How the City of Lakewood Created a Digital Archive Group
Contributed by: Greg Buchanan, Records Analyst, Lakewood, CO
The city of Lakewood, CO, comprises a multitude of departments and divisions, each with its own daily concerns, interests and ways of using Laserfiche. In order to maintain consistency within the Laserfiche repositories and provide a place to express concerns and ideas, the city implemented a digital archive group (DAG).
What is the DAG?
The DAG at the city of Lakewood serves to:
- Discuss and gather feedback on any new Laserfiche projects as well as existing projects.
- Obtain buy-in from upper management for new Laserfiche projects.
- Agree on city-wide Laserfiche standards such as a uniform naming convention and repository file structure.
- Answer any Laserfiche-related questions posed by new city personnel or existing city employees who use Laserfiche daily.
- Advise any other organizations or cities that would like to implement or expand their implementation of Laserfiche.
The DAG is comprised of all the Laserfiche administrators within the city. Anyone who has administrative rights to even one folder within the repository is automatically a member of the group. Some departmental heads and managers are also members of the DAG, even if they are not Laserfiche administrators.
The DAG aims to meet once a month. If there are not enough topics to discuss that month, the meeting may be cancelled. The chair of the DAG decides whether the meeting will go on as planned, and if so, creates an agenda that is emailed to all DAG members before the meeting. Members can choose to attend, based on how pertinent they find the topics of discussion.
Why should an organization implement a DAG?
Implementing a DAG at the city of Lakewood has resulted in the following benefits:
- The DAG helped expand Laserfiche to other departments within the city because listening to current Laserfiche users gave others ideas on how they too could benefit from Laserfiche.
- The city of Lakewood maintains organized repositories with a uniform folder structure and naming convention, which enables everyone to easily find documents.
- Since a variety of people from different divisions take part in DAG meetings, it is easy to generate new ideas to put into practice. For example, the idea of using Laserfiche to manage the city planning department’s active case files in addition to archiving closed cases was first brought up at a DAG meeting.
Advice for implementing a DAG
Here are some key things to think about when implementing a DAG within any organization:
- Make sure to have regular meetings, but only if there are topics to be discussed. If there is a meeting just for the sake of having a meeting, members may be discouraged from coming back.
- Representation is very important. Make sure that all departments and divisions are represented at the DAG. It is crucial that the people who attend have the power and knowledge to implement changes within Laserfiche. If they cannot make changes themselves, they should be able to direct others to make them.
- Make sure to let upper management know about the DAG’s existence. The city of Lakewood did a presentation to both the management team and the city council about the DAG and its purpose.
- Encourage the VAR to attend DAG meetings. This helps the VAR stay on top of Laserfiche projects within the organization and allows the VAR to help the organization attain its Laserfiche initiatives and goals.
- If a group cannot come to a conclusion or compromise during one meeting, postpone the discussion so that people have time to think about the opposite views.
- Provide snacks and beverages during the meeting. The city provides a unique array of snacks, fruit and beverages at each DAG meeting as an additional way to drive attendance.