January 04, 2012 - 4:09 PM
As we finished dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on our recent SharePoint solution (a repository for engineering inspection reports), we inevitably wound up dealing with the question “what do we do with the reports we had before we started using this process?” So, we introduced our users to a new term “backfill” and we introduced ourselves to a new requirement by the same name. From the outset of an ECM project, you need to understand and plan for how, and to what extent you are going to backfill the library.
I can make that statement with all appropriate emphasis, because that’s how we approached this project. We knew that we would start adding new reports in 2011, but we didn’t start in January. We also knew that we have reports available dating back as far as 1992; even farther if we wanted to start scanning or converting from microfilm. Due to the nature of this particular “system”, our plan for backfilling had to have two levels.
Fully Processed – One of the features of our report repository is a management dashboard. Several of the components on the dashboard include a comparison to the prior year. For example, the number of inspections an engineer completes is shown for the current year, and for the prior year. In that case, all we really need to do is to upload the 2011 reports, tag them to the engineer and we would be set for 2012. On the other hand, a different component shows the average time to complete various tasks during the inspection process. In order to compare the average time to prepare an inspection report after conducting the inspection, we need for the 2011 dates (associated with status changes) to be accurate. So, for each report that we backfill from 2011, we need to know when the inspection was scheduled, when it was confirmed, when it was conducted and when the report was issued. It would also help people preparing to inspect these facilities in 2012, if we had all the supporting documents. For these inspections, we are uploading the reports and all the supporting documents, and running all the normal workflows. The workflows populate the various date columns.
Upload Only – For inspections that were conducted in 2010 and earlier, we don’t need comparative dates, and we don’t need supporting documents. Adding them would not be a problem, but they aren’t necessary. However, it would be nice if we had data in the fields that we consider to be required. To make that job easier, we built a special workflow for that purpose. In that workflow, as long as the document set holding these documents (Inspection Set) includes the date of the inspection; we calculate the other dates based on the average time for the particular task.
In both cases, a workflow will run that will move the PDF copy of the report into our permanent archive. One note of caution here is that if we have a copy of the actual PDF that was sent, we are uploading it rather than creating it with our workflow. This is to insure that we store in our archive, the document our customer received – well, it gives us the best chance of doing that.
You need to log in to rate blog posts.
Click here to login.
This post and comment(s) reflect the personal perspectives of community members, and not necessarily those of their employers or of AIIM International