After a while at this game, one begins to see parallels with the EDRM stages in areas of life which have nothing to do with documents. I am just back from a week in a remote cottage in Cornwall whose garden had been neglected for a year. In EDRM parlance, its document management was a mess and it needed a good cull before it was fit for review.
It is sad, I know, but I quite like exercises which involve restoring order to chaos with a mixture of the right tools and hard work. The attraction, perhaps, is that you can easily see what you have achieved, whether that is reducing terabytes of data to a manageable volume or clearing a garden. The tools for the former are intellectual in nature – processes and applications applied intelligently to a problem. For the latter, the same effect is arrived at with a strimmer, a rake and a bonfire – especially the bonfire, which has all the attributes of a bulk deletion with the physical enhancement of smoke and flame to show what you are achieving with this, the ultimate processing application. It is quite refreshing to give the brain a rest and make use of the sweat of one’s brow.
The parallels with a document cull extended beyond the mere labour. Herons flapped idly by en route to the fish farm down the valley. They reminded me of the way the supervising partner looks in on the way to lunch to check that you are hard at work. Two kestrels perched on a wire above me and looked fiercely down, like judges asking why there has been no compliance with the Practice Direction to Part 31 CPR and inviting me to persuade them that I should not be struck out under 3.4(2)(c) CPR for failure to comply with a rule, practice direction or order.
The review stage involved slumping on the grass with a beer and looking around me. There was refreshingly little need for any analysis.