Materials

X years

Archive

Molly Dempsey

Questionnaires

Questionnaire to determine customer demographics.

Print

Survey Materials

X years

Archive

Molly Dempsey

Training manuals

Hard-copy training content.

Print

Training Materials

X years

Destroy

Molly Dempsey

Training videos

Video training content.

Video

Training Materials

X years

Destroy

Molly Dempsey

Shipping forms

Configuration of materials shipments

Print

Shipping Materials

X years

Destroy

Eric Lang

Shipping reports

Documentation of the shipment of materials.

Electronic spreadsheets

Shipping Materials

X years

Destroy

Eric Lang

Press releases

Releases about products and services.

Electronic documents

Public Relations Information

X years

Archive

Molly Dempsey

Newspaper articles

News about products and services.

Print

Public Relations Information

X years

Archive

Molly Dempsey

Emergency contact sheets

Employee information.

Electronic documents

Personnel Records

X years

Destroy

Reshma Patel

Medical plan enrollment forms

Employees' sign-up forms for health plans.

Electronic documents

Personnel Records

X years

Destroy

Reshma Patel

Resumes

Resumes received.

Mixed

Personnel Records

X years

Destroy

Reshma Patel

NoteNote:
The example earlier in this section is a sample. It is not a recommendation of any particular file plan settings. To reinforce that this is an example and not a recommendation of any records management policy, no retention periods are supplied.

You can use the following Excel worksheet with this article to help plan your deployment:

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