Implementing Document Change Orders with FileHold

Organizations that operate in regulated or quality management environments will typically have a controlled document change process (CDCP). FileHold offers great support for these processes with document versioning, document hiding for unapproved versions, and configurable document review and approval workflow functions.

In some cases it is necessary to request or register a document change order (DCO) with a document control team or other governing body for your documents. FileHold can easily accommodate this sort of process and even link many DCOs to the controlled document.

Traditionally a DCO may have a number of attributes related to the change such as the following:

  • DCO number - A number that uniquely identifies the change,
  • Document information - The document and version that will be changed,
  • Synopsis of the change - A summary of and the rationale for the change,
  • Required reviewers - The list of personnel that will review and approval the change, and
  • Communications plan - Any training or notification requirements for the change.

In support of the DCO, FileHold can provide automatic unique numbering for the DCO request and a method to route the request and any supporting materials to the approving body and route the approval or rejection back to the document owner.

The process of setting up support for DCO requests can be fairly simple. It starts with defining a document schema for the DCO including the document control number. A workflow template would be created to route the document and assigned to the newly defined DCO document schema. The actual DCO document can be a real document or an offline document where metadata fields are used to fill in the request information. Some request information can also be included in the task instructions for the workflow. When a document owner wants to create a DCO they would just add the DCO details in either a file, offline document metadata, and or the workflow task instructions and initiate the DCO request workflow.

The DCO approver(s) will get notified of the request and can evaluate the details then decide to approve, reject, or send the