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Hill's records management innovations getting attention across AF

  • Published
  • By Kendahl Johnson

When Air Force Instruction 33-322 changed to allow SharePoint Online to house official Air Force records, a team of innovators in the 75th Communications and Information Directorate at Hill took full advantage of modern tools to improve records management.

The team set out to create a system that would help improve a time-consuming Federal law requirement often handed out as an additional duty that is a common cause of non-compliance following inspections. The team created a way to automate the process of migrating official records from local shared drives to Cloud storage, where software can then maintain electronic records.

“What we are doing here is paving the way for the Air Force to modernize a very old and archaic system,” said Senior Airman Brandon Tankersley, one of the project managers of the initiative.

Many bases have tried to move records to Cloud-based systems but encountered several problems that were difficult to resolve. A team of six military and three civilian knowledge managers at Hill dedicated significant time to learning and developing their understanding of the new M365 tools in order to create a system that would automate records management. Tankersley estimates the system has already been able to save 46,000 workhours at Hill and begin to reduce the unnecessary risk taken by unit commanders for non-compliance. The team expects this number to massively scale up with more automation being built especially across the Air Force.

There is no additional cost for the system, as it is covered under the Air Force’s $14 million Microsoft Unified Support Contract. Additional benefits include the streamlining of record searches, a distribution of duties locally and the allowance for granular access control of permissions to include CUI.  This project was coordinated in VISION Joint Innovation System, a process-improvement platform that helps Airmen eliminate duplication of effort and make the right connections for their ideas. The Air Force has an enterprise license for the software, which is available to anyone with a government common access at https://vision.il4.afwerx.dso.mil/.

The records management project has the attention of Air Force leadership, and Hill has been asked to share its results. More than 700 records managers across the Air Force have viewed the demonstration of migrating electronic records management to SharePoint online, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

The team was selected to attend the Refinery at AFWERX to help streamline implementation of these tools across the entire Air Force, a first for Hill Air Force Base.

“We open sourced the tools we built so others throughout the Air Force could benefit,” Tankersley said.