Our clients are two government departments that recently split as part of a machinery of government. However, they operationally continue to share resources to achieve their objectives. One department aims to ensure Victorians are safe and healthy. The other department aims to create a more inclusive society where people feel safe and partake equally.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the move to hybrid ways of working, the departments have become increasingly reliant on cloud-based tools such as M365, MS Teams and SharePoint for information management which has disrupted the use of the departments’ official record system, TRIM. The departments were not able to sufficiently track records and ensure they met regulatory obligations.
The departments’ strategy was to move to an “in place records management” model, where records are managed within the system they are created. To assist in the management of records, a new tool called CastlePoint was to be implemented. The tool would automatically track records and apply retention policies based on a set of predefined rules and ontologies.
While the project’s scope was to deliver the technical solution, it became evident early in the project that stakeholders were hesitant and concerned with the idea of moving away from TRIM for record keeping.
The Records Management team had historically managed records in a decentralised manner. The implementation of the tool would require a centralised or hybrid model to operate effectively. The project required a consultant who could work with stakeholders to identify concerns and assist with the management or project delivery.
Terra Firma provided project management, analysis and advisory capabilities to assist in the delivery of the technical solution as well as to identify the operational impacts to the departments.
As a priority, Terra Firma identified the need to understand the current state prior to delivering any change. Terra Firma organised workshops and one-on-one interviews with stakeholders across the departments to identify how they each created, used, and managed records.
This formed the basis of a Proof of Concept as well as a high-level communication plan to assist in both project delivery and socialisation of a newly formed information and records management strategy for the departments. Terra Firma also worked closely with the vendor to implement the tool and deploy it into a live environment.
The Castlepoint product was successfully installed. The proof of concept has informed the emerging operating model for in-place records management in the department.
The Castlepoint product is integrated into the department’s M365 tenancy to index and categorise information in Sharepoint and Outlook/Exchange, as well as the department’s ministerial briefings solution. The foundations have been laid for further platforms to connect to Castlepoint for extending in-place records management to line-of-business systems.
The department is among the leading agencies in adopting in-place records management and many other state departments are monitoring the approach and tools implemented by the Terra Firma team. Full adoption of in-place records management is expected to take time as the department migrates away from decades of files managed in monolithic EDRMS platforms.