Process for Managing Team Documents

In our previous article on Building a Document Catalogue , we gave an overview of both the catalogue, the Drupal components and using control records to integrate the catalogue with a Document Control system model.  Now we might have some fun and describe in more detail, the process for building a team catalogue and adding documents.

For our demonstration, we will use the Quality Team, and create a catalogue for their procedures. Then we will register and add a process document, in that order.  Create a control record to register the document, tag it to add to the required catalogue/s, then link the document source page/file as well as a distribution document.

It seemed most appropriate that the document we register for this example is the DCS Registration Process.

Building a Document Catalogue using Views and Control Records

The two fundamental building blocks for constructing a practical, dynamic and maintainable Document Catalogue in Drupal are Views and Control Records. By Views we mean instances of tables generated by the Drupal View module. The Control Records we refer to are created from a custom content page (appropriately named Record), which acts as a template allowing us to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Meet our organisation's Document and Quality Management standards for document and record control.
  2. Provide a consistent document entity for populating any number of linked Document Catalogues, in a consistent , managable and scaleable format.

There are other clever Drupal modules and methods we employ to make this ongoing project a fascinating exercise.

Desktop Support Fundamentals

When the Desktop Support customer is a small company, a private user, or even a friend or relative, professional support folk and part time techos often provide an adhoc, "time and materials" solution for PC problems and requests.  This is especially true for one-off customers and end users with low budgets (or seeking a freebie). Apart from recording basic customer contact and PC information, no other quality processes are applied.

In many cases there is little incentive or apparent value in maintaining a more structured, systematic approach for support management. However, there is a strong argument, and many benefits for small PC support businesses and stand-alone technicians to think of the bigger picture - think ITIL.

Is Quality Management Rocket Science?

Many of our IT Support colleagues continue to shy away from actively particpating in Quality Management programmes, complaining of "Rocket Science", ever changing methodologies and complex terminology.  A well planned, communicated and phased-in Quality Management system is definitely not Rocket Science.  Unfortunately, for many organisations without firm, visible and enduring commitment, Quality Management tends to becomes an "inexact science".

Without the foundation of complete, genuine staff involvement, along with a culture of relentless Continuous Improvement, Quality Management remains an "Inexact Science" in many circumstances.  Understandably, staff and even customers will relegate the company's new Quality Management programme to the category of "Rocket Science".

HelpDesk or IT Service Desk

Some of my colleagues have questioned our use of the term HelpDesk for a stream of articles and support.  Given that our site objectives are centred around some of the core ITIL Service Management disciplines, then the question (aka customer query) for overlooking "IT Service Desk" is worthy of some discussion. Whilst the ubiquitous Wikipedia provides a fair stab at defining the accepted differences, for this discussion (ie Help Desk versus Service Desk), we'll simplify the differences as:

HelpDesk         -  Provide rapid response to paying customers and end users for information, services and issue resolution, related to company products and services.

ServiceDesk   -  An ITIL function providing a central, single point of contact for all clients and users of a company's services, including IT support services, especially problem, incident and request management.

Building a Cloud based Document Control System

This is one of a series of articles on the subject of managing records and documents, in a cloud environment. Our approach at QualityHelp will be to provide a practical, progressive and interactive format to the articles, blog discussions and our evolving Document Control framework.  You can get involved by reviewing  the structure of the Control Records, Master Catalogue, Team Indexes and Document templates as we develop the framework and components. Then provide feedback and input - suggestions and constructive comments.

Participate in our site's Continuous Improvement objectives and become a contributor to the evolving design.


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