Welcome to my Weblog. This site is dedicated to my thoughts, views and understanding on anything that touches upon records management, archives management as well as information management in Malaysia. I believe in becoming a 'functional and meaningful' information professional, the term I refer to as person who can function in many ways possible for the betterment of this discipline. Interested parties, may reproduce or quote materials published with the condition that they are credited to Comments must be accompanied by names or pseudonyms. Anonymous postings and those containing profanities and obscenities will be rejected.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

My organization is jammed....

Dear all...

One fine day, i received an email. Somebody who happened to be my former student sent me an email. The email stated like this;

Stacks of Veterans Affairs claim folders overtake a regional office in Winston-Salem, N.C. These photos were included in a 2012 report from the Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General. (Somewhere in USA not in Malaysia)

"Dear sir, How are you? I am now working with one academic institution at the northern state in Peninsular Malaysia. I am now in charge of the records in this organization. However though, I have an uphill task of managing all those paper records. Space is scarce and I have nowhere to store the records. Could you please shed some opinion on how I could go about it? Can I just dispose off all records so that I can save some space for other records? Or is there any modern equipment to be installed so that the current space can accommodate more? Please advise, thanks".....

I read through with amusement. I recalled last time when I was called for a talk by the same organization, and had a fruitful discussion with a few top persons in that organization, the problems had been resolved. During which I believe, at that time, my former student who sent me this email has yet worked there. The incident was much earlier then.

When receiving this email, now I realize that, those compounding problems are far from solved. It surprises me a bit. I could just imagine how much backlogs now then before. Surely they are struggling to keep all records. When asked previously, they said they do not have budget to have new space built for it or allocate for and even to engage offsite storage providers.

That is the problem now and before. I look at it as a disaster... a record disaster. Everything is jammed. Backlogs are there, and organization cannot operate efficiently and effectively. Everything seem to be slowing down...I mean the operation of organization. Access and reference is difficult to be done. I could just imagine, stack of records are everywhere in that organization. I think I read somewhere of similar problems somewhere. if I am not mistaken there is an interesting article named "MY ORGANIZATION IS JAMMED.....".

Hence, after sometime, and after giving some thoughts, I managed to reply the email. I said to him;

"In your situation, which I do really understand that it has been for sometime, and you are employed to deal and manage it. I understand your constrains. The space is there, it is full now. If you installed moving rack, similar problem will occur in near future. It is just temporary. What you can do now is....get your top management certain budget. It must be done, otherwise, the problems will still be there and haunting you. It is like a ghost....a nightmare to you, especially when you are tasked and entrusted to deal with it. You can dispose off the records after appraisal process, and prior to disposal, you could do digitization. All the records must be digitized. Once done, dispose off all records necessarily as well as preserve records deemed of having continuing value...I can guide on that.

When doing digitization, be careful, it is not mere have to prepare for the digitized materials to be stored digitally and that it could be accessed, referred to later. With that, you need some investment; peripherals, and software. You can use locally developed software by one local company, their software has received endorsement from the National Archive of Malaysia, and compliance with the functional requirement of electronic records management and MS2223 Part 1&2 as well as ISO 16175 and worry about it. Their software are also used in more than 31 government agencies as for now with more than 20,000 users in the Federal Government of Malaysia (as far as I am concerned).....for your information, I also use their software for teaching and learning purposes at my ERMS student are exposed to this electronic records management software when I teach them electronic records management subject...."

That is my answer to him. I gave him a contact number to that company so that he can make arrangement with them.

Soon after, I received a reply email from him; "Thank you sir....I am considering to use the software and to do digitization to the records at my holdings....please advise me on that later. I will keep in touch with you sir"

I believe my answer is such a relieve to him now. I hope his backlogs will soon disappear and the 'records disaster' will be gone. That is records.....if we ignore them now, later it will haunt us all. It must be managed right from the very beginning.