Records Management System provides the control, access, and archiving of records. This type of system can be paper or electronic and is a critical key in the configuration management of a project’s records. Creation, implementation, and the feedback loop of this system will be defined in the project’s configuration management plan. If the project manager chooses to establish a records management plan that is separate from the overall configuration management plan, then the information on the record management system may reside there instead.
These systems may be elaborate enterprise wide systems or it may be as simple as storing records on a server with access controls in place for the records. The extent to which a system will be incorporated will depend on several factors such as:
- Federal Law;
- Criticality of the project;
- Scope of the project;
- Budget set aside for this Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) task;
- Schedule of the project.
The choice of what system to use will reside between the project manager, system engineer, and configuration manager. The choice will also depend on the scope, budget, and schedule of the project.
There are many systems available for record management, but the focus on this presentation will be on electronic data management systems. One such architecture for collecting, sorting, analyzing, and organizing information has been developed by Xthos and it is shown below:
Figure 3: How Xthos organizes information.
A RM System may consist of several tiers of networked equipment that allow storage, control, access, and archiving of records.
The system will be searchable and will allow access to all revisions of any specific records. Access restrictions will be based upon independent user privilege levels. Some form of Graphical User Interface (GUI) will provide the requested information to the user from the back end database and servers (See the next section for a sample GUI). A RM system also provides security and collaboration of records.
Records Management Archival
NASA has identified two different levels in the archival of records: the Transition Data Team Level and the Project/Element level.
The Transition Data Team Level is responsible for:
- Developing, implementing, and maintaining the RM system;
- Determining formats, locations, and categories;
- Identifying retention schedules;
- Documenting the process either in the CMP or appropriate records procedures(s).
The Project/Element Level is responsible for:
- Identifying official records;
- Office of Primary Responsibility;
- National Security Classification level and other access restriction;
- Eliminating unnecessary duplicates;
- Categorizing according to project “information architecture”.
It is up to you: Answer the questions below and practice what you have learned.