Aaaaaaah document control, everyone has to do it but no one seems to do it effectively. It always seems to be inadequate or total overkill.
If you follow the below guidelines you can't really go wrong and you can gain much greater control over your documents.
1. Before you even start writing your Document Control Procedure, pick someone within your organisation to take ownership of it completely. You want one person only to be allowed to create documents for approval. Others may create drafts but they must all be funnelled to this one person.
2. Choose somebody who is a bit of a stickler for detail. People who get annoyed if things aren't spaced properly or aren't aligned are great when it comes to keeping control of their documents.
3. Create a solid approval process. Your employees need to know that documents they create MUST be approved before they go anywhere. I have seen many tenders get messed up because it has been sent out without final approval and the price is incorrect.
4. Document control must be driven from the top. If you are the business manager or owner be on the lookout for document control issues and be sure to follow the process yourself.
5. Create a standard footer for all documents which shows the following details
- Page x of y (too many people just do page x, how do you know if a page is missing???)
- Revision Number or date or both
- Approved by (preferrably with a signature)
6. If you have to put a path in your document footer, it is a good sign that your document control system isn't working.
I will continue this either later today or tomorrow as I have to do some real work but as always if you have any questions about document control please feel free to ask me in the comments below or shoot me an email