Due to lower budgets and tolerance for risk the way a medium sized organization manages email is different then that of one 10-100 times its size. CMS Wire has an article that I would highly recommend entitled, “How to Succeed at Email Management if You’re a Midsized Organization .” Below is an excerpt on keeping email management system.

The most important step in email management (EMM) is to sort your existing and future email into categories for proper retention and disposition. The most important lesson folks have learned about such sorting is that you should make it simple…

Here’s how it works. Divide your email into three classes or virtual “zones”: 1) transient, 2) working and 3) long-term. These may make up 80%, 15% and 5% of email volume, respectively.

  • The primary EMM requirement for transient email is that it should be deleted when no longer needed.
  • <liThe primary EMM requirement for working email is that it can be kept (for a period), and that the employee’s use of it not be disrupted.

  • The primary EMM requirement for long-term email is that it be properly retained and governed.

A mature, optimal target EMM state typically looks like the following:

  • Transient emails are retained 90 days and then either reclassified by the user or automatically deleted from Exchange.
  • Working emails are retained two years and then either reclassified by the user or automatically deleted. (Most email retrievals have trailed off by two years in most organizations.)
  • Working emails are typically retained in the email system (“mixed” with transient emails or segregated into different folders) — but may be retained in Exchange Personal Archive if desired.
  • Long-term emails are retained in an archive separate from the primary email mailboxes. It may be an Exchange archive or a third party EMM or ECM system.
  • Long-term emails may be all be given the same retention period with little to differentiate them —or they may be assigned more complex ECM and RM metadata, and separated into several different retention periods.
  • The simplest setting is to initially assign long-term email a single long retention period — e.g., 7 years — which gets refined and differentiated in later phases of the EMM initiative.

The rest of the articles goes on to discuss dealing with day forward and historical email as well as defensible disposition of email, creating an email assessment plan and technology plan.