RE: Document Naming Conventions

Subject: RE: Document Naming Conventions
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "Caroline Anne Richardson" <richardson -dot- caroline -at- gmail -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2007 09:26:26 -0700

Caroline Anne Richardson wrote:

> I need to ensure the following is identified in the document name:
> - Department (or sub department) name
> - Type of document
> - Name of document (purpose or procedure description)
> - Date (if this is a date sensitive document, not necessary
> if version number is used in name)
> - Version

That's an awful lot of information to try to cram into a file name.

> I would rather keep things simple and easy, so naming
> something "How to load driver X.doc" would be preferable to
> "IT_proc_101-123_v1_D-2.doc". I want to aslo make it easy
> for my co-workers to adhere to without having to reference
> the doc that explains how to name your files each time.
> Simply put, if they have to do that, they won't name them
> properly when they upload.

"How to load driver X.doc" provides virtually none of the essential
information you identified in the previous paragraph. :-)

Let the organizational structure -- e.g., folders/directories, web pages
-- provide some of the essential info you identified. For instance, each
dept. has its own folder / web page, which contains a folder / web page
for each doc type.

You'd still want a unique identifying number within the doc itself (in
the Word doc properties, say, and/or on the title page) -- either one
with info encoded directly, like "IT_proc_101-123_v1_D-2" or an
arbitrary number (maybe a key to a database record), as Bear suggested,
which you can use to look up that info.

Up to a point, a logical directory structure and a spreadsheet or small
database are probably all you need. At a certain level of complexity and
number of assets to manage, you need CMS or PLM software. At that point,
you also need a big budget, a consultant or two, and advice from someone
other than me. ;-)


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


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Document Naming Conventions: From: Caroline Anne Richardson

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