If you’re looking for a free template to capture your Document Control Procedures, then use these guidelines to get started. You can use this format to capture different aspects of the document control procedure in the Software Development LifeCycle.
- Identify the team responsible for improve the quality of documentation delivered by developers, testers, consultants, manufacturers and others involved in created technical documentation such as procedures and process designs.
- The purpose of this document is to provide a common language and format that will be widely accepted across all business units. To achieve this, we have developing Microsoft Word templates to be shared with hall content developers and technical writers with goal of streamlining time-to-market projects.
- This document defines how to prepare, revise, control, and release all technical documents created by your organization.
- This procedure covers all documents produced by your organization.
Discuss why every member of your team, both active and associate, plays an important role in the development of quality documents. Those roles may include:
- Project Manager
- Document Owner
- Template Developer
- Technical Writer
- Document Administrator
- Technical Editor
- Content Specialists
- Document Controller
- Website Administrator
- The Document Owner is the ultimate owner of the document under review.
- If a Document Owner needs to be replaced prior to the release of a document, assign a new Document Owner.
- The Document Owner is responsible for moving the document through the process from development through to release.
- The Document Owner gathers and inserts all comments into the document throughout the review period until release.
- The Document Owner updates the revision number on the document throughout the review process.
- The Document Owner forwards all revisions of the document to the Document Administrator for storage and archiving.
- The Document Owner notifies the Document Administrator when the draft document is ready for draft release.
- A Content Developer is anyone with interest and content expertise in the subject of the document.
- The Content Developer will use the approved Microsoft Word template as a basis for new documents.
- Each document must be reviewed by a minimum of (x) Technical Editors and/or Subject Matter Experts.
- Technical Editors shall have knowledge of the subject matter.
- Technical Editors provide comments to the Document Owner, to make the requested changes to the document.
Validation and Review
- A validation reviewer will review the document for coherence to industry practice and style guidelines.
- The validation reviewer will provide comments to the document owner to make the requested changes to the document.
- The Technical Writers writes technical documentation and other types of content.
- The Technical Writer reviews the document for coherence to the approved template format.
- The Technical Writer makes the required changes to the document.
- The Technical Writer changes the revision level to 0 for initial releases or increment the revision number if the document is a revision of a previous released document.
- The Technical Writer provides the Document Owner with the current revision of the document and release the document to the Document Administrator.
- The Document Administrator maintains all revisions of documents.
- The Document Administrator forwards draft documents on to the Website Administrator after getting approval from the document owner that the draft document is ready for draft release.
- The Document Administrator forwards the document on to the validation reviewer upon notification from the document owner that the document is ready for validation review.
- The Document Administrator forwards the document on to the format reviewer upon notification from the Document Owner that the document is ready for format review.
- The Document Administrator forwards the document on to the Website Administrator upon notification from the format reviewer that the document is ready for release.
- The Document Administrator will notify committee chairpersons upon the new release or re-release of documents.
- The Document Administrator provides backup to prevent loss of documents.
- The Document Administrator maintains the document control index.
- The Website Administrator maintains all information presented on your intranet and website.
- The Website Administrator post draft documents upon notification from the Document Administrator that the document is ready for draft release.
- The Website Administrator posts released documents upon notification from the Document Administrator that the document is ready for official release.
Once you’ve identified the roles and responsibilities for the Technical Writers, content developers, testers, and others involved in creating technical document for the Software Development LifeCycle, you can develop naming conventions. This will help you create guidelines for controlling the document as it moves from the review to draft to final status. And that’s tomorrow’s blog post. Stay tuned.
About the Author: Ivan Walsh is a London-based technical writer who specializes in documenting plans, guides and manuals. You can download his Technical Writing Template Kit here and also his Software Development LifeCycle templates with free Word and Excel templates here.