bobdoering

Stop X-bar/R Madness!!
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#31
So thanks, Bob, I think we're seeing it the same way, I'm proposing to use simple titles, you are proposing numbering - the two together is building in complexity and redundancy, therefore?
Technically, yes. If you have a database, the identity is irrelevant, as long as it is always different than another document. In fact, behind the scenes a sequential number is all the database uses to identify the document. So, to simply pick the next number is all a database needs. Titles, owners, dates, levels, etc., are all sortable field info. So, just like the BMV: "Take the next number, please..."

However, 'smart numbers' may be your only hope for file cabinets.
 

charanjit singh

Involved In Discussions
#32
Let me also add to the numbering confusion;)

I have had some experience of preparing documents and numbering the same. Way back in nineties, we adopted use of ISO 9001:1994 clause numbers, e.g. a Process Instruction was numbered as 09 PI- - - -. The last digit was a '0'. If there was a format attached to it the last digit changed to '1', '2' etc. However in actual day to day usage the numbering was just reduced to the first 2 digits after 'PI', e.g. PI 51-- was for Detergent Wash. The remaining part of the number was just ignored.

So after revision of the Standard to 2000 & later 2008 version, we rationalised the numbering system,grouping the processes based on their similarity (and sequence sometimes), but retained the familiar 2-digit numbers so as not to cause further confusion. Any new processes that are added due to improvements are numbered with appropriate linkage to the existing ones.

As regards TS 16949 specific documents they are directly related to the particular project/product name (abbreviated) followed by a letter to indicate the revision status, e.g CP-BTN-A i.e. Control Plan for product 'Batton' revision 'A'.

Of course there are many ways to evolve the numbering system but it is important that the numbers should be easy for the day-to-day users to remember and refer to the relevant documents
 
N

newgravy

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#33
Yep, definitely a subject that brings out champions of the for and against. We currenently have an off the shelf electronic document management system (database). The original set up created several sub folders for various departments. This means that if a number is repeated within a department folder it is flagged up as an error. However different departments can allocate the same number to a document. The number field is limited so putting the full document title in this field is not possible. Therefore the number must provide the unique search string although this could be a list of letters also. If this particular database had been set up for the whole site on day one the unique number could have been generated for every document on site.
This system is not 21CFR11 compliant so the new business being brought to site will have to rely on a manual system. Using a unique number when we are asked for a document it will be easier to search through files that are sorted in a unique number order. The alternative of wading through numerous calibration instructions searching for an equipment name alphbetically doesn't sound like the best option, although I have not used a system that has been set up in this manner.
I would imagine that many of the people who are responding to this link have also inherited their current system and as such may not have a choice but are trying to improve bit by bit.
OK I know this is getting long winded but theres more!!! As a newby to the QA world I have also purchased a number of books and one in particular advocates a numbering/letter sytem as documentation can usually be cross referenced to product and product to multiple documents such as drawings, material lists, change controls etc.

I'm sure we've not heard the last of this one!!!!
 

JaneB

Inactive Registered Visitor
#34
Using a unique number when we are asked for a document it will be easier to search through files that are sorted in a unique number order. The alternative of wading through numerous calibration instructions searching for an equipment name alphbetically doesn't sound like the best option
When you say 'when we are asked for a document', who asks you? And when? And do they ask because they can't find it? etc. (It's impossible to discuss document systems without understanding when, why and how docs are used). I do understand (to some extent) the need for numbers if there are a very large number of documents.

It's just that I remain unconvinced that numbering in all cases, as a bog standard approach, is a Good Thing - indeed, rather the reverse. I really haven't seen anything much in this thread that has made logical and powerful points in favour of numbering. In fact, good, logical and sound reasons are notable by their absence. Instead, there's a strong tendency to quote others/say 'lots of other people do it' (the old 'everyone else does it' argument).

I have also purchased a number of books and one in particular advocates a numbering/letter sytem as documentation can usually be cross referenced to product and product to multiple documents such as drawings, material lists, change controls etc.
Yes, I know some books advocate it. But um, so what? Just 'cos it's in a book doesn't mean it's right. The mere fact that some one says 'this should be done' is not, to me, a good argument! I always look for good reasons - and I'm still waiting for any to be advanced in this thread. And a cryptic 'easier to manage/index' doesn't do it for me.

Like Andy, I believe people recognise things by name, by look, etc... not by number. OK, I know that will horrify the strictly engineering/scientific among you who love things listed as QFD-005-03 Document Title Here... but I have never yet (never!) come across such a system that anyone other than the architect & maybe the odd document controller actually understood, let alone used.

I spent literally years as a consultant in streamlining/setting up/revising/redesigning document systems, document management systems etc, both online and hardcopy... And I fully understand that unique numbers are essential in a database. I also do agree that in a very large system dealing with thousands of documents, that numbers are almost certainly going to be needed. But they don't have to HIT YOU IN THE FACE BEFORE THE TITLE either. The ISBN system works fine - but it isn't built into the title of ANY book in the world. It's available... but not the first thing you see.

But I do favour systems that are practical, flexible (eg, offer more than one way to locate a document), and designed to suit the particular context and the way people's brains actually work (rather than how people think things ought to be numbered).
 
