Reviewing company procedures is something that should be done at least once a year, and with document control it is not as much of a challenge as you may think. The procedures that affect your company’s day to day tasks, as well as specific procedures for various facets of the company help to act as a guideline to ensure that objectives are met consistently. As such, these documents need to be kept up to date, and should also meet best practices in order for them to be effective. Today, we will present some of the criteria that should be used during the review process, and also show just how much document control can assist for ensuring optimal company procedures.
Document Control Checklist for Effective Company Procedures
If your company uses document control, you will be familiar with some of the basic features that this tool has to offer. These comprise version control, accessibility, security, permissions and many other useful features that will assist when reviewing your procedures. Items to include in your document checklist should include the following:
- Design – ideally, a company procedure template should be used to ensure that procedures are consistent in their structure and design. Procedures should have a clear flow to incorporate planning, metrics, implementation and reporting for each step, along with planned goals and references.
- Integration – company procedures should not work in isolation, and essentially are part of a greater system of core business processes. Other processes could include suppliers of inputs or customers of the procedure’s outputs, and the document should therefore integrate with both inputs and outputs.
- References – document control tools allow you to add multi-media documents for references in various file formats. These could include supporting documents, procedures, records, forms, manuals, work instructions, job aids, job descriptions or compliance information. This software also makes it easier to add title, publication date, document ID, or storage location simply and easily. Leaving out references makes it more difficult to identify which reference is being mentioned in the procedure.
- Meta data – another way that this tool assists in the creation of procedures is to keep Meta data clear and separate from instructions. Meta data is used at the beginning of the procedure document, and could include title, policy, purpose, scope, responsibilities or definitions that relate to the procedure and its instructions.
- Current – procedures should be updated and used consistently. Version control is the best way to keep track of updates, with version numbers and easy accessibility for most recent versions. Older versions are archived, and can be accessed as needed.
Once updates to the company procedures have been made and approved, the documents should be made accessible to relevant employees. With the help of a good document control tool, you will be able to see excellent results from your procedures, time and time again.