6 Solutions for Legal Firms with Sunsetted PRM
Sunsetted and soon to be, PRM solutions share one important thing in common; they are obsolete. For reasons that shouldn’t be ignored, your PRM solution sunsetted due to either an antiquated software lacking updates, or poorly managed information governance. Those were risks were then, unfairly shifted onto your information systems team. Saying goodbye to your old PRM should be similar to taking in a deep inhale of fresh air. Out with the old and in with the new, better and improved. This is the life cycle for systems that no longer serve a purpose and their sunsetting allows for new growth in a superior direction.
This transitional period is a favorable state in which to help your firm re-organize, restructure, and develop a records management strategy that is supported by good information lifecycle governance, while serving to help workflow and business goals. Good information lifecycle governance is the practice of applying policies to effective information management, guiding the information from creation to disposition. IG focused policies reduce compliance risks and offer enterprise level security to privacy sensitive matters.
This transition can be and should be, simple and pain free. We understand that, “every company is different, but the principles of a sound IG policy are often the same. What teams need to be involved, what interests are at stake, and what can you do to help them align?” (IGI) Listed below are standard steps all firms should take after a sunsetted PRM system. (Soares)
6 Step Records Management Strategy for Firms Integrating Physical Records
- Establish a Records Classification Scheme and Taxonomy
Now is the time to really take into consideration, the skeleton of your Information Management. Think in the mindset of simple and comprehensive. You want this new classification and taxonomy scheme to work for your physical records as well as your electronic documents. Start small and build from a few core imperatives.
Also, keep in mind the flexibility you are going to want and need from your next PRM provider. A good question to ask is: Will I be able to add to and configure my taxonomy once it is in place, if so, how easy will it be to deploy?
- Establish Access Restrictions for Security and Privacy
Appropriate restrictions are necessary for the planning and practicing of good Information Governance. Good IG applies directly to the security of Client Matters and offers a comprehensive strategy to minimize compliance and litigation risks. Sensitive Client Matter requires a strong foundation of good IG practices which should be applied to the building process of establishing restrictions for your physical records.
- Establish Records Disposition Schedules
It’s time to clean up all the bad data that could come from mismanagement and neglected records, as you integrate. Establishing records disposition schedules allows for legally defensible disposition. So now is the time to make sure that you are following the necessary policies required for managing your data and apply it to your physical records as you integrate, simultaneously cleaning up your data and protecting yourself from further headaches.
- Implement Legal Holds Processes
Placing legal holds allows restricted access to information that is in process towards disposition, enabling proper review before final destruction. Applying legal holds to a review system minimizes compliance risks and improper handling throughout the information lifecycle. Legal holds are important to ensuring that proper, good information governance practices are being done.
- Support e-Discovery requests for Information
E-discovery support is vital to maintaining an efficient workflow within Law Firms, through the use of simple search tools, locating crucial files to satisfy an e-Discovery request should be made simple. Understanding that you want your PRM solution to function similar to your electronic documents management service is the key to knowing making e-Discovery happen for your physical records data.
Another good question to ask is: Why shouldn’t my physical records data, be fully visible, searchable, and unified, like my electronic documents?
- Support Disposition as Dictated by Information Lifecycle Management
Supported disposition schedules decrease litigation risks by providing legally defensible destruction of information. Not only does supporting disposition schedules decrease litigation risk and support good information governance practices, it also reduces the size of stored data. Stored data can be and will be a expensive bill if efforts are not made to maintain a reasonable size. Good practice towards disposition schedules will save time and money.
PRM Solutions Should Work for You
Notes to take away are: don’t shy away from asking your next provider if their software is web based or hardware integrated, and then figuring out which works best for you. Don’t think that all solutions out there are old and difficult to use. Make sure their PRM software interface is user-friendly, easy to manage and configure, while offering protection of your data.
No matter how much we may try, paperless is still a dream that has yet to manifest and time spent on this dream is costly when realities need to be managed. Strengthen your IG initiatives, today. Choose the solution that works the best for you and don’t settle for anything less than what you love about your electronic document solution.
Visit www.FileTrail.com for a comprehensive description of their Physical Records Management. FileTrail’s PRM solution enables businesses to track, manage, and monitor all of their physical records in a highly configurable, easy to use system.