Change in our SharePoint Document Control Process - Is this ok?

J

james_r

#1
We're considering a change to our document control process to much simplify and streamline it. I'd like to get some feedback on the idea.

Our documents are maintained on an software system (SharePoint) which provides us a mechanism for reviewing and approval of changes - as you'd expect.
we maintain two list of documents, a 'live' one and one for documents being modified, it all works well but is slow and employees are 'put off' making changes by the effort required.

I'd like to change the process so that changes can be made directly to the 'live' set of documents, the change details would be logged automaticly and report to me immediately. I can then review the change and undo it or accept it. this would only be permitted for two scenarios:
-where the change is for a minor modification (typo's etc)
-where the change is to reflect current practices only (i.e. process or policy out of date etc)

not to be used for introduction of new working practices.

Is there anything here which stands out as being contrary to iso9001 ?
 
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qusys

Trusted Information Resource
#2
We're considering a change to our document control process to much simplify and streamline it. I'd like to get some feedback on the idea.

Our documents are maintained on an software system (SharePoint) which provides us a mechanism for reviewing and approval of changes - as you'd expect.
we maintain two list of documents, a 'live' one and one for documents being modified, it all works well but is slow and employees are 'put off' making changes by the effort required.

I'd like to change the process so that changes can be made directly to the 'live' set of documents, the change details would be logged automaticly and report to me immediately. I can then review the change and undo it or accept it. this would only be permitted for two scenarios:
-where the change is for a minor modification (typo's etc)
-where the change is to reflect current practices only (i.e. process or policy out of date etc)

not to be used for introduction of new working practices.

Is there anything here which stands out as being contrary to iso9001 ?
No, there is not.
You as an organization shall have a documented procedure for document control where the organization establish what it does to meet requirements of 4.2.3 clause of ISO 9001, independently from the used system. The important factor is related to the effectiveness of this process/activity.
 

blueboat

Starting to get Involved
#3
Hi James, you raised a very good idea for the documents management. Don't worry about the standard, there is no such limitation on what you want to do.
 
I

isoalchemist

#4
:2cents:You are on a possible slippery slope with at approach. Typo?s are no big deal, but 4.2.4a ?to approve documents for adequacy prior to issue? becomes problematic if you allow changes to the ?live? documents without your review or others that may need to approve it. If a practice isn?t being followed or out of date correcting it is only one part of the problem, the other question is how did it occur without being caught.

Additionally you may have some cross departmental procedures that one group may change, but affect other groups in that process and they would be live without proper approval. Yes, your intent is that you will act upon the changes immediately, but life and work tend to interfere with even the best intentions.

I?m sure you could devise something to be meet the intent of the standard, but be prepared to defend it to auditors because they will be skeptical and start digging into the change being made and revised by the proper individual and where the determination for re-training/communication falls, because you will have a ?live? procedure that you may need to have training on even though it is just a revision.
 
D

deanbell

#5
:2cents:You are on a possible slippery slope with at approach. Typo?s are no big deal, but 4.2.4a ?to approve documents for adequacy prior to issue? becomes problematic if you allow changes to the ?live? documents without your review or others that may need to approve it. If a practice isn?t being followed or out of date correcting it is only one part of the problem, the other question is how did it occur without being caught.

Additionally you may have some cross departmental procedures that one group may change, but affect other groups in that process and they would be live without proper approval. Yes, your intent is that you will act upon the changes immediately, but life and work tend to interfere with even the best intentions.

I?m sure you could devise something to be meet the intent of the standard, but be prepared to defend it to auditors because they will be skeptical and start digging into the change being made and revised by the proper individual and where the determination for re-training/communication falls, because you will have a ?live? procedure that you may need to have training on even though it is just a revision.
Completely agree with isoalchemist here.

The company I work for also uses SharePoint for document control. Whilst I've found it to be a decent tool for document control, I found a lack of restrictions over change control to procedural documents in the corporate document library. Virtually anyone had the ability to 'check-out' a document, edit its content and the check it back in without any formal review for authorization or cross-departmental approval.

The first thing that I did was have our IT gurus lock down edit control of all SharePoint document libraries to myself (as corporate HSEQ Manager). Each document in the library was then assigned an 'owner', usually a department manager, who was provided access to the master copy of the document when they wished to make a change. Any changes to cross-departmental procedures must be reviewed by all relevant internal stakeholders.

Once document content changes have been made and reviewed, the document is emailed to myself for quality review (i.e. formatting, document numbering, version control, updating the organisational document register), and then uploaded into SharePoint.

I'll admit that there was some initial resistance, as some had a view that this would slow down the procedural review process and introduce unnecessary bureaucratic control. However, it didn't take too long before the new process caught on and was accepted. Further, during the following ISO9001 surveillance audit this change in process was noticed and commented on favourably.

As iloalchemist has said "life and work tend to interfere with even the best of intentions". If you loosen the controls over the document change process, people will find ways to circumvent your intentions, and it is very likely that you'll have to backtrack and try to restore previous controls.

As other posters have said, there is nothing in ISO9001 that prevents you from doing what you wish, though before doing so you should anticipate human behavior.

Good luck :)
 
S

st2323

#6
I also am in the process of switching our Document Control over to a Google Site/Wiki type system as well. The simplicity and revision control is really easy to control as well as going back to previous revisions if needed.

I think keeping the document live is OK as long as you review the change and can roll back to the previous revision. There is another discussion which details a Company using a Wiki and any employee can make a change. If that change is reviewed and accepted the document is left as is. If there is an issue, that document can be rolled back to the previous revision and corrected.

I wonder as well if this is OK according to the Standard.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
M

mguilbert

#7
We also use Sharepoint. You can determine each individual employees level of control by using edit permissions. ie Full Control, Design, Contribute, and Read Only. At my company we allow managers to change documents that are used solely in their departments. As far as upper level documents they are read only for all except a very few. Make sure that your IT department has given you full control so that you can edit permissions.
 
S

st2323

#8
Yep, permissions are another great way to control your documentation. Email notifications when a document is changed is great too.

We even created our Forms in Google Docs where it populates a spreadsheet with the responses entered, such as our CAPA's, Non Conforming Products, etc. Just print out that spreadsheet when you have a Management Review meeting and everything is right there. Or just share the spreadsheet with your MR team and your all set.

Sure beats paying for a license for some Document Management software that does the same exact thing.
 
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