Thursday, February 17, 2011

Alfresco Test Day 8 - Create and Edit Schedule

Completing disposition actions on electronic records is the final piece of the RIM puzzle. Regularly disposing of business records that have completed their useful and regulatory life accomplishes several things:
  • It reduces clutter in the system by removing obsolete material, making current records easier to find.
  • It extends the life of your assets (software and hardware) by managing the growth of the system.
  • It reduces risk to the organization by trimming the volume of records that may be available for discovery as a result of a lawsuit. Costs for e-discovery can be prohibitive, and costs increase, the more unmanaged information you have.
To test the create and edit feature:
  • I edited an existing category, changing disposal to "immediate".
  • I added a folder, added content, then changed the status of the folder to "cut-off".

  • I "destroyed" the folder. At this point, it still showed up as a nub on the Alfresco site, but the content was gone.
  • Note that you will be given two confirmation notices before Alfresco will destroy.

  • I then deleted the folder. After deletion, the folder no longer shows up on Alfresco, but the history of the deletion is maintained on the Audit log.

  • When created my own series and categories with associated schedule information, the documents I added to them disappeared after I declared them records. I will trouble shoot this tomorrow. (Edited to add - I solved the problem of the disapparing records. If I did not manage permissions to include myself, declared records disappeared from view. They were there, I just didn't have permission to see them)
The steps for adding and modifying schedule steps are laid out in the Alfresco Wiki, "Setting up a Disposition Schedule".

I rate this test as a PASS

Records Manager
  • Folders must be cut-off before disposition action can occur. Usually retention starts from the cut-off date.
  • As a consequence, the schedule instructions for any category will have a minimum of two steps.
  • Alfresco guides you through this process by forcing the first step to be either "retain" or "cut-off"

  • I noted that a step cannot be deleted once created.

Business User
  • Most of the disposition activity will work in the background so you don't need to be actively involved in the process...unless you want to.
  • If a schedule has not been developed for your area, a RIM professional may ask for your input on how long you need your records for business purposes (be reasonable; pick something shorter than forever, and longer than "now").
  • Note that your preferred retention may be overriden by legislative requirements.
  • If your unit is affected by impending litigation, any disposition activity is suspended, or "frozen". There is a "freeze" feature in Alfresco that I will test on day ten.
  • I need the ability to delete a step in the scheduling process after it has been saved.
  • When created my own series and categories, the documents I added to them disappeared after I declared them records. I will trouble shoot this tomorrow.