All you need to know: Microsoft 365 & SharePoint Records Management

As organisations strive to keep working safely during the ups and downs of the global pandemic, many products, services and operations have shifted online. More people are working remotely, and new IT capabilities have been rolled out to make it possible. Microsoft 365 is among these technologies that are increasing in usage.

As records managers, we look closely at any new systems entering the organisation. We need to understand what kind of business information and personal information is being processed – how the system helps people find and use the information they need; and whether information can be appropriately protected and maintained. This allows us to advise the IT department about how to configure and manage the system in a way that meets organisational requirements today and into the future.

This course started with an excellent overview of Microsoft 365, all the different component solutions and how they fit together. It also described the information architecture and exactly where data is being stored when certain applications are used. The training then focused on SharePoint, Teams and Email, to look at how records management controls can be applied. I found this foundation very helpful, to get a handle on the terminology and structures used by Microsoft.

The material is delivered by alternating between content explained in a ‘presentation’ style, and practical demonstrations followed by exercises that give participants the chance to immediately try out the things we’ve just learned in a training environment. The pace of the course meant no one was left behind and there was plenty of time for questions and discussion throughout.
Once we had an understanding of the various capabilities, there was a more in-depth discussion about how they align to key records management standards, an assessment of strengths and weaknesses and what that might mean for our own organisation.

Something I especially enjoyed was time spent in the final part of the course, considering programs for implementation, user adoption and change management. We all know that people are really the most important aspect of any technology project.

I also really liked having ongoing access to the training system for 4 weeks follow the training. This gives participants a chance to review what we’ve learned and try things in a safe space. All of which makes it much more likely the training will “stick” and we’ll be able to use it in the work environment.