Knowledge management and retention

The volume of digital information on this planet doubles every three years, according to recent studies. Even if the hardware technology can cope with this growth, information life cycles, working or life times and intellectual capacity to understand, categorise and apply the associated knowledge stay limited. Therefore, the need to get rid of the obsolete or less relevant information can help to avoid superfluous costs, slowing processing and communication down and wastes the ptential oft he human workforce.

Hence, any sustainable organisation with a larger time horizon should implement a strategy to intelligently „forget“ and dump aged and irrelevant knowledge.

Which knowledge will be necessary in the future?

The general rule ist o concentrate on the clearly relevant and important knowledge and forget the rest.

However, how long the period of relevenace and importance may last, is not always clear. But some categorisations help to structure the process:

Voran gestellt sein die einfachsten Fälle:

Regulated retention periods

The due dates are calculated from a point in time (e.g.  15/09/2004) and start to run from a certain event (e.g. approval by authority) fort he prescribed period (e.g. 6 years).

Legal or contractual source regulate those:

  • Trade law, commercial code
  • Life insurance acts
  • Aviation authorisites
  • Adminstrational acts
  • Industry lobbies
  • Other regulators

Any content must be labeled with the approriate (longest) retention period by class.

Criteria to map the content to one oft he information classes with respective retention period must be defined clearly and shared with the repective parts oft he orhgansiation handling the content.

Concurring obligations

It is evident that the most restrictive, formal  and longest retention period must be adhered to. Rules like „perferrably cheap, digital, no access right control“ versus defensive mode „everything in orginal format, top secret, auditable“ must be balanced.

When does the retention period start?

The event, how it is measured/triggered must be defined as well. E.g. commercial code requires retention of invoices for a certain time. However, the period does not start when the invoice was issued or registered or paid. It starts at the end oft he fiscal year, the invoice belongs to.

Will the organisation itself need the information in the future?

Most invoices, business correspondence or daily operations communication have a limited internal use after a short while already.

On the other hand intelectual property in forma of construction drawings, recipees, patents can have relevance for more than a decade. Efficient access thorughout that time span is crucial fort he organisation.

External and internal rules

All knowledge should be processed by internal rules. Clear criteria specify, how the content is classified and thereby which retention period it belongs to.

Clearly the organisation should filter and prioritise knowledge already at this early stage:

Copies or duplicates develop an uncontrolled own „life“ and are subject to unintended or unauthorised changes. Managing those consumes additional effort by the organisation and may mislead it.

Less content minimises the sources of error and therefore costs.

Typical sources of errors are are E-Mail attachments, non-systematic backups or local/cloud copies of files.

How to „forget“ the irrelvant information?

Once the end oft he retention period is clearly determind with the set of rules for start and time span an automatised process will retrive the archive for content due for deletion and proposes the deletion of those files to the administrator or a specified circle. If they do not veto, the system will do the rest.

Our products support the information life cycle management with this effective procedure.

Life cycle

Why deal with „forgetting“?

Today’s markets expect compentcy in the field of innovation, efficency in information processing and vitality. An efficient strategy to process, store and dump knowledge is therefore crucial for a dynamical organisation leveraging ist growth potential. Transparency in the knowledge store as well as clear inbound and outbound procedures are essential to produce and keep information treasures and dump waste.

Industry solutions

Application solutions