Can project success be measured by the sheer weight and volume of documents produced? Of course not..... but documentation does matter.
Project documentation provides the means by which information and ideas are created and shared, and it is the basis upon which decisions are made and approved. It can be said that "if it’s real …. it’s documented", andin fact all key project elements are documented in at least one or more essential documents, ranging from the statement of work, through to the weekly status report. As such, project document management may not be particularly glamorous, but it is a key factor of project success.
YOU NEED A PROCESS……
What is project document management?
Project document management is defined by thepractices and procedures used to create, distribute and store various types of project documentation.
Document Management Goals
• To provide a mechanism for document production and control that does not add substantial overhead to the project process.
• To provide standardized formats and templates for document production.
• To promote collaboration and consensusthrough a structured process for document review and approval.
• To facilitate document retrieval and accessibility.
• To minimize documentation errors through version control and secured access.
• To ensure that all documents are current and that distribution is timely.
• To maintain a tangible record of project strategies, activities anddecisions, for future reference and lessons learned evaluation.
Document Management Tools
YOU NEED A SYSTEM…..
To realize the goals you have to maximize the tools, and the tools may vary. From the most complex system to the simplest filing cabinet, document management tools rely on a standard premise …. documents must be created and stored in an organized fashion, designed for easy access andcontrol. As such, any document management system (whether "out-of-the box" or in-house) must address the following elements:
• Input: The means by which documents are created and placed into the system. Project document repositories may hold original documents that are created by the project team, as well as external documents produced outside the team, including scanned reference materials(i.e. technical manuals or contracts).
• Access: The means by which access is granted and controlled.
• Collaboration: The means by documents are reviewed and revised based on collaborative (team) reviews, input and edits.
• Version Control: The means by documents are tracked for changes over time. (Version 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, etc.). Document versionsoffer a visible trail of project changes and progress, and ensure that everyone is literally working "on the same page".
• Output: The means by which documents are retrieved from the repository and distributed in print, HTML or email (or other applicable format).
• Searches: The means by which documents can be found and searched (i.e. according to keywords or for specificinformation).
• Archival: The means by which documents can be stored and retrieved for future reference.
|Create your own document repository: |
|Create a relevantorganizational structure for your document folders/directories. (using project, team, document type, |
|version, status [draft or final] to form the structure). |
|Establish meaningful naming conventions considering project name, document type, version, author and any other valid |
|organizational criteria. Naming conventions...