Classification and metadata design

Your requirement

  • Are you planning to implement an ECM or EDRM system and need to organise the content?
  • Do you need to reorganise shared drives into a logical and sustainable folder structure?
  • Do you want to create a set of retention and disposal schedules and need a structure to hang the schedules on?
  • Do you want to apply some order and governance to a SharePoint implementation?

folders graphicUnless you have already implemented a classification scheme, your organisation needs one.

For ECM systems, including SharePoint, you will also need metadata to implement at folder and document level and you might want a thesaurus to enable more accurate search and retrieval.

Our solution

Cimtech can design a classification scheme for your information and create a structure that will be logical and intuitive for end users and manageable for records managers.

Functions and activities

Our preferred classification method is based on functions and activities. We prefer a function-based classification to an organisational structure or a library-type division into subjects and themes. A function-based scheme is more resilient to organisational change, easily understood by new staff and simpler for records managers to manage.

But part of the art of classification is the art of compromise. We can accommodate case files, for example, such as employee files or customer complaint files. With shared drives, sometimes the logistics of networks and servers require organisation-based top levels before taking a functional approach at lower levels.

Easily understood

The scheme we design will be easily understood by end users and we encourage the involvement of end users to start the process of familiarisation. We also make sure the structure suits records managers with a design that simplifies the application of retention schedules and access controls.

We will set out the design principles and logistical constraints in a Scoping Document. Shared drives will have more constraints than EDRM and a SharePoint implementation will have to fit into a site collection/site/document library structure.

Retention schedules

When the design is complete Cimtech will deliver it to you in an Excel spreadsheet or in one of the proprietary classification tools available. Cimtech can add retention schedules to the design or map your own retention schedules to the classes and folders in the scheme.

A combined Information Audit and Classification Scheme is an efficient and cost-effective way to identify the information sets in your organisation holds and use them to populate a classification scheme ready for implementation.

Metadata and thesaurus design

This is another area of Cimtech expertise. The art of designing metadata is to balance the information you would like to collect against the effort required from the end user to enter the data. With our experience of ECM systems, we can ensure that metadata is automatically populated wherever possible.