Information Management in Microsoft 365 – Event-based Retention

In the last part of our Microsoft 365 (M365) series we looked at retention labels. While event-based retention is possible in the M365 environment through retention labels, it requires additional steps on the part of end users and administrators in order to work:

  1. A retention label needs to be published by an administrator with a retention trigger that is based on an event, and the label is associated with an event type (e.g. date of birth).
  2. The retention label needs to be applied to content by an end user, whereupon an additional metadata field called Compliance Asset ID will be available.
  3. The end user needs to assign a Compliance Asset ID to the content (e.g. an employee unique ID).
  4. The administrator then needs to create an event that is linked to the event type used by the required retention label. The event also needs to search for content that matches the related Compliance Asset ID (e.g. linked to Date of Birth event type, and searching for a Compliance Asset ID that matches a specific employee ID).

See an example below of what event-based retention might look like for employee file records, which generally need to be retained for a period after a certain date (either date of birth, or date employment ceased).

Where event-based retention is required organisations may want to consider using document set content types to contain content. This will mean that the Compliance Asset ID only has to be applied once at the document set level, and is inherited by any documents contained within the set. Organisations may also want to explore the feasibility of automating some aspect of event-based retention:

In the next part of our series we will look at publishing retention labels to label policies.

About the Author

Adelaide Copland has worked as an information specialist and CM/TRIM application administrator since 2014.  Adelaide has experience in Microsoft 365 implementations, process improvement, records training delivery, development of policies and procedures, strategy and establishing digitisation programs.

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