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The Records Requirement Elicitation Component

The purpose of the RREC is to translate the Functional Requirements into a set of questions or prompts that identify application-specific records management requirements at the business process improvement stage of system development. Once identified, the records management requirements can be addressed through appropriate technology, management and policy strategies. The goal is to seamlessly integrate the capture of these requirements into business process analysis. In addition to identifying records management requirements, the tool categorizes the requirements into Legal, Regulatory, Best Practices and Agency Policy and Practices. During the process of developing the RREC, another categorization of the requirements emerged. It became clear that records management requirements should be viewed at three levels: Business Process, Record and Systems. The resulting structure of the RREC became a matrix with the questions associated with the various levels represented in the rows, and the categorization of the requirement as legal, regulatory, best practices or agency policies and practices as the columns. The Business Process Level set of questions is shown in the table on the following page.

The Business Process Level section of the RREC is intended for use during business process improvement activities. It focuses on records management requirements at the sub-task level as defined in the note in the table. Its purpose is to identify records management requirements for each sub-task and, further, to identify the category of the requirement - whether it is required by law, regulation, best practices in the field or is based on agency policy or practice. This designation facilitates the distinction between requirements that must be incorporated into a new system (without changes in legislation or regulation) versus those that could potentially be eliminated. It also aids in the identification of laws or regulations that could be considered for change to support radical re-engineering of a business process. With respect to overall process improvement, the questions also facilitate the identification of those sub-tasks that provide no value to the overall transaction. For example, if the record does not get modified during the sub-task, or if the modification is not required by law, regulation or professional best practices, the sub-task may be a candidate for elimination or modification.

Separate sets of questions have also been developed for record and system level requirements. The record level requirements focus on short- and long-term primary and secondary uses of the record and parts thereof. They also capture any requirements associated with the structure of a record and the authorization of responsibility for the creation of and modifications to a record. These requirements speak to internal agency or organizational uses of the records as well as external uses and include questions geared to identify the need for mechanisms to ensure efficient access to records. The system level requirements are more directly linked to the technology solutions and the capabilities of technology in meeting records management requirements, including migration to other systems.

The RREC was developed to meet several criteria. The first, and most obvious, criteria is that the tool aid in the effective and comprehensive capture of records management requirements. The second is that the tool can be seamlessly integrated into business process and system design activities. In other words, the tool was crafted such that its use is not a separate activity over and above those typically conducted in process improvement or information system design.