Metataxis goes on the beat with Information Architecture framework

UK Constabulary chooses Metataxis for Information Architecture project

Nov 22 – Metataxis supports UK police force with a new Information Architecture framework.

Bound by strict data compliance regulations and governance rules, many public sector organisations are challenged with meeting their information management requirements.

Metataxis is thrilled to be supporting a UK constabulary address these challenges with the development of a new Information Architecture (IA) framework for Microsoft 365.

This new framework will consider the best ways to structure and manage information stored in Microsoft 365 applications across the organisation, including Microsoft Teams, SharePoint and OneDrive. We will also look at how they manage compliance in Microsoft Purview to create a well-defined, compliant, Information Architecture (IA) framework.

This comprehensive plan will set out recommendations and parameters for a successful Information Architecture implementation, providing a solid base for the team to start building their architecture and subsequently roll out the Microsoft 365 project.

We are also helping the IT team to develop a clear information governance framework which will define the roles and responsibilities within the organisation to ensure success of the Information Architecture project.

Explains Siobhan King, Senior Consultant at Metataxis: “Responsible for lots of personal data, security and compliance is vital for all public sector organisations. Following a well-defined Information Architecture framework, this UK police constabulary will be well placed to begin the successful implementation of their Information Architecture for Microsoft 365 and remain confident that all governance and compliance regulations are met.”

The project commenced in October 2022 and is expected to be completed early next year.

Metataxis provides information architecture services to help structure and classify information in order to leverage the information’s full value. If you would like to learn more about our information architecture services for your organisation, simply contact us.

Metataxis joins Microsoft CAB & Records Management experts to support app development

Oct 2022 – Metataxis joins Microsoft Records Management Customer Advisory Board working group.

Metataxis is thrilled to be a member of the Microsoft Records Management Customer Advisory Board (CAB) working group.

Microsoft CAB working groups enable industry professionals to get together and suggest and share feedback with Microsoft, in order to help them develop and enhance their current capabilities to address customer challenges and new requirements.

The Microsoft Records Management Customer Advisory Board working group is made up of records and information governance professionals from the UK, United States, Australasia and Europe, including representatives from government and private sectors, consultants and National Archives institutions.

These compelling sessions offer the opportunity for Records Management experts to present and propose the developments we would like Microsoft to consider that would best serve our records management requirements.

Siobhan King, Senior Consultant at Metataxis, explains: “These valuable meetings enable us to share our challenges, experiences and requirements with other industry experts from across the globe, and in turn, support the ongoing development of Microsoft 365. Our most recent CAB meeting with Microsoft was a lively and well informed event, where we discussed the next round of records management development requests on our wish list, including version management and expiry dates.” 

Microsoft runs a quarterly cycle for considering improvements, based on the proposals put forward by industry professionals. The next round for reviewing development requests will take place in October.

Metataxis provides records management, retention and disposal solutions and to over 250 clients in the public, private and third sectors. If you would like to learn more about our record management services, simply contact us.

Strengthening information governance with records management training

Records Management 2

September 2022 – Metataxis delivers new Records Management training course in partnership with training experts, Leadership Through Data.

Metataxis Limited is thrilled to be providing a comprehensive SharePoint Records Management course with their training partner, Leadership Through Data.

Designed by Records Managers for Records Managers, this comprehensive training course explores the information governance features of Microsoft 365, including licensing and information architecture requirements to support information governance.

This “all you need to know” SharePoint Records Management course is delivered by Metataxis Senior Consultant, Siobhan King. With her specialist background in records management and information governance, she is helping students design, configure and implement Microsoft 365 to get the most of the features, mitigate risk and gain a better understanding how to protect the valuable information created and shared by colleagues on a daily basis.

Explains Noeleen Schenk, Director at Metataxis: “As part of our partnership with LTD, we’re delighted to offer this Records Management training course to individuals looking to improve their SharePoint record management skills and strengthen information governance across their organisation.” 

This virtual training course is delivered over 4 half days and all attendees will achieve 12 CPD credits. Learn more and book your place now!

Here at Metataxis, we understand the challenges of Records Management. The ability to manage your information and records effectively is crucial in supporting your business, and being able to meet your regulatory and compliance obligations.

Our comprehensive Records Management service advises on and delivers retention and disposal management programmes so you can protect your business and remain compliant.  If you would like to learn more, simply contact us.

What’s involved in a SharePoint health check?

SharePoint Health Check

Many organisations think that Office 365/SharePoint deployment and configuration is both simple and quick only to find the reality quite different once the system is used in anger.  But a well-timed health check of SharePoint can save a lot a pain and stress down the road.

When to do a health check

A health check can be done at any stage of SharePoint implementation for many different purposes. For instance a health check may be done during a pilot or pathfinder exercise to check that the project is going in the right direction. Or the health check may be used for older implementations that may be experiencing issues for the purpose of root cause analysis.

