Document control provides companies with an effective way to manage all documents within the company, from policies to procedures, memos, schedules, contracts and any other type of documentation that a company requires. While this system can save a great deal of time, and also ensure a greater level of quality management within the workplace, not adhering to best practices will result in a lack of organisation.
Common Document Control Mistakes
Ensure that your document control processes are as efficient as possible by avoiding the most frequent mistakes when it comes to the management of your company documentation. Common mistakes include the following:
- Assuming document files are backed up on a regular basis – document back up processes are often unstructured, with some files backed up and others missing. This is often discovered only when a file recovery is attempted. The process is often not tested, and sometimes even ignored entirely, which leads to huge issues when a required file is not available.
- Saving document revision files under a different name – many companies rely on MS Word for their documents, which do not have a thorough review system. In order to control versions of each document in Word, the file name needs to be changed, for example ‘document name_V2’. This process can lead to plenty of confusion and could even lead to important documents being over-written, while document control software offers a far simpler and more reliable way to keep track of different document versions.
- Using shared hard drive to store documents and files – shared hard drives are often used to save time, and many companies believe that this is a suitable way to manage documents. In reality, a shared drive offers no access control, which means that files may get deleted, changed, renamed or moved. Without access control and a clear process for document management, it is impossible to ensure that documents are not altered without your knowledge.
- Printing paper drafts for review – paper drafts may be easy to print, but these documents are harder to review. Reviewers are able to make changes and then return the documents to you, but you will then need to implement these revisions. An online system prevents man-made errors and makes it far easier to review documents accurately, with all the most recent versions managed from a central interface.
- Document control audit results – audits are essential to highlight potential issues with procedures not being followed, backups not being done and numerous other problems that affect the effectiveness of your document system. Online document management tools eliminate common issues, ensuring that your ISO audits are successful at all times.
For truly effective document control, it is essential to consider these mistakes to improve your current processes.