A records life cycle is used to track a document through its various stages. While there are a number of understandings as to what these life cycle stages are, they all begin at the same place – creation.
Contrary to popular practices, Lisa Ricciuti, an Information Management Consultant, believes that there is a disconnect with the creation of a record and its life cycle management.
Lisa notes in her AIIM community blog post, Reimagining the Records Lifecycle, that we continue to follow traditional systems of life cycle management without accounting for:
- How many systems exist in which records are created in a classified environment
- How many physical records are classified before their creation
Lisa poses a great question – “Where did this idea come from that we create first and consider why we created it later?”
Rather than adhere to current methodologies, perhaps the life cycle could be modified to account for records created in controlled environments. By classifying and organizing records before their creation, the process would emphasize a fundamental need to understand why and for what reason a record is made.
Old Life Cycle:
New Life Cycle:
By changing this particular piece of the document life cycle, the intent and function of a document will be known the very moment it enters its cycle. The idea is to solidify the relationship between a record and the process in which it exists.
One method for accomplishing this change, according to Lisa, is by implementing workflows. Once a workflow has been initiated, the records it manages are entering an already structured environment. This allows for the integration of workflow with the stages of life cycle management. With the ability to use templates and embedded meta data, there are countless options for implementing this new form of life cycle management.