Document management is a fundamental guarantee to ensure the proper functioning of any organization over time

Today we talk about document management with Javi Requejo , current president of the Spanish Archival Description Standards Commission and archivist in the public sector, specifically in the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports.

1- Is document management essential in companies today?

That’s how it is. Document management is essential. Document management is one of the main processes that offers support to any organization, whether public or private, and in the case of companies it should be understood as a basic business support activity, as is the computer service, legal assistance, accounting attention… And to carry out this task, it is necessary to establish a document management methodology or system that allows it to be carried out, understanding as a system the set of document management practices that, on occasion, may involve Use document management software.

2- Is document management only valid for large companies?

Do not. Document management is a support process like any other and, as such, is present in any organization, large or small. Saying that only large companies can have document management systems is like saying that only large companies need to manage their accounting, which is totally false. Logically, the breadth or degree of implementation of a document management system will depend on the size of the organization or company, but it will always be necessary to manage documents.

Document management is a support process like any other and, as such, is present in any organization, large or small

3- What is the price of document management?

The economic assessment of implementing a document management methodology can be complex to measure objectively, since there are multiple variables to take into account (possibility of hiring qualified personnel, possibility of having support software, possibility of outsourcing certain services, possibility of guarantee the process through document management audits, etc.). Although if we approach this assessment from a perspective based on the risks that can be suffered if we do not have adequate document management (for example, disappearance of data that prevents the proper functioning of a company, loss of competitive advantage due to the lack of documentary evidence that ensure the quality of the products or services offered, administrative or judicial sanctions for the loss of documentation with legal value, etc.), then the need for good document management becomes evident.

4- Can we be calm having our documents stored in a document management system? Is this system reliable and secure?

Having a document management policy designed and maintained by personnel qualified in document management techniques is one of the most appropriate measures to guarantee the maintenance of the documents that are essential to guarantee business continuity in any organization. Not all documents deserve to be kept permanently, but neither can they be eliminated indiscriminately, rather a detailed and specialized analysis must be carried out that crystallizes through a methodology based on document management.

Having a document management policy is one of the most appropriate measures to guarantee their maintenance

5- What is the greatest advantage of having a document management system?

Document management is a fundamental guarantee to ensure the proper functioning of any organization over time. Thanks to it, it is ensured that the appropriate documentary evidence remains and can be used when necessary.

6- And is there any drawback?

Exclusively associate document management with “historical archives”. It is true that good document management guarantees the preservation of documents for future generations and their conversion into historical documentation, but it is not its main objective, rather it is a secondary factor, derived from carrying out good management practices in organizations. In addition, limiting document management to a strictly “historicist” field prevents it from being associated with the role of strategic support for which it is conceived and from tending to circumscribe exclusively to a cultural environment, from which archives are only assimilated as mere deposits of documents to do historical or journalistic research. And I say this despite the fact that I am currently working on a historical archive for the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport. 😛

The main challenge for document management professionals is being able to adapt to the electronic environment

7- Where is the document management sector going? Where do you think its future lies?

The future of document management involves overcoming the barrier of visibility that still restricts us to this cultural field. The day we are able to overcome this frontier and manage to establish ourselves as strategic supporters of business continuity through document control, we will begin to see how companies and administrations begin to include experts in document management in their staff, such as they already did at the time by incorporating computer scientists, lawyers or accountants who served as support in their respective fields of action.

8- And what challenges await us?

In the medium term, the main challenge for document management professionals is to be able to adapt to the electronic environment in which documents no longer require a physical medium, but are created using binary code. The nature of technological environments is radically different from that of traditional paper documents, but document management processes continue to require the same skills that document management professionals possess.

Hopefully all document management professionals will be able to work together and eliminate the concept of Resistance

9- If you could make a wish for the future of the sector… what would it be?

That all document management professionals, public employees or not, with or without specific university training in document management, working in a historical archive or in an office archive, are capable of working together to meet the same objective and we manage to eliminate concept of Resistance to change from our dictionaries.