Project Management

How to quickly and efficiently align documents

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Hi to all of you, and welcome to this blog about management, projects, IT, etc. and about life among all of that. I'd like to share my thoughts, knowledges, experiences and to propose them for discussions.

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Some of you know how hard could be to fix up with customer (especially in a large company) a lot of documents when they are part of your procurement. 

You have to correct them again and again...to have discuss them with a lot of people, which can have some different opinions about the same things, which can have some different interests. 

But how could you make this process working quickly?

I have developed a habit over the years of working in consulting to do the following things:

  1. To form a working group of experts, decision-makers in the case of a large project we need to establish several working groups.
  2. For each direction must be the person responsible for the direction and possessing powers of decision-making in contentious situations.
  3. Prepare the first edition of documents, and send them to the customer for given feedback.
  4. Give feedback from all of people which take part in the fix up.
  5. Write records of all observations in the table, record the answers to all remarks and add comments, especially if you don't agree with observation.
  6. Change documents and send them again to the customer.
  7. Organize meeting and discuss the documents, try to make the positive decision. 
  8. If the positive decision didn't find on meeting, you have to distinguish controversial aspects with description their solution ways.
  9. All final decisions must be agreed by the management Committee of this project and approved by the responsible for the project from the customer.

This is easily done when you have professionals in the field of project management, project office, and very difficult when they are not.

But some organizations don't follow project management processes, and they don't have project management professionals, techniques. And what can we see?

I was convinced on own experience, doing projects for two different large organizations. In one of them the specialists have been trained in project management according to PMBOK, the other heard nothing about it. In the first case, it was not difficult to organize the work properly and perform it easily. In the second case, it took some time on the organization of work on the project from the customer, as it was necessary to actually teach the ideology of project management and operation, as well as to overcome resistance and reluctance to change work style. But and one, and in another case, in the end, the process of working on documents was reduced to the mentioned steps.

I'll be glad to get your feedback.

Thank you for reading this.

Success to all of you. 

Posted on: November 23, 2017 11:55 PM | Permalink

Comments (13)

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Thank you for the tips, Irina.

Some of my own lessons learned around document review and approval include:
  • Assign an owner to each document section,

  • Have everyone do an initial offline review,

  • Set up meeting to review contentious areas/feedback, and

  • Allow section owner to make final decision after reviewing everyone's perspective
  • .

And get version control...under control.

Thanks for sharing your methodology Irina. Stéphane P. an Sante Vergini (for the comments).
Good tip, assigning a owner to each document section, final reviewing/acceptance.
Also, version control...under control.

The tips are good but still have doubts how to put them in practice. Specially, as Irina points out on her conclusion when there aren't enough human resources acknowledged with project management techniques.

Great approach.
I think if you are missing project management know-how it is up to you as a project manager to explain the essentials.
From my point of view being a project manager is first and foremost a state of mind and does not rely on formal education. Even if this helps.

Thank to all of you for your comments. I think it’s very useful for all of us.
Stephane, your own lessons learned is great. But, on my opinion, the most effective way is write all getting remarks in the table, and answers on them. It give more formalization, and clarity.
In this case we have two, a maximum three version of the documents. And, of course, after the full control.
I made it in my practice.
Tiago, it could be difficult, of course, especially when you have to explain the essential, I agree with Christian, but it’s possible. You need use your leadership character too, because usually people don’t like the changes.

Great article! Please find the time to write some more this year too.

Alexandra thanks a lot! It's very pleasure for me. I'll try.

...great and simple points that so many many forget the basics!...thank you for sharing...
...viele dank...

Thank you, Aaron, for your opinion. I'm glad to be usefull

Thank you Irina for an informative and thought provoking article. Keep writing more

Hello Irina,

thanks for this contribution. Good input there.
Have you ever utilized a configuration /document management system for document version control and control over documentation workflow?
If so maybe you can report about your experiences? Would be great.

Regards,

Markus

Hello Markus,
Hello Aatif!

Thanks for attention and feedpack. I really appreciate it.

Marlus, yes, I made it, and also I had taken part in some projects in which I developed standards about documentation management for organizations. I will keep in mind your message and someday I will write about it.

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