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bobdoering

Stop X-bar/R Madness!!
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#36
When you say 'when we are asked for a document', who asks you? And when? And do they ask because they can't find it? etc. (It's impossible to discuss document systems without understanding when, why and how docs are used).
This is true. The operators should not care - they should not have to search for anything - it should be right in front of them one way or another. It is the people that are charged with changes and updates that need to find things.

It's just that I remain unconvinced that numbering in all cases, as a bog standard approach, is a Good Thing - indeed, rather the reverse. I really haven't seen anything much in this thread that has made logical and powerful points in favour of numbering. In fact, good, logical and sound reasons are notable by their absence. Instead, there's a strong tendency to quote others/say 'lots of other people do it' (the old 'everyone else does it' argument).
If the vision is that the document should be number only without a title, then I agree it would be of limited value. I guess "smart numbers" without titles would be like breaking the Di Vinci Code and I agree they also have little value.


Like Andy, I believe people recognise things by name, by look, etc... not by number. OK, I know that will horrify the strictly engineering/scientific among you who love things listed as QFD-005-03 Document Title Here... but I have never yet (never!) come across such a system that anyone other than the architect & maybe the odd document controller actually understood, let alone used.
Again, I agree - "smart numbers' tend to complicate things, unless it is a totally paper system without a master list (and some folks have supported no master list), and there needs to be a way to find the document in a drawer. They may come in handy here. Purely sequential list would be suitable if there is a master list.

But I do favour systems that are practical, flexible (eg, offer more than one way to locate a document), and designed to suit the particular context and the way people's brains actually work (rather than how people think things ought to be numbered).
That is the luxury of a properly built database. Search or sort by meaningful fields, for whatever you can think of to find the document. Cross-referencing is much nicer, too, so you don't miss a document when flowing through a change. If is good living if you can get it.

The real test of a document control system - numbered or not - is the MSDS book. If you can put together one of those without multiple copies, but be able to find the info by any one of manufacturer, chemical name or commercial name - fast - then you may be onto something.
 

JaneB

Inactive Registered Visitor
#37
Hey Bob, up until this point, I agree with you!
The real test of a document control system - numbered or not - is the MSDS book. If you can put together one of those without multiple copies, but be able to find the info by any one of manufacturer, chemical name or commercial name - fast - then you may be onto something.
But in that paragraph we completely parted company :lol:

It's just too limited, narrow and way too specific a criteria.

Many people with perfectly good quality management systems (and a need to control docs) do not even know what an 'MSDS' is, let alone have any, much less need to control 'em.

Hard for you guys steeped in manufacturing to comprehend, I know. But there are quality management systems that are not based on manufacturing widgets. Really. ;)

PS - an "MSDS' is short for a Material Safety Data Sheet for those who haven't come across them.
 

bobdoering

Stop X-bar/R Madness!!
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#38
Many people with perfectly good quality management systems (and a need to control docs) do not even know what an 'MSDS' is, let alone have any, much less need to control 'em.
That may be true - but as an example of control (or simply filing systems, if you will), it is the toughest I have come across.

The key to great control is categorizing and cross-referencing. If you can perfect categorizing (for databases, the sort fields) and cross-referencing, you will more than enough bread crumbs to get out of the woods. Applying that to MSDS system, you will find anything fast (which is the goal) (Examples of MSDS databases) I think it is a useful benchmark for document control.

Hard for you guys steeped in manufacturing to comprehend, I know. But there are quality management systems that are not based on manufacturing widgets. Really.
Technically (although perhaps not practically) it applies to all types businesses, not just manufacturing. And, if they are a US employee (I will grant you, it is a US thing) and do not know what an MSDS is, then that is a problem for their company. Wikipedia reference-linkRight to know is legally required training for most US firms. [See 29 CFR 1910.1200(h)(3)(iv)]

So, really, the example is a little more applicable than just manufacturing...this time.....:D
 

JaneB

Inactive Registered Visitor
#39
Bob,
You're right - the seriously important thing is that one can 'find anything fast' as you say. Bottom line.

And yes, I'll stand corrected on MSDS not being solely for manufacturing firms (and will take my tongue out of my cheek). Not just USA thought, we (Australia) have similar requirements here to ensure MSDS's are available & controlled as a Health & Safety issue.

In practice though, not a lot of service-based 'white collar type' firms have much call for such things, with the possible exception of the odd cleaning product or two... :D
 
C

CreMindES

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#40
Just looking through the topic I can't stand not to post a reply. I'm new to this field, as I'm an engineer but due to the size of the company I have to deal with this thing too recently. We use an old system and I'm trying to find my way of solutions for our problems.

I've read a lot about document numbering in the past days and maybe I can supply another view to you. Any solely folder based system is only capable of doing the job, till it is maintaned very carefully and and the number of the documents are small.

I like the way, when a document has a name (I don't care whether it has it's unique ID or not) and having a database of all the documents with a unique ID that is referring to it's owning department and/or subject. I also like to have that unique ID in the document itself for 4 reasons, a: making sure that that document is the one with is in the database b: it's much easier to search by a certain document type (e.g. WIs) c: in case of any system error and d: it's much easier to refer to that document in case of external companies than giving its name, especially when there are severel documents with similar or even with the same name.

Oh, and some indication or rev and other staff are also must have category IMHO.
 
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