Content disposition in Office 365

Posted by

The controlled disposition of content is very important in record management scenario’s. Disposition marks the end of the content’s life-cycle, at which point the content needs to be deleted or retained permanently.

SharePoint records management

Anyone familiar with SharePoint’s record management functions knows that record disposition was never the platform’s strong suit. There’s no disposition overview and even the disposition workflow didn’t always work – it cannot remove records…. For more on this, please see this article.

Office 365

In Office 365 we now use labels to set retention – and these labels are not limited to SharePoint Online. Relatively new to this mix is the disposition dashboard – used to control the disposition of records.

Before I explain how this works, first two important notes.

  1. Disposition reviews requires an Office 365 Enterprise E5 subscription;
  2. Reviewers must be part of the Disposition Management and View-Only Audit Logs roles. You can create a new Security & Compliance role for this, which combines these two roles.

Set-up labels for disposition

The disposition review is part of the retention settings of an Office 365 label.  More on this in this article. To trigger a disposition review (note that this is no longer called the disposition workflow), you will need to add the reviewers.


Quick note: The e-mail addresses are only used to send reminders (see below). I thought these would also be used to only display the relevant content. But alas. You follow the documented steps to publish and use the labels. And at some time, this may take a while, you will start receiving e-mail notifications.

Disposition e-mail alert

Disposition dashboard

The e-mail link will guide you to the disposition overview dashboard. Here all pending and completed dispositions.

Disposition dashboard
Disposition dashboard – completed dispositions

Using the dashboard you can select any content you wish to manage. But as this dashboard may contain a lot of content, you can also use the filters to find the relevant information. You can also export the information to Excel in order to have an overview and use Excel to filter, search, etc.


Disposition actions

When content is up for disposition, you have three possible actions to choose from.

  1. You can extend the period;
  2. You can apply a different label;
  3. You can delete the content permanently.


These actions are available on individual pieces of content.  But you can also select multiple pieces and select so-called “bulk” actions. Nice note: In SharePoint this option for the disposition workflow was removed from the GUI, but you could still use it. Now it’s back 🙂


Audit log

The actions performed using the disposition dashboard are audited, as you might expect. But it would seem that the disposition actions (as shown below) cannot be selected as actions. Which is somewhat weird.

Audit log after disposition

All-in-all and some concerns

I really like this new disposition dashboard. It’s an addition which is highly appreciated.  Having said this, I do have some questions or concerns.

How scalable is this solution?

As all record managers (or reviewers) see all dispositions, this might not be a workable solution for more complex or larger organisations. For instance, if you have an organisation with multiple business lines or large departments.

Audit log

Some disposition activities cannot be searched in the audit log. And this can be a requirement.

More information on the disposition process and dashboard can be found here:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s