Few days back, I finished delivering series of talk in the records management training....and during the talk I was asked about classification and coding system....here, I would like to share some insights with all of you about it.
In the organization that I delivered the talk, during the QnA session, a lot of questions were asked by the participants. One of the major issues that caught everybody's attention is the classification of file and the coding system. Many got confused on what is the very basic purpose of having classification and coding system. As a matter of fact, it is meant for easy reference, easy retrieval and access...it does not mean to complicate things, to show complex coding and classification. It is important to note, as I shared it with the audience that, it is supposed to be precise and simple, easily retrievable and easily accessed. It helps the document to be easily filed, it also helps staffs to find the files and monitor movement of files or even to make cross reference. The staffs and users in the organization are the one who understand it, it does not mean for outsiders. In short, the coding or numbering system represent the classification of records based on subjects and titles. Bear in mind that, coding system (the numbering system you applied and gave to files and document) is not a PASSWORD.....
I noted that this ABC organization have varied styles of coding system. It is not standardized. I said to them, you and your colleagues will have problem in the near future when accessing, tracing, referencing, retrieving files and document or even to make appraisal and prepare retention schedule. Records management practices are applied not to burden but to facilitate the 2Es (economy and efficiency)....save time, resources and space!
I said to them the greatest challenge in records management is making it DO-ABLE! Helping us in completing the tasks in a very efficient and economic manner, not to burden and complicate things! To do so, a lot of training, exposure on how to do, the do's and the don'ts must be acquired by staffs. Records Management cannot run by itself when staffs do not understand the concept, practicality of records management.
I simply said to them...be practical!