Document Creation/Change

Subject: Document Creation/Change
From: "James Barrow" <vrfour -at- verizon -dot- net>
To: "'Techwr-L List'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2007 07:42:04 -0700

A little background information first, if you please.

The company that I work for uses Sharepoint to store documents. It uses it
poorly, but uses it nonetheless.

The company has your standard departments Development, Project Management,
Business Integration, Architecture, etc. The sum total of the employees in
those department is ~150.

I was asked to assist a contracted resource in cleaning up our Sharepoint
site. This included creating a document creation/approval process. So that
I did.

My plan was to load all of my document templates onto the Sharepoint site
and allow all employees to create documents from within the site. So, for
example, Ted from Development could create a document and, when he was
satisfied with his draft, could click "Submit," which would forward the doc
to his manager for approval or rewrite. When his manager clicked "Submit,"
it would forward the document to me. I would act as the gatekeeper ensuring
the accuracy of the doc, correct format, and whether or not the document had
already been created. Once I was done with the doc, I would forward the doc
to the respective project manager so that the document could be marked as
completed in the project plan. Once the project manager was done with the
doc, he would submit it to the appropriate business unit for (realistically)
a rubber stamp approval, which would then cause the document to appear in
the Sharepoint site.

Unfortunately, this was shot down. The PMO changed the process so that all
document templates and requests for new documents has to be approved by
them. Once approved, all meetings that the tech writers conduct with SMEs
has to be approved by them also. To top it off, once a tech writer submits
a doc to the PMO, he or she gives up all control of that document, meaning
that I only have read-only access to the documents that I created...unless
special permission is granted.

I understand that a project manager is responsible for the success of a
project, but has anyone heard of a project management office seizing so much
control over documentation?

- Jim


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