Finding information or documents when you have a pile of papers to go through can be exhausting and time-wasting. This activity, if not done effectively, can consume precious time that could otherwise have been used for something else.
Having an efficient archiving system facilitates the smooth capturing of information to ensure that document flows can be directed and controlled throughout the project lifecycle. It can also ensure that storage and retrieval of documents is seamless.
Documents can be archived using filing boxes, storage sheds or mostly online (virtual storage). This article discusses some quick tips for setting up an archiving system effectively:
- Determine what information needs to be stored - digital, physical information (papers/forms) or both
- Determine the duration for which the documents need to be stored
- Determine the legal requirements around document storage. Understand the legal implications of storing documents and ensure that documents are stored for the minimum period required by law so that the business does not become vulnerable to lawsuits
- Define a procedure/policy for archiving documents
- Define a procedure for retrieving archived documents
- Define the challenges around retention so that the right problems are solved
- What formats will the documents be in if they are to be stored electronically?
- Define the scope of the archiving: Is it only to store operational/business documents? Will project documents be stored as well?
What other considerations do you think are important?
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