Re: ISO Document Control

Subject: Re: ISO Document Control
From: Steven Jong <stevefjong -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: sjd1201 -at- gmail -dot- com, TECHWR-L Digest <TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- TECHWR-L -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 28 Oct 2011 11:24:36 -0400

My current employer is certified through the telco equivalent of ISO 9001. When my group (a company acquired by me employer) was audited in May, I was interviewed by the auditor as the documentation manager there.

We use Sharepoint and Documentum for document control. (We have both and are moving from one to the other. I can't remember which way; I'm on vacation this week 8^) When asked, I opened the URL of the master copy of the policy we followed, and from there to the copy in Sharepoint of the approved procedure, and I had on my laptop a shortcut to the work instructions.

However, it's not what system we use, it's that we have and use a system. Document control can be done manually with paper copies. The important point is that the documents describing policies, procedures, and work instructions, whether paper or electronic, must be controlled so that only the most recent versions are used; and that every employee knows the doc control system and uses it. You get a finding if an employee is working off an old copy and doesn't know how to get the latest and greatest version. I actually AM using shortcuts to approved documents, not local or printed copies.

This is a pain in the neck, but it matches the reality that errors occur when people are working from outdated instructions. Since I've started using links to specs instead of printed copies, I've noticed when the engineer made a change; before I would have missed them and documented old stuff.

So it's not a tools question, but a behavioral question. You can meet the requirement with any tool, but the system won't work until your top management instills the discipline, from the top down to the bottom of the organization, that every employee must follow it.

-- Steve

Steven Jong ("Typo? What tpyo?")
SteveFJong -at- comcast -dot- net
978-413-2553 [C]
Home sweet home page:


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