DSC Troubleshooting Guide-controlled document or not?

  • Thread starter Tom from Clayton
  • Start date

Tom from Clayton

The engineering dept just called and asked if it was possible to have the DSC(Distributive Control System) trouble shooting guide available to all process operators who may use it but not to have it controlled because of all the hassles about making changes quickly. Sounds like they want something for nothing!

Anyway, I suggested they use it as a draft document until all the bugs were out then include it in the normal document control system. The response was that it will be a living document as we continue to add process systems to the DSC system so they never want it controlled or maybe only controlled " a little".

I'm basically a hardliner when it comes to controlling these kind of documents but I admitted there are others (that would be you folks) who have a lot more experience than I and that I would check with them.

Take a shot please.


Tom from Clayton
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Rock and a hard place.


We handled documents of an External origin by listing the latest rev. If, during contact review, it was determined that the document was included as part of the Customer's specification package, we would purchase the latest version, if there was one.

What you have, it would appear to be, and I'm not familiar with it at all, is a living changing guide to be used by your operators? How often would it be used? How many copies?
Get yourself, or the Document Control person, off the hook and make Engineering the Custodian of the document and treat it as a "reference" document which is like a personal notebook you would keep in your desk. Not listed. Not displayed for an Auditor. Just there. Upgrade it as you see fit. When the day comes when you feel it is complete and there would be very little changes, release it and control it as any other document. As the Doc Control person here, like you, I want only controlled documents out among the populace. If people want or need a document to do their job, I insist on giving it a number and listing it as controlled. Any other paper, keep it in your tool box and don't leave it laying around. You have to keep on them about that.
I have reams of reference material in my office and I consider it personal. Mine. Do I use it? Absolutely. Would I admit that to anyone? No! But, that's just me and I always leaned towards easy. JMHO You are not alone.:ko: :smokin:

Tom from Clayton

I was a little m0ore blunt, Energy. I told them if only a copy or two was out there to just consider a "secret" document and don't tell me or any auditor. Unfortunately, a lot of people potentially will be using it and based on previous audits are never worried about pulling a uncontrolled document out to prove a point.

This is going to be an in-house document but I still will consider the reference document approach.





Good for you. Nothing wrong with secrets.:vfunny: The 94 version had a section on "knowledge retention" that is not included in the new standard. That allowed stamping the document uncontrolled and giving you latitude when being pounced on by a "that's all I can find" type Auditor. And, they are in abundance, still. My desk will drive that species bonkers because I work on the "if it's on top, it has to be done first" method. At audit time it will all be in a suitcase in the trunk of my car! I'm waiting for the avalanche of posts that will tell you that document control means document control and uncontrolled documents have no place in the workplace. Good Luck. Welcome to the Cove!;) :ko: :smokin:

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
I can't say I have a firm handle on exactly what this document is so I'm gonna make some assumptions. (Please correct me as necessary). I assume this is some sort of document/guide that an Engineer would reference when something is broken and needs fixed; and that as the Engineer(s) learn more over time they make frequent changes to it; and that this is a pretty unique document (you don't have several of these kinds of documents); and that there is only one copy. If that were the case, I'd consider putting it under local control -- i.e. having the Chief Engineer be required to initial/sign (approve) any changes (even allowing handwritten changes so long as they are legible). This might give you the best of both worlds -- enough control so that just any Bozo can't make changes that would royally screw-up something while not requiring the users to constantly go thru the hassle of sending it thru a more formal and slow doc control process. I'd discuss this with the Chief Engineer and see if this would work.

Tom from Clayton

Thanks for the reply, Mike. I'm not totally sure what this document will be used for either but it won't be engineers. The actual users will be the most friendly, outguying, helpful people anyone could ask for. TEAMSTERS. A bunch of 'em. The way it was described to me was when things aren't going the way they should they can get help from this guide. The DCS systems is software/hardware that controls temperatures, pressures, time and other things that excite engineers... like driving trains I guess. Picture the control room of the starship Enterprise.


Sorry for the levity-it's getting late and I've got a cold!


No choice

Tom from Clayton said:

TEAMSTERS. A bunch of 'em. Picture the control room of the starship Enterprise.
That about does it, for me. Control it, no matter how inconvenient. Your Engineers should have no choice but to control it. In an adversarial relationship, the blame game is a tool used by organized labor to explain why it wasn't their fault that the Enterprise experienced damage. Several different versions of this document could end up in the hands of a Union Lawyer and nullify any company effort to determine responsibility. Great stuff for grievances that are meant to show the company a thing or two. Why it might even make it to the negotiating table during contract talks to show that you don't really care about the "bunch". :vfunny:
I spent 19 years in a Union Shop. (UAW) So, there's a little experience there. Run a tight ship, Captain. You never know when you may experience an unexpected meteor shower.;) :ko: :smokin:

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource

Still foggy on the specifics of this document, but here's another thought: If you need it accessible at multiple points put it on computer (networked as needed) and write-protect the file so that only the designated "owner" can allow changes to it. When it is revised, instruct the owner to change the rev letter or rev date and put previous revisions in another folder as needed for knowledge preservation. Any printouts should be clearly and automatically dated as to when printed with a statement (maybe in bold red text) that the doc should only be considered as current on the day (or for X hours after) it is printed since revisions may take place often. Just another possible idea.


The Enterprise

Mike S.,

I envision the work place that Tom has described as like the Enterprise, to be like the Control Room shown in the movie "The China Syndrome". Somehow I feel that an Intranet for Document Control isn't a viable option in this atmosphere. I think they are looking for a manual to keep at their work stations.


This isn't a nuclear Power or Waste Treatment facility, is it? :ko: :smokin:

Tom from Clayton

My analogy conjures up images of an immaculate room full of monitors and keyboards. Couldn't be further from the truth. Industrial chemical plants like mine are usually a little more basic (actually, a lot more basic) than that. Several small control rooms, each with a PC and monitor.

Our document system is an electronic one but I think our engineering group would like a hard copy because of the ease of going from section to section.

I'm beginning to believe the hardline is the way to go here. I hadn't thought through the bargaining unit issue you mentioned and you're absolutely correct. It's far better to do it correctly and head off any future problems. Maybe after I see a draft of the document something else will come to mind.

For any engineers out there I apologize for continually calling this thing a DSC. Of course it should be DCS.
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