Governance list: Storage time for information types

Not a generic SharePoint post today, but a Governance thing I saw at a client and made me say “why didn’t I think of that before ? “.

Every piece of information used in an organisation has some kind of storage time: contracts, proposals, meeting minutes,…
You don’t want to keep these lingering around forever, polluting your search and views.

SharePoint Content Types lets you add a information policy with an expiration date. When that date is reached, the system has to do something.

Most of the time, it is the legal department that needs to set such dates. And what about documents or other information that are not kept in Content types?

A client of mine had a list (kept in SharePoint, but could be any system really) that stated a lot of information types and their storage time. That list was kept in their “Governance site”, that contained all their information about the governance of the information systems.

So, if you have a Governance site, which I sincerely suggest you have or create, add a simple list with 2 fields: “type of information” and “storage time”.
Your users will thank you.

About: Marijn

Marijn Somers (MVP) has over 14 years experience in the SharePoint world, starting out with SP2007. Over the years the focus has grown to Office 365, with a focus on collaboration and document management. He is a business consultant at Balestra and Principal Content Provider for "Mijn 365 Coach" that offers dutch employee video training. His main work tracks are around user adoption, training and coaching and governance. He is also not afraid to dig deeper in the technicalities with PowerShell, adaptive cards or custom formatting in lists and libraries. You can listen to him on the biweekly "Office 365 Distilled" podcast.

2 thoughts on “Governance list: Storage time for information types”

  1. Hi Marijn,

    I like this concept but do have a question about it
    I am an advocate of not having quotas on your site collection, but information management /retention policies. see
    Now, in this post you write about a type of information and a storage time.

    Is there any (automated) process (archive, offload to BLOB, delete,…) attached to that storage time or type of inforrmation? And how does this then work?


  2. Hi Patrick,
    Thanks for your response!

    The list in this post (for this client) only acted as a way of communicating those storage times. They are not linked with any functionality, just a representation of legal information.

    Just like you, I don’t like quotas. The automated process that you will install will be on content-type level, which works great in SharePoint. But that information is most likely not communicated clearly to the business users, so they don’t know when certain documents are going to dissapear or how long they need to keep certain information. This list makes up for that.

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