Lesson 2 - More About Documents
Almost anything can be a document, on a construction project the most common
Drawings -These could range from simple sketches to complex process flow
diagrams often as not these days drawings are produced on CAD machines.
Specifications - These are often word processed documents which contain a
description of works being undertaken and may well include extracts from other
third party documentation such as manuals and literature.
Method Statements - These are also often word processed documents which detail
the manner in which work is intended to be carried out. Method statements are
often related to safety issues, or potential safety issues, such as the
erection of scaffolding or removal of hazardous waste.
Samples - These range from swatches of carpet to desks and fenestration.
Samples should not be left out of the document control process. Whilst it will
be difficult to distribute a desk submitted for approval, it is quite possible
to create a 'sample submission sheet' and record the details on that.
There are some things which all documents have in common.
Originator - All documents have to come from somewhere, or someone.
Document Number - In order to track documents effectively, the originator must
provide a unique document number for each one. If none is given it is nigh on
impossible to manage document revisions. Where document controllers are using
computer systems to register documents, care must be taken to be ensure that
document numbers follow a consistent approach. Where, for example, the document
originator has used both forward '/' and back '\' slashes in their document
numbers, it would be sensible for the document controller to stick with just
the one version. Care should also be take to look at number series - if
documents 1 - 10 are received, it is normal to record the first ninety-nine as
001, 002 etc... this helps computers 'sort' document numbers into a sensible
Revision Number - Whenever the originator of a document changes its content, or
often the reason for issuing it, a new revision number must be given to the
document. This process is often referred to as 'reving up' a document. Where an
originator does not 'rev-up' a document when it has been modified, it becomes
impossible to be sure that the latest version is issued. Unfortunately, the
sequence of revision numbers very rarely follows a nice simple alphabetical
order! Sometimes, where a document is new, unmodified, it is acceptable to
receive it without a revision number - document controllers often then use a
single dash '-' to denote 'no revision', it is important not to leave the
revision as a blank entry in any register as it is ambiguous - similarly for
unmodified documents it is better to adopt a notation which is unlikely to be
used by document originators as the first revision in their sequence (using a
letter such as 'A' would be poor planning').
Document Title - All documents must have some kind of a title to assist in
finding it later and differentiating between different documents.
Date Received - It is very important to record the dates documents are received
on, sometimes the late issue of documentation can be the cause of a claim later
in a project.
Reason for Issue - Clearly documents are not normally sent out for no reason at
all, although it may seem that way, the reason for issuing a document is often
the basis for distribution. For example a document issued by an engineer 'For
Comment' might be distributed 'For Review'.
Document Size - While not as important as the foregoing, the size of a document
has a bearing on where it is stored, how it is distributed and the way in which
information may be taken off it (i.e. is it to scale). Typically copies of A0,
A1 and A2 size drawings are held on racks (sometimes known as sticks). A3
and A4 documents may be held in ring binders.