Congratulations! Your company received the largest engineered product and services contract in company history. The promised delivery is half the normal time necessary to do the work, there are 300 document deliverables, 6,000 pages of specifications and liquidated damages for any schedule slippage. Sound familiar?

Control of project documentation is critical for success and, without breaking the bank, is doable in even small company environments. Due to its complexity, project document control does require commitment to a structured process addressing two main areas: Contract Conformance and Document Deliverable Management.

Contract Conformance

Remember the 300 document deliverables and 6000 pages of specifications I mentioned earlier? The document deliverables list and their definitions of requirement were provided with the contract package. All project team members must know which documents or drawings they are responsible for and on what schedule.  Some document deliverables were prepared with the bid, others due after contract award, others due prior to testing, some at delivery, other documents require 3rd party or regulatory review, and so forth. The document schedule and detailed work tasks must be carefully managed to meet contract requirements.

Document Deliverable Management

You must have an execution plan and tracking/status system to manage document deliverables. Additionally, the project specification details must be readily available to the project team. Documents and drawings have a development, review and approval process that must be carefully monitored and managed. All documentation has incoming and outgoing transmittals. All variables of the transmittal process, as related to contractual requirements, must be documented and managed.

Rigorous management of these work areas and tasks is extremely critical, through all stages and in accordance with the contract’s project schedule. Spreadsheets and purpose-built report templates are sufficient to manage the details. There are document control solutions with more bells and whistles.

Can you take shortcuts, not track or perform some project document control requirements? Absolutely, but heavy interest is sometimes charged for missed opportunities.

Zaetric specializes in project document control process evaluation, development, training and administration. If you need help with a document control challenge, please contact the author at [email protected]