Redundant. Obsolete. Trivial.
Love it or hate it, much column space has recently been given to discussion of Kondo’s Netflix show “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. From angry flame out wars over the immorality of destroying books, to the Millennial-blaming accusations of curatorial-consumerism, Marie Kondo is the home organisation consultant everyone is talking about. While “sparking joy” might be a little too esoteric an approach to your information, the idea of rationalising your systems and file shares this way is very similar.
If you are working with a messy, bloated system where categories are blurred, a ROT analysis can help to sort through what needs to be kept and how things should be organised. So what is ROT?
Redundant information often involves duplication. Duplication of documents and folders is common when folder structures have not been centrally managed. There may also be multiple versions of documents with minor variations that are no longer needed.
Some information you hold will inevitable be out of date, whether this is because it relates to a business activity you no longer undertake, because it has been superseded or is incomplete. Obsolete data may include technical guides for products and services no longer offered, past procedure manuals or old contacts lists that have not been kept up to date.
Trivial material will be of very low level value to the organisation. While this data might be valuable to one individual for a very short period of time, they do not provide much in terms of business insight or compliance evidence. Examples of records of trivial value are meeting room bookings or personal daily to do lists.
From watching “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” you get the sense the Kondo method is labour intensive. This is true also of a ROT analysis. There are tools that can help you along the way, but ultimately you will not be able to escape having to make decisions about what to keep and where. And if you want to prevent ROT from building up again, it is best to have a plan for how to manage information going forward.
If you want to know more about how to conduct a ROT analysis, what tools can be used to conduct a ROT analysis, or how to set up an Information management programme to prevent ROT accumulating in the first place, get in touch with us.
Metataxis has years of experience as information organisation consultants, pragmatic about coming up with scalable solutions that suit your requirements, and we won’t make you ask if your information ‘sparks joy’ – unless that’s what you want.