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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.)

The Document Control System (DCS) registration process describes the steps and requirements for controlling, tracking and managing all computer based documents, records and assets of the company.

Controlling - By using a custom control record to identify a computer document or object, along witha number of document attributes (such as owner, type, version/edition, production status, author, scope. As much as possible, the custom Drupal record can use number of built-in features to limit valid field values to agreed sets as defined by the company policies nd standards.

Tracking -  Whilst many aspects of a computer object (document or record) may change over time, often due to improved tools, methodology and innovtion, a standard format control record provides a consistent, reliable means for cataloguing and tracking the format, location, owner, author, users and status.

Managing - When it comes to Document Control, managing is about accountability for several aspects of a document:-  1) ownership of the document and its current fitness for use,  2) responsibility for timely updates, corrections and changes triggered by agreed review cycles or other dependent events of system changes,  3)  accountability for document retention, availability and security.

The source document for procedures, work instructions, processes, policies, standards can be Drupal page or book types, but could also be any physical documents such as MS Word that is edited and modified on a local PC or laptop. We've used a Swimlane format for our registration process, which can be easily generated by MS Powerpoint, Excel or any number of tools. In our case we used SmartDraw.

The distribution format will be a PDF file, hence there are two objects we need to track and manage with a control record - the Smartdraw source document, and the distribution pdf file.  The pdf file is available to the public, but the .sdr source access is limited to the Quality Team. 

The method we used for controlling access of the source document is to use a standard container document, which is just an Internal version of a Drupal page.  As you would expect, the page we created for our process source document was cloned off a template (also managed a template catalogue).with "qualitydocs"

So apart from the source document above, and the distribution .pdf file, we now need the Control Record which we will tag with "qualityprocs", we will automatically include it in the Quality Team Procedures catalogue.

The control record we created looks like:

The next step in the exercise is to actually build the Quality Team Procedures catalogue.

The bad news is that there are a few steps required to set up a catalogue in our QualityHelp site, using  a combination of Pages, Views, Quicktabs and Blocks entities and definitions. But the good news is that the catalogue, once created is easy to manipulate and populate.

The following map gives a graphical view of steps and components to create the Quality Procedures sub-catalogue, and then list team documents.

This obviously requires at least some intermediate skills and understanding of Drupal CMS web design, but once taught, the methods can be readily replicated.  Typically, the Web team or Quality / Document Control team would create the Team Catalogues. Document owners and authors could easily be trained to create the required control records, and link to documents and files for which they are accountable.

Readers can locate the Quality Teams Procedures catalogue and the the Process Document through the Master Catalogue under the Documents menu. Note that only QualityHelp contributing members can open the process source document.

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