There are two basic groups of information required for a records retention and disposition schedule: (1) Program or Service information; and (2) Records Series Documentation.
Program or Service Information includes such things as:
Records Series Documentation includes such things as:
Additionally, you cannot properly schedule the records of a program or service without understanding the business it is in. You should also research:
Without this kind of research, the schedules you produce may not be accurate and effective.
In order to develop a functional records schedule one must analyze the departmental workflows. There are two ways to conduct this preliminary analysis: (1) records surveys; or (2) in-person interviews (or a combination of both approaches).
Records surveys may be used to gather initial information about the department’s records holdings. However, due to different terminologies and uneven records understandings the survey results will usually need to be greatly refined. The University Archivist and Records Manager can provide you with a sample survey, upon request.
Alternatively, one may conduct in-person interviews with staff to find out more about their workflows, functions, and records processes. These interviews need not be long and often can provide all the data needed for a first draft records schedule. Needless to say, subsequent vetting, fact-checking, and follow-ups must be undertaken to develop additional drafts.
The type of questions to ask in such interviews
Ensure that all staff needed to answer questions about the records are present with you during the interview.