It’s always nice to start with a clean slate, especially where documentation is concerned. But after building your documentation library for several years, you will have documentation that is out-of-date, redundant or otherwise in need of cleaning. So it’s important to have a strategy for archiving documents. This strategy will help you keep your documentation library clean, allowing you to scale sustainably for five, ten, twenty years or more without clutter. What’s your retention policy?
Establish basic rules
You need two things to properly archive documentation. First, you need a methodology for determining what needs to be archived. In IT Glue, version histories are available, so a lot of documentation can be overwritten or updated, rather than archived. But some assets and SOPs have a shelf life, and when they become obsolete you’ll want to have a system in place to know when to archive them, lest they become clutter.
So start with some basic rules about when something needs to be archived. Each business will be a little bit different, so the most important thing is you have established rules and follow them, whatever those rules happen to be. Then, you need a schedule for going through your documentation periodically, especially for things like SOPs that need occasional updating anyway.
If your team needs encouraging to find a few minutes to make sure the documentation is up-to-date, you can gamify it using our in-app engagement dashboard or the integration that CrewHu built with IT Glue.
Then you have to choose how you want to archive old documentation. There’s a few different options: file, delete, or export.
The file approach is dead simple. You set up a folder for archived documents and more your obsolete documentation there. How you wish to structure these will depend on your needs. At the minimum, each organization would have an Archive folder, but you might want an Archive folder for each asset type. Whatever works best for you.
You can also delete documents, if you want. If a an asset is deleted by a user action, it is hidden from all views for everyone, and can be restored by admins from activity log using the rapid restore feature.
You can export data from IT Glue several different ways. For partners on the current Enterprise plan, you may export via the Runbooks feature, creating a batch of PDF documents. For all partners, any individual asset can be printed or saved to PDF. You may also export your data into a .csv file, which might be the most convenient for archived documents you do not expect to have to reference again. Once the files are exported, you can file or delete to your heart’s content.
Archiving documents in IT Glue probably isn’t top of mind, but eventually it will be. Keeping your documentation clean and tidy might seem like a chore, but with a proper strategy you keep the active documents at your fingertips, and your stale-dated document segregated in a safe but out-of-the-way space. You can learn more about performing content audits in a handy post from our information architecture pro, Renee.
IT Glue is an information management platform that allows for efficient storage and retrieval of all the documentation you need to help your MSP run better. By integrating PSA and RMM data, we can help increase your efficiency, and reduce onboarding times by even more. By eliminating wasted time from your business, IT Glue gives you more time to focus on what matters – growing your business.