22 May 2007 Forum : Document Management

At Campbell-Lange Workshop's second Forum event, attendees from a variety of design and professional firms met to discuss issues of email and document management. It was clear that this was an area of concern. Email has become the primary means of communication over the last 5 years, and has many inherent problems related to filing, monitoring actions, archiving and retrieval. Document management was another important issues, more specifically the difficulty of retrieving items after a long period, when key members of a project team may have moved on.

Discussion between the attendees revealed that the various practices used an array of different processes, including archive servers, electronic indexing through database and backup to tape. One practice had implemented a black box (Cryoserver) to capture all emails, both internal and external. Some firms also printed off all emails for hard copy filing and offsite archive storage.

CLW noted that WREN had advised that the primary source of a document is valid, therefore hard copy printing was not necessary from a legal perspective. Therefore, if a company has strong backup and archive processes,and digital fingerprints on documents, their evidential viability can be well supported.

Will Yandell of Union Square provided a demonstration of their email management system, and explained how the 'vaulting' aspect captured all incoming and outgoing information. This enabled firms to set limits on their users' accounts and search data on a browser interface. Emails could be deposited in pre-determined project files and, with a function still in BETA testing, attach action monitoring to individual emails.

CLW concluded the session by noting the ways in which the data held by systems in each practice could be utilised to provide rich operational data analysis and assist in efficiency and performance drives.

Please contact us if you wish to attend a future forum and contribute to these knowledge-sharing and discussion events.

Attendees:
  • David Appel, Fielden Clegg Bradley
  • Chris Poulton, Wilkinson Eyre
  • Monica Parrott, Gensler
  • James Tansley, Hamiltons Architects
  • Jane Sharman, Weston Williamson Architects
  • Hannah Heathcote, Hopkins Architects Ltd
  • Rory Campbell-Lange, Tim Whiteley, Mark Adams, Campbell-Lange Workshop Ltd.
  • Will Yandell, Union Square Software