TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:RE: Doc Control From:"Evans, Diane L (Rosetta)" <diane_evans -at- merck -dot- com> To:techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com Date:Mon, 2 Oct 2006 09:49:29 -0700
>Does anyone have a checklist of what to look for when researching
A checklist depends on YOUR needs.
Start by asking some questions: What kind of documents do I need to
control? How do I want the documents stored? (Web, database, shared
drive, etc.) What kind of controls do I need? (Uneditable, history of
edits, electronic signatures, lifecycle stages).
Once you have asked all of the questions, answer each one. This helps
you to define the requirements. Other requirements could include cost,
ease of use, and other non-document-control needs.
Now, assign a level of importance to each need, perhaps on a scale of 1
to 5, where 5 is a "must have" and 1 is a "nice bells and whistles". You
now have a checklist.
Begin with a baseline. What do you use now, if anything? My first doc
control system was 3-ring-binder based. It didn't rate too highly on my
As you review various systems, rate them on a scale of 0 to 3 for each
item on your checklist, where 3 is "requirement fulfilled", 2 is "mostly
filled", 1 is "can be adapted to meet the need", and 0 is "nope, can't
Once you have reviewed all of the systems, multiply the level of
importance by the rating for each requirement. Add the totals, and see
which system will best meet your needs. (Don't do this by hand -- this
is what Microsoft Excel was born to do!).
We used this system when selecting a requirements management tool. At
the end of the process, our group was extremely happy with the final
Notice: This e-mail message, together with any attachments, contains
information of Merck & Co., Inc. (One Merck Drive, Whitehouse Station,
New Jersey, USA 08889), and/or its affiliates (which may be known
outside the United States as Merck Frosst, Merck Sharp & Dohme or MSD
and in Japan, as Banyu - direct contact information for affiliates is
available at http://www.merck.com/contact/contacts.html) that may be
confidential, proprietary copyrighted and/or legally privileged. It is
intended solely for the use of the individual or entity named on this
message. If you are not the intended recipient, and have received this
message in error, please notify us immediately by reply e-mail and then
delete it from your system.