Ref: UN/CS/RAI/USAA/DB01/2004-00100



Developing a Strategic Plan for Digital Archives Programme

Activity 2 and 3 


Digital Assessment Interview Exercise

[An overview]




1. Interview Objectives


2. Interview Package


3. Background information for particular interviews


4. Interview Scheduling


5. Methodology to ensure proper Representation  


6. Interviewee Criteria 


7. Format/data management


8. General Role Definitions


9. Number of Interviews by Business Process





Activity 2 and 3 

Digital Assessment Interview Exercise


1. Interview Objectives

As a first step in developing a Strategic Plan for a Digital Archives Programme, information regarding the current technical and administrative infrastructure with the United Nations Participating Organizations, UNPOs, is required. 


In this regard, information regarding the current recordkeeping functionality and requirements, identification of their business context and as well as an understanding of the current practices of electronic recordkeeping and digital archiving within the UNPOs is also needed.  Therefore, the vendor will systematically review (and analyze) current policies, practices and procedures, gather data and information through interviews of Records and Archives Staff, Information Technology staff and various Business Unit staff as well as conduct a representative sampling of their digital records.


This exercise will gather substantive "real-world" information from information technology professionals, records and information managers as well as business unit personnel on the way digital information is created and meet business and operational requirements. 


2. Interview Package

An Interview Package will be developed which will be forwarded to the interviewee prior to the interview.  Interview package will include:

  • Introduction cover page that highlights the overview of the project, objectives etc.
  • Instructions to fill out Interview Survey;
  • Glossary of Terms;
  • Sample form filled out;
  • Blank Questionaire Form;
  • FAQ sheet.


3. Additional background information for particular interviews

In addition to the ‘Interview Package’ noted above, each interviewee will receive from WGARM copies of the information already gathered from their org unit/department.

This will include:

  • List of current system application relevant to their organization;
  • List of org units as may be available through IMIS, ERP etc.;
  • List of record series as collected during ADA.


4. Interview Scheduling

In order to ensure an effective interview approach that will build a sound knowledge base, the following interview scheduling sequence is suggested:

  • IT  should be interviewed first;
  • Records, Archives, Information, Library Managers would be interviewed second;
  • Representatives of the various noted Business Units would then be interviewed;
  • IT and RM specialists working within Business Units should be interviewed with IT or RM;
  • Other areas - if unique subfunction areas have been identified within the scheduled Functional areas interviews noted above, additional interviews may be required.


5.  Methodology to ensure proper Representation    


To ensure proper representation of all business processes, general methodology has been developed to identify what Groups or Functional areas should be interviewed as well as how many interviews would take place in each area.


  • Representation of  all Functions and unique Subfunctions ;
  • Representation of the substantive as well as supportive org units of UNPOs;
  • Representation of any unique or special interest areas;


IntraAgency and IntraAgency Interviews:

  • IntraAgency interviews (one interview per UNPO for a particular Function or Business process) in areas of common business process but different or unique approaches or systems among the UNPOs such as ICT or RM;
  • InterAgency interviews (one interview for all UNPOs to attend) in areas of common business process with similar approaches such as HRM or FBA;
  • IntraAgency interviews (one interview per UNPO) for mission critical areas such as Projects, Programmes and Missions, PPM, or Organisation,Co-ordination and Mangement (OCM).


6. Interviewee Criteria 


DAP Coordinators for each of the UNPOs will be responsible to identify the interviwees as noted in item 9 below. 


In general, interviewees should be selected to properly represent their specific organization or functional grouping.  Interviewees should have spent considerable amount of time in the current role or a similar role and fully understand the solicited information.  Overlap between interviewees’ expertise and body of knowledge is desirable.  Interviewees should be viewed as the “best representative” for the information being solicited.


Interviewees should have an understanding in Records Management and Archival Preservation Interests, Information Technology, or Departmental Processes.


The overall list of Interviewees should be reviewed with the WGARM/Entium Project Team prior to final approval and scheduling in order to ensure an even distribution of interviewees within the identified criteria. 


7. Format/data management


To facilitate the re-use of the collected data throughout the project as well as use it in related areas/projects, the questionnaire must be in an easily importable format such Excel or Access Data Base.  In addition, to assist in the management, maintenance and follow up, a unique number will be assigned to each interviewee.

