We are in the process of cleaning up unused fields (generally under a 5% usage) in Accounts. The fields have been removed from the new Layouts and we are ready to deploy. How long should we hold onto the information while we give the users time to review the new layouts and alert us if there is any information they feel is important missing.? I can't find a best practices in field and record type clean up. Please help.
It is nice you are thinking about this as common practice is to a) do nothing and b) let the next poor sysad worry about it :-)
- Rename the labels of the deprecated/obsolete fields to:
The field (obs)or maybe
Obsolete - the field. This way, anyone doing report or list view building in your user community won't be tempted to use the fields while they are in their 'on the way out' part of the lifecycle. Or if they need it, you will get notified via the usual channels.
- Take a backup of Account and save it in a few places.
- Wait a quarter after all end of quarter reports/dashboards have been run -- if the field labels have changed and someone has reports in their Personal Folder or in a folder you haven't replaced references to the old fields - the users might notice the "Obsolete label" and mention something to you.
I do not believe that there is a correct answer to this question, as it will depend on various factors.
- What kind of data is about to be deleted?
- What is your company's record retention policy and requirements?
- Is the data used anywhere else (reports, integration, etc.)?
This is obviously not a comprehensive list. It should just be a start to which questions should be asked around your company.
Whatever you decide for a time frame, just make sure that other people at your company are ok with this data disappearing permanently.