Last Wednesday (May 19th 2021) Microsoft announced several enhancements to the information governance capabilities for Microsoft 365. One of these enhancements is related to the records management platform and involves the disposition process for records.

Record disposition has been part of the record management platform for some time. It allows disposition reviewers to perform a check on the record(s) when these reach the end of the retention period. Setting a disposition review is part of the retention label settings.

When the record reaches the end of the period, the reviewer will be notified of this. He/she can then decide what actions need to be taken. For example: relabel the record, delete the record and more. These actions will be audited, of course.

Please note by the way that the disposition reviewers explicitly need the Disposition Management role. This is included in the Records Management rule group – but a Global Administrator for the tenant will not have this role by default!

You can also set-up a mail-enabled security group for disposition management. This group can be configured to have an overview of all pending dispositions. You configure this setting in Records management settings | General | Security group for records manager.

But be careful 🙂

One of the issues with the current disposition process was the fact that you only had one reviewer of group of reviewers. There was no option to allow for additional (or staged) reviewers. But this has been solved.

Microsoft now introduces the multi-stage disposition. For any disposition process, you can add up to five different stages. These stages have their own reviewers and are processed sequentially. One use-case for this functionality is to have multiple departments or teams performing the disposition of records, as is the case in many organizations.

As was the case earlier, the disposition reviewers only see the records they are allowed to see. Specific record management administrators have full access to all dispositions (see above).

This new feature doesn’t only allow for this multi-stage disposition. There’s a lot of enhancements to the process itself. I won’t list them here, but you can find more on this here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/compliance/disposition?WT.mc_id=M365-MVP-5003084#disposition-reviews

When you already have labels configured and you want to start using the new multi-stage option, then this is relatively easy. Just edit the label. You will notice that your reviewers are still here. But now you can edit the stage and add more stages.

In closing, I have to say that Microsoft enhanced the records management capabilities for Microsoft 365 by a lot. Not just with the multi-stage disposition, but also the new admin-features and reviewer experience (e-mail notifications for example). If you want to know more, then head over to: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/compliance/disposition?WT.mc_id=M365-MVP-5003084

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