Project Management

Paper Chase

Elizabeth is a freelance writer and project manager living and working in London. She runs The Otobos Group, a project communications consultancy specializing in project management.

Project management generates plenty of paperwork, and it’s easy to lose track of all the changes that are made to various documents. Version control is a simple way to track those changes. Here are some techniques for managing your project documents to make sure that every team member is, quite literally, on the same page.

This is the first article in a two-part series on managing project paperwork.
 
Version control is a way to keep track of the changes to a particular document during its useful life. It’s a simple way to ensure sure that everyone is reading the same edition of a document, and that everyone has the same view of events. Project documentation gets updated on a regular basis: you start with a draft version of the Project Initiation document and before you know it five departments have had their say and you’ve quickly moved through various iterations before everyone is happy with the final result. Version control helps you keep on top of those changes. It’s really easy to do and also really easy to forget to do.
 
You can put most any documents — including project deliverables and IT code — under version control. For documentation, you don’t need a special database or filing system. Some off-the-shelf packages such as Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services will manage versions for you, but the old-fashioned way…

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