8. General Role Definitions: [to be further defined]


The following general profiles of interviewees have been developed.  Each individual interviewee may fall into one or more of the following profile descriptions:


A.        Information Technology related

·        Information Technology Representatives:  Information Technology representatives form each of the UNPOs and/or other major subgroups within the UNPOs.

·        E-mail Administrators:  Those individuals responsible for the development and implementation of the e-mail policies and procedures.

·        Technology Coordinators:  Individuals within the UNPOs that are responsible for coordinating technology initiatives, usage, and standards across multiple business processes, groups, and/or technology applications.

·        Information Architects:  Individuals within each of the UNPOs that are responsible for the functional composition of the business processes and their relationship to the high level function and information assets of the organization.

·        Application Owners:  Personnel owning or responsible for the major Records, Document, and Transactional systems and applications within each of the UNPOs and/or other major subgroups within the UNPOs. [Can be in B or  C]


B.         Records, Archives and Information Managers:  

Professionals within each of the UNPOs and/or other major subgroups within the UNPOs who have responsibility for:.

·        Records, document, archives and other information assets or content management, including:

·        Libraries, official document repositories and the registration or upkeep of special  collections and reference materials; and

·        Specialists for content or knowledge sharing and management


C.        Organizational Business Units

            [related to main functional areas]

·        Department Process Owners:  Personnel owning or responsible for the Organizational processes that interact with Records, Document, and Transactional systems and applications within each of the UNPOs and/or other major subgroups within the UNPOs.

·        Information Creators:  Those individuals that are the authors of Digital Information from any of the major Records, Document, and Transactional systems and applications within each of the UNPOs and/or other major subgroups within the UNPOs.

·        Information Users:  End users that are access, use and interact with Digital Information on relevant business process level


9. DAP Interview breakdown (Number of Interviews) by Generic Function or Business Process




Generic Function Grouping Title

Description or examples of  Sub Function or Series enclosed

Number of interviews/comments






Administration, Conferences, Central Support and  Procurement

Administrative Management, Conferences and Meeting Arrangements, Equipment & Inventories, Facilities and Property Assets, Procurement, Security Services and Risk Assessment, Travel and Transportation

Two InterAgency interviews i.e. Procurement, Conferences and Meeting (2)


Finance, Budget and Accounts

Accounts Payable or Receivable, Budget, Cash Management, Claims, Contributions & Donations, Financial and Fund  Management & Reporting,, Payroll

One InterAgency interview possibly two depending on review of functions (1-2)


Human Resource Management

Appointments & Promotions, Attendance &, Leave; entitlements, Benefits, Claims; Compensation; Health & Safety, Recruitment, Staff Relations, Training.

One InterAgency interview possibly two depending on review of functions (1-2)


Information Assets Management

Document, Records, Archives and Information Management, Mail Operations, Register and tracking, Distribution, Library,  Collections, and Reference Materials, Storage Media  Management, Presentations, Content and Knowledge Management

Five interviews -

One interview for each UNPO (5)


Information and Communication Technology

Applications, Hardware, Information and Communications Technology , Internet, Intranet, Extranet, Networks, Software, System Integration and Security, Telecommunications

Six interviews - One interview for each UNPO IT (5) and one (1) InterAgency group interview concerning the Storage Area Network



Agreements, Authorities, Contracts, Intellectual Property, Judgements, Leasing, Legal Issues, Real Estate -

One InterAgency group interview (1)


Oversight, Audit and Evaluation

Audits, Evaluations, Investigations, Inspections, Monitoring, and Lessons Learned

One InterAgency group interview (1)


Organisation, Co-ordination and Management

Co-ordination and Intra-function Meetings, Governing or Executive Board, , Executive Decisions and Management, Internal Relations, Planning Committees, Policy,  Procedures,

Five interviews -

One interview for each UNPO (5)


Programmes, Projects and Missions

Including Geographical [Field, Region, Area, Country] and Themes or Subject; Special Project and Programme Planning and  Management, e.g. Disarmament, Electoral Assistance, Emergency, Environment, Peacekeeping, UN System, Regional Commissions,

One interview for each UNPO plus possibly

Special Projects, Emergency,

Peacekeeping (5-8)



Relations, Outreach, Media  and Communications

External Relations, Presentations or  Statements, Media , Press and General Public Relations; Related Agencies, Foundations, Funds, Intergovernmental Relations, Non-Governmental Organisations, Partners and Academic Institutions, UN Common System Reform , Member States and Private Sector

One InterAgency interview possibly two depending on a functional review (1-2)




(28 – 34)