If your organization is considering implementing a SharePoint records management solution there are two important solution design concepts that you should be familiar with. (OK, I know you are all Records Managers and not information technology propeller-heads, but trust me, you want to at least be familiar with these concepts.)
The first concept is the Information Lifecycle Model. Most of you have probably heard this term in one form or another, but the key here is understanding how best to apply it throughout the enterprise from within a SharePoint framework. I will address the Information Lifecycle Model in my next post.
The second concept is the use of Master sites and automated site provisioning. Master sites and automated site provisioning will both help you govern your SharePoint implementation and allow you to effectively manage the information lifecycle of your documents and records.
A master site is just what it sounds like: a central location for all your organization’s standard Content Types, metadata and Information Management Policies. They enable the design and retention of content to be defined in a single place.
Automated site provisioning allows an organization to quickly and easily commission standard SharePoint sites across an organization. With automated site provisioning your organization can apply such things as standard taxonomy elements, information lifecycles, search, and security settings in exactly the same manner in every site you create. This allows you to enforce site standards while still allowing your users the flexibility to customize SharePoint for their own purposes.
If you are in the process of designing your SharePoint architecture or even if your organization already has SharePoint implemented, I would encourage you to investigate Master Sites and automated site provisioning and discuss developing them with your solution deployment team. As a Records Manager, it could be one of the best strategic decisions you ever make.