In my first blog post, I discussed how SharePoint 2010 has matured for ECM and some points to keep in mind regarding SharePoint and enterprise content management, namely that SharePoint is a platform and not an application and that ECM is not a technology but a set of practices and methodologies.
In this blog entry, I’ll talk some more about the top things you need to consider when building your ECM in SharePoint including:
1. Plan more, implement less. You should plan to the point that you have a complete blue-print of how SharePoint will be configured for your organization, even before installing SharePoint. You should have at the ready your governance plan, taxonomies, farm Information architecture, security model, and retention schedule. These are the minimum building blocks of an ECM solution.
2. Taxonomies are set up front. Retroactively applying taxonomies is painful. To design taxonomy you must engage the owners of the documents. Agree to the terms, usually on a department level, and build in Excel. Taxonomies are deployed in SharePoint as the managed meta-data service application.
3. Information Architectures are not one-size-fits all. Information architecture is the configuration of your web applications, site collections, sites, sub-sites, and libraries. In addition the settings of your views, and content types. Information architecture is highly dependent on document volumes and the configuration of your organization. Diagramming the information architecture out is a crucial first step in deploying the SharePoint Platform.
4. Records management is based on many things. There are several aspects to records management; retention schedules, and record declaration. Both happen in two places in SharePoint. Retention schedules are determined by information management policies, and usually assigned by content type. Records declaration can happen via a records center or in-place records management. Some organizations use both, while others will choose one. The right decision is based solely on your records managers, and your retention schedule. For example many organizations consider ANY document in the system to be discoverable as a record; this would favor in-place records management over a records center. Some organizations prefer to have retention applied to only a subset of documents as well as records declaration, this would favor records center. In either case it’s recommended to have a separate library just for disposed records to support a two tier disposition system. This library will only be accessible to certain staff.
In my next blog post, I’ll discuss a few more tips for building your enterprise content management system in SharePoint.