Revision Numbers

Subject: Revision Numbers
From: Richard Lippincott <rjl -at- BOSTECH -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 17:52:50 -0500

Rebecca Phillips asked:

>Has anybody released books with change bars? How did customers react? Is
>this, in fact, a requirement for ISO9000? Do you feel that same gut
>feeling as I, that this isn't going to be useful in the long run?

One question at a time....

>Has anybody released books with change bars? How did customers react?

I have, but I guess it's unfair of me to say so as they were in fact
military manuals. How did the customers react? If we didn't put them in,
the customer had a fit. And I'm not talking about bureaucratic-type
program managers. The people out on the flight lines wanted to see the
change bars as well.

>Is this, in fact, a requirement for ISO9000?

It is not.

>Do you feel that same gut
>feeling as I, that this isn't going to be useful in the long run?

Actually, I tend to side with the manager. It -is- a good way to track
the data. If your customers are using your manuals, eventually they are
going to become familiar enough with the procedures that they'll -stop-
reading the manual. As a result, when you send a revision, it's
necessary to give the user some type of indication that there's a change
in the procedure. Highlights like change bars can go a long way in that
respect.

In terms of the ISO 9000 matter. Although it's not a requirement, it
-does- help if you can look back at your manual later, and quickly
determine -when- a change was made. As it stands, if there's a question
concerning part of the documentation, you might search all day trying to
figure out why a particular paragraph reads as it does, or when it was
changed. With dated revision bars, you at least have a heads-up as to
the time that the change may have taken place.

Rick Lippincott
Boston Technology
Andover, MA
rjl -at- bostech -dot- com

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