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You can give documents sequential numbers so that it is easier to tell
documents apart that have very similar names. In that case, the numbers
are a convenience. Perhaps they give some comfort to the engineers who
like to number things.
You can also make up a classification scheme for documents and give
documents a number that indicates their class, role, type, etc etc etc
etc etc, with a sequential ID number postfixed.
In my experience, the latter strategy makes the person who created it
very happy and does little or nothing for others. Our process guru
could tell you what SP-ACT-TR-004 was. Nobody else could, but we used
the numbers to keep her happy and to prevent her from spending lots of
time explaining to us how beautiful and valuable the numbers were.
It saved discussion time, but it drove people nuts because the file
names (which replicated the document numbers) were useless for finding
the item you wanted. I kept renamed versions of the docs that were
important to me on my own workstation.
Seriously, if you have a classification scheme that is important and
useful to more than one person, embedded the classification scheme in a
document number may be useful. Otherwise it is a form of fetish.
Sequential numbers may be more useful, but it depends on your needs.
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