QMS Overhaul - Reorganizing and Renaming Documents - Internal References

#1
Hello all,

I'm looking to take our existing controlled documents and give them new alphanumeric codes and file them more appropriately. Before, work instructions, forms, procedures, there was no distiction between them and the system worked by becoming familiar with it and to find something if you weren't familiar made for a bad day. Anyways, I've reorganized and renamed most of our docs per the actual files, but have not yet opened them to edit the contents.

There I will have to change all previous naming and corresponding references in other documents, but my question is in doing revisions.

I'm positive that my quality manual or procedures don't mention this specifically, but were I to change a document title, and some content, could I make it a new document (make 300+ new documents) or do I need to make 300+ revisions? Blanket obsolete them and make all the old docs with new trim actually new again?
 
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Golfman25

Trusted Information Resource
#2
I think you can do what you want. Whatever works best for you. When we re-did our system, we updated everything, but turned them into new documents with new names, etc. We also kept a few old ones in the system.
 

malasuerte

Involved In Discussions
#3
You can do mostly what you want. However, there may be some considerations for taking a blended approach. Some documents may be 98% fine the way they are and need a small revision only; whereas other may be better served scrapping and starting fresh.

The most common example I see is an organization has a document 'labeled' as a Corporate policy, when it is not a policy at all and is a procedural document. In a case like this the Policy document may have a whole different naming convention, or something from a procedure/operations document. So in this case, you obsolete the CP, and start a whole new document with the proper configuration, etc.

So before starting - I would consider if all the documents you are working with are in a logical hierarchy and are appropriately named/assigned.

As an example, For our org, the most common hierarchy is:
  1. Level 1 = Corporate Policies (or just Policies) - doc numbering starts CP - xxx
  2. Level 2 = Governing Specifications (these our methodology docs) - doc numbering starts GS21 - xxx
  3. Level 3 = Operational Procedures - doc numbering starts 25 - xxx - xxx

Hope that helps a little.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#4
You can do what you want, however you want, but keep it simple, and make sure you do not confuse employees with some sort of all new cryptic code.
 

Pjservan

Involved In Discussions
#5
You can manage the change in the manner that best fits your organization. Don't get too fancy with the numbering system- keep it simple.
 

normzone

Trusted Information Resource
#6
Hello all,
Before, work instructions, forms, procedures, there was no distiction between them and the system worked by becoming familiar with it and to find something if you weren't familiar made for a bad day. ... I've reorganized and renamed most of our docs per the actual files, but have not yet opened them to edit the contents.

... were I to change a document title, and some content, could I make it a new document (make 300+ new documents) or do I need to make 300+ revisions?
I understand why you have chosen this path, and wish you good fortune. But you are already in too deep.

It has been my experience that any system you choose to identify your documents will be painful and confusing ... to SOMEONE.

Number them by department? You'll have documents that cross department lines.
Number them by ISO 9001 reference? You'll have documents that don't pertain to ISO 9001.
Number them in an arbitrary fashion for ease? You'll find you'll periodically need new number sets for docs that don't fall into an existing group.

Have fun ...
 
#7
. But you are already in too deep.
I am man, I am.

So it sems that I'll just make these into new documents. Also, thank you all for suggesting that it stay simple. To me it is, the numbering code goes DEPT.-DOC TYPE-XXX. So QC-WI-001 is a Quality work instruction, pretty easy.
 

Ninja

Looking for Reality
Trusted Information Resource
#8
FWIW, we numbered our departments for this type of excercise...we found it easier.
Tape manufacturing was 12.

So Tape manufacturing procedures were MP12-01, MP12-02, etc. All of the procedures for that department were all in the same place...MP12...TM12...etc. HTH
 

Sebastian

Trusted Information Resource
#9
I do not care document level, issuing person department, I need process approach.
E.g. all work instructions, checksheets related to manufacturing process start from P (like Production) and then followed by consecutive numbers starting from e.g. 001, when 999 is enough. Issuer can be from Production department, Process Design department, as long it describes activities covering system process called Production, there is "P" letter in front.
The most important thing is documents net. If single document or group of documents is not referenced by any of other documents it get lost. Of course Quality department has its "stamped original," but document is not used, as none knows that such a document is available.
I saw situations where in big company 2 or 3 documents for same subject existed and another one was in creation process.
Without referencing, expect dead roots.
 

greatwhitebuffalo

Starting to get Involved
#10
We use 4 different codes depending on the type of information is contained in the document. I.E. QMSD-1001 is our quality manual. The "D" stands for documents. We use QMSF- for Forms. QMSP- for procedures. QMSM- for process maps. This system works very well for us, as it is easier to search by the type of document, rather than by department or clause.
 
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