Section D Documentation

“The historian, essentially, wants more documents than he can really use.”

‘Prefaces,’ The Aspern Papers. Henry James.

A major problem for the project manager is the quantity of documents on a project. Which ones should you approve before they are issued? Which ones should you review, and for which ones do you need for information? Then there are the documents that the project manager generates themselves.

There may be 120 to 150 different types of documents produced by the project. In addition, on a major technological project, there could be in excess of 50,000 drawings. Further, each of these can be issued several times.

In today's world, much of the documentation will be computerized. Nevertheless, people do like to use hard copies. This hard copy document then acquires many notes and other annotations and, consequently, there will be a reluctance to transfer all of this information onto the latest issue of the document concerned. Making sure that people are not using a document that is out of date and ensuring that everyone is using the latest issue, requires thorough policing by, say, the project control manager's team or the project office.

Document management software is useful in providing version control, ensuring that only the most recent approved version is used. It also provides increased document security by controlling individual's access. In addition, it provides a ‘paper’ trail of who is accessing what and when. Further, it can ...

Get Effective Project Management now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.