Document Standardization

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January 9, 2008

Over the past couple of years, many standards for document management and control have evolved to improvise the adaptability and usability of knowledge driven data in work environments.

Our client base is broad and comprises of:

  1. Those who desert technological use;
  2. Those who are moderately familiar with technological concepts;
  3. Those who depend on making the most mounting use of technology to enhance their daily work flow processes.

Internally in our organization, we identified growing concerns on:

  1. File Format Standards
  2. File Naming Convention
  3. Identification of a team to act as an owner for the document
  4. Validating the document for current updates

The main reason for these growing concerns were:

  1. We do not have appropriate ownership for any document
  2. Documents are stored in multiple locations
  3. Documents are not updated regularly

A database (of indexed documents) relating to internal or external processes is something that we need. This database should be accessible by everyone in the company so that they are aware of all the documents which we have and it will make the Stake Holders more informed on process specific documents.

We had a brief discussion on a list of columns required for a database which would include:

  1. Document Name
  2. Owner of document (at least 2 owners)
  3. Single Location of the document
  4. Is this an Internal / External Document (definitions will be provided later as to what is internal and what is external)
  5. Brief description of the document
  6. List of Processes in which the document is being used

Appropriate naming conventions to this document index will be an added advantage to solve the documents issue.

We also formulated a process to:

  1. Identify the owner or (as we like to call) the responsible party for the document.
  2. Identify PDF as the ultimate document format. Maintain two copies of the same document: One document (Microsoft Word Format) for internal use and reference. Second document (PDF Format) to send to the client.
  3. Get all documents reviewed by the Documentation Team before they are sent out to customers.
  4. Identify periodic internal audits by the team managers to verify the sanity of the document.

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