The document lifecycle is the sequence of stages that a document goes through from its creation to its eventual archival or destruction.
Proper procedures throughout the document’s lifecycle are an important part of enterprise content management (ECM), a set of defined processes that help an organization obtain, organize, store and deliver information crucial to its operation in the most effective manner possible.
The document lifecycle is also important for enterprise document management (EDM), a strategy for overseeing an organization's paper and electronic documents so they are easily retrieved in the event of a compliance audit or subpoena. Considerations for EDM include how long documents should be retained, where they should be stored, how changes can be traced and how they can be recovered in the event of a disaster.
The stages of a document’s lifecycle include: creation, storage, categorizing, metadata tagging, delivery or sharing, repurposing, review and reporting, archiving and / or destruction.