It’s not just about the technology

The technical configuration of your Office 365/SharePoint system is important, but so too is how your information is organised within your implementation. Failing to understand your information management needs is often overlooked in Office 365/SharePoint deployments which can result in expensive, unusable, or even a failed system. We recommend any health check considers ongoing information management as well as the technical management.

What a health check should cover

With that in mind we recommend a SharePoint health check should consider both standard areas of functionality as well as information governance, management and strategies. The health check should consider the following aspects though depending on how SharePoint is configured may want more attention on some areas than others.

  • High-level Office 365 configuration
  • Site collection and site architecture
  • User permissions and user access model
  • Content types and columns
  • Term sets
  • Search configuration
  • Libraries, views and folder configuration
  • Navigation and high-level user interface
  • Usability and look and feel
  • Information governance and policies
  • Training and support
  • Culture and change management

Who should do the health check

Ideally a neutral third party should conduct a health check, so they can provide an independent and impartial assessment of the system. The third party may be a person or team within your organisation that has not been heavily involved in implementation. That internal resource would need to have the skills and expertise to complete a thorough health check. Alternatively external resource with the skills and experience may be contracted to do the work. The benefit of getting a health check from a skilled professional is assurance of quality of work as well as the ability to provide results quickly and accurately.

Metataxis SharePoint health checks

Metataxis can provide independent health check of your Microsoft 365 and/or SharePoint deployment to discover potential problems before they become actual problems. The Metataxis team has the unique skills and experience to bridge the world of technology and information management, to provide a unified and thorough analysis. Metataxis has a simple health check methodology that provides quick results. This is based on the many implementations we have worked on.

  • Analyse: A Metataxis consultant conducts an audit of your Office 365/SharePoint environment.
  • Document: The consultant documents their findings to produce an organisation specific set of recommendations.
  • Review: The consultant discusses the recommendations with the organisation, refining them as required.
  • Support: Follow-up advice is available via email or phone after the delivery of the recommendations.

We can scale any health check to the requirements of your organisation and point you in the right direction to give you the right information governance, architecture and strategy to help you on your way.  Get in touch with us today to talk using the contact form on the right.

Get stuck in! A six part series on big bucket retention. Part six.

Part six

Where the rubber hits the road: implementation

Retention implementation plan

During this series we’ve been looking at ways to simplify the retention schedule into bigger buckets. A retention schedule will usually take the form of a table which can then be applied to systems, and communicated to staff. The retention schedule may be supported by a written document, usually a retention policy or records policy which outlines governance, scope, roles, responsibilities, compliance expectations etc. The last piece of the puzzle is the implementation plan, which is the practical application of the retention schedule to records held in systems.

Document the practicalities

It’s inevitable when talking to stakeholders that they will flag up concerns about practical implementation of retention very early on. In fact they are likely to identify practical issues as reasons why longer retention periods should be applied to certain records. In an ideal world, these practical limitations should never dictate the retention period for a records class. Instead steps should be taken to improve the metadata, or improve the process so that new records can be managed appropriately and the legacy dealt with more strategically.

Adopt a risk-based approach

Because we work in complex environments it is necessary to have some kind of strategy to apply retention both to newly created records going forward and to records created in the past. This means having a good information architecture that supports retention management and a risk-based approach to the legacy records.

Leverage simple systems rules

This is just one element of planning for retention implementation. There are numerous practical considerations to take to get through the bulk of retention management. And yes, you guessed it, opportunities to lump things together in the implementation plan. For example, your retention schedule may have the following two rules:

  1. Financial management 7 years from end of financial year then delete
  2. Annual strategic planning 7 years from end of financial year then delete

The two classes stem from different functions, but require the same retention treatment. This means that a retention rule may be created in systems that says “delete content 7 years from end of financial year”. It will do the job for both classes, as long as disposal is done in line with the retention schedule (meaning also metadata is collected) it doesn’t matter what the technical mechanism. This is also helpful for more manual applications of retention where searches for eligible records are done for anything older than 7 years in relevant system areas for both functions.

Capture stakeholder intelligence

Finally, remember those tricky discussions with stakeholders where they provided masses of detail? An implementation plan is the perfect place to capture all that valuable intelligence. Not the retention schedule. Retention schedules need to be super-simple. 

Avoid complex rules

While there’s some scope to have lots of detail in a description field to help users identify the right retention period for their records, there’s not much room for nuance in your actual schedule. The more “ifs”, “ors” and “except fors” you have in the schedule the more complex your retention rules will have to be. Complexity costs. And frankly even your users will get confused by a schedule with too many caveats. Save these up for the implementation plan – it will be valuable intelligence for dealing with those legacy issues. 

And the plan is the thing that will make your retention schedule real!

So that’s the final entry of the series. I hope you have found it useful. If you want to know more about what implementation plans should look like or about retention in general, do get in touch using the contact form above or email info@metataxis.com.