Document Approval Matrix Benchmarking

#1
Hello All -

I am new to this group. I appreciate your constructive feedback and possible solutions.

I am in the process of re-thinking how my company (Bio-Tech / ~1000 employees) handles our Document Approval Matrix. Currently we have it is a controlled document in our document management system EDMS (Electronic Document Management System) that lists all of our document types and the necessary approvals. Problem is we have so many depts. that often change to a growing and evolving company. Because of this we are finding that it is tough to manage and keep it current. Ideally, I would like to somehow automate it and build it into our EDMS, where approval functions are auto-populated based on document type. But I know that could also be a logistical nightmare.

I would love to hear about other companies handle their Document Approval Matrix's.
  1. Does your company have one?
    1. if so how is it constructed?
    2. If so what do you like most about it?
    3. What would you change?
Thanks again for your feedback.
 
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JimS

Starting to get Involved
#2
I have managed an approval matrix in a controlled document, as you are doing. At one point, we even had everyone's signature on that document for reference. What a nightmare that was every time one person changed positions or a manager wanted another backup person and the whole thing had to be recreated! Signatures on the blank form, then signatures to approve it once it was done. All done pen on paper. I got rid of the signatures on it but it was still problematic, as you are seeing. Depending on the dynamics at your company, you could be continuously chasing your tail.

Different company, we now manage all QMS docs in SharePoint and have an approval matrix resident in there. Everyone can see it but only IT and I can make any changes, so it's controlled. I believe any changes I make, which are infrequent, are recorded in the background. This is much better than trying to keep up with the matrix in a controlled document.

If you have an EDMS system, you should be using electronic approval and have a matrix set up in the system, in my opinion.
 
#3
Thanks for your reply Jim. We do use electronic signatures. The document approval matrix I am referring to dictates what approvals are needed on your approval panel. For example, if I am revising a SOP owned by Facilities, then this matrix will tell me who needs to be on the approvals. I think this type of Approval Matrix doesn't suit larger companies where there are so many people and different depts. Want to find a way to make it easy to manage and use while remaining compliant.
 

JimS

Starting to get Involved
#4
How does your DMS system know who to send to for signatures? Does the user manually add names based on your separate list? Our matrix in SharePoint is based on the type of document, e.g. a Facilities work instruction has a certain list of names, as opposed to a form for manufacturing, which has a different list. The department and document type together identify the list of approvers for any document, automatically applying it when the author sends the document for approval.

If your system allows for something similar, perhaps you can replicate your big complicated "paper" matrix as a big complicated electronic matrix with controls, which would be easier to maintain with a few clicks as opposed to updating and approving a matrix document.
 
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