When an organization no longer requires content, it should be disposed of.  There are a variety of reasons to do this.  The most common one is to free up space within the environment.  Other reasons for disposition include (but are not limited to):

  • Regulatory or legal policies requiring disposal of content.
  • Duplication of similar content
  • Users referencing old content because it still exists
  • Freedom of Information requests (Government) returning content no longer viable

Microsoft 365 provides different options to dispose of content via its Purview records management feature.  The most common process requires users to review the content before it is fully disposed of.  We’ll complete a disposition review process overview in this post. This is the first post in a series I have created that takes you through the disposition process of Microsoft Purview in Microsoft 365.  Click on the following links to access any of the other posts released in this series (links will be added once posts are released):

Disclaimer: Any screenshots or processes documented within this post are current as of the creation of this content but are subject to change outside of the writer’s control when updated by Microsoft.

Disposition Review Process Overview

This post isn’t going to repeat information that Microsoft has already posted on their information pages (you can find that here).  Instead, the purpose of this post is to provide an overview of the process from start to finish once a disposition review begins.  The timings reported within the post may be different as they are dependent on back-end jobs and my tenant may have different response times than yours, but the timings should be close enough that the difference won’t make much of a difference.

The Setup

Within a group-enabled site, I have pushed a label called “Contoso Project Document.”  The label has a trigger of 1 day based on the last modified date of the file.  Once the retention schedule has completed its countdown, it will initiate a single-stage disposition review.

Disposition Review Process Overview - Label Properties

For this post, I will track a single file from notification to disposal.

Disposition Review Process Overview - Disposal File

Retention Schedule Completes

Administrators and record managers do not have any method by which to kick off the disposal review process in Microsoft Purview.  This is run entirely by back-end processes that are not shared outside of the Microsoft support teams.  When the process scans the environment for retention purposes, it will check all files to determine if the retention trigger has fired, whether based on a modified or created date, when the label was applied, or an event.  When found, the process then flags the document for disposition in the back-end (speculation on my part), allowing it to become viewable in the disposition panel of the Records Management console within Purview.

Personal note: While I don’t have any special information on the internal process, I do not believe the disposition view is based on audit logs.  I know this because audit logs are only maintained for a short time, and I have a tenant that has had dispositions existing in the view for years.  Well, after the logs would have been purged.

The Notification

Disposition reviews occur on a file-by-file basis.  Notifications for the dispositions are not sent for each file that becomes ready for disposition.  In other words, if you have one file ready for disposition or one hundred files ready for disposition, the reviewer will only receive a single notification.  For this reason, disposition approvers will not receive much information about the file(s) ready for disposition, but the email will provide a link to the label disposition view.  This allows disposition reviewers a path to review the content without having to go through all of the various administration consoles.

Disposition Review Process Overview - Email Notification

With that, we move on to the disposition review process. First, I’ll cover the disposition view itself in more detail.  you can review that by clicking on the link in the list above or here.

Thanks for reading!!