Ddoc Control Ideas

Subject: Ddoc Control Ideas
From: Mike Lohnes <lohnes -at- MMSI -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 19 Dec 1996 11:28:06 MST

My supervisor wants all company documents (technical manuals, training
manuals, test procedures, marketing materials, HTML documents, Web pages,
and ISO 9000 procedures) to pass through a central editor who will check
for style, content, and technical accuracy. And he wants me to devise a
company-wide document control system for handling this ASAP.

We're on a UNIX network, with writers working on PCs and Sun Workstations.
We use a variety of applications, including FrameMaker, Word, and Excel.

Any suggestions? What does your company do in this regard?

For example, right or wrong, I'm envisioning an automated system like
the following:

--all documents are created under the umbrella of a document management
software system that assigns document control numbers, serves as an
archive, tracks revisions, and allows single-user checkout of documents
for changes
--writers create or revise documents
-- documents are approved by the respective department heads
--writers notify editor or document control administrator that documents
are complete (or the system does this automatically)
--editor prioritizes documents
--editor checks out and edits documents (by marking up hardcopy and
looping it back or actually making the changes electronically)
--documents with technical changes are looped back for department
head approval
--document control administrator distributes final documents

Is there such a system that actually works and is easy to use?
I've only heard of Matrix and FoxPro/ADCS and don't know much about them.

I can see such a system working for hardcopy documents, but we also have
HTML documents and items on our intranet and Internet site that require
editing. Do we simply print out the pages and send them through the same
system, sending them back to the writers to make changes?

Or, in lieu of an automated system, can anyone recommend a good
old-fashioned manual system they have used successfully? One that
includes forms and face-to-face contact.

I would greatly appreciate any assistance that anyone on this
list can provide.


Mike Lohnes
Senior Technical Writer
Modular Mining Systems
lohnes -at- mmsi -dot- com

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