RE: Document Numbering Schemes?

Subject: RE: Document Numbering Schemes?
From: Brent -dot- Jones -at- Level3 -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 12:47:49 -0600

Mariposa BY wrote on Tuesday, October 24, 2000 10:55 AM:

> My co just asked us to do a document numbering scheme.
> for types of docs - i.e., user guides, system adm
> guides, installation guides, etc.)
> Is there some special way to do this? Are there things
> to consider that might not be obvious? (i.e., regions,
> if your copany has any, etc.) Or can I just number in
> any logical way?

I've created a number of document number schemas for doc departments over
the years, and have come to some common-sense conclusions about what they
should accomplish. Generally, a doc number should do two things:

1. Provide essential information about the document.

2. Result in a number that serves as a unique identifier (like a part or
inventory number) for the document.

Everyone's definition of 'essential information' will be different, but I've
found that doc numbers that include the following information are quite
useful, especially in large companies that have hundreds of documents
produced by different groups:

0 The division that produced the document.

0 The group that produced the document.

0 The category (type) of document.

0 An indication of whether the document is for distribution internally or
externally (i.e. intended for use within the company or for distribution to
clients, etc.)

0 A database key that makes the doc number unique.

0 A version number and draft number.

This might result in a doc number like the following:


The first grouping indicates that the document was created under the
auspices of the 'IT Operations' division of the company.

The second grouping indicates that the document was created by the 'Systems
Management - UNIX' group, and is a policy (POL) document.

The third grouping indicates the doc is for internal distribution.

The fourth grouping is the unique key. I generally write a simple Oracle
database to track document numbers, and use the db index as the unique key.

The fifth grouping is the version number (03) and its current draft (02).

This results in a unique identifier that isn't too unwieldy and gives some
information about where the doc came from and what it is for.

Set up a list of pre-defined document types and group abbreviations that
everyone using the schema should follow, to ensure consistency. For example:

SMU: System Management - UNIX group
SMT: System Management - NT group

USR: user guide
POL: policy guide
PRO: procedure guide

Create a simple database to capture information about the document, such as
its author(s), creation date, project affiliation, revision notes, storage
location (path, URL, file cabinet drawer), and anything else you think might
be useful.



Brent Jones
brent -dot- jones -at- level3 -dot- com
"In the Kingdom of Boredom, I wear the royal sweatpants."
--Mark Leyner, _My Cousin My Gastroenterologist_

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