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Revision tracking can be simplified if you look at it from the standpoint
of "major player" edits. Categorize your document phases as either
"Draft," "Preliminary," or "Final." Draft revisions are what happens in
that phases where no one is really interested in what is changed or its
ramifications (i.e., us as TW'ers or low-level team members). Preliminary
are those revisions done by middle-level players within the project.
Final versions are those that are going through the upper-level or
Line up your major players in a row when it comes time to review for
either the preliminary or final phase (drafts can be tracked also but this
will most likely be counterproductive). As each major player's edits are
incorporated, the revision number of the doc is bumped up one ( i.e., P-1
= Preliminary version, revision one). Maintain a copy of that author's
redline copy and note in the document control log who's comments that
revision number was based on.
As most major requests for examining versions come at a later, rather than
sooner date, you will find that management is less likely to tear apart
one of their kin's product. By being able to produce and track by level
of editor, you can provide accountability and corresponding praise or
It is critical to provide this info on a footer of any doc. While
automation can be a very good thing, hardcopies tell no lies, and do not
require an explanation of the CM (Configuration Management) system, a
function that requires thought from the bottom-dollar people in a language
that they do not have the aptitude, inclination, or patience to
P.S.: I have found that getting "adopted," or aligning one's self with the
Quality Assurance function of any project will greatly lessen your
headaches and strengthen your position overall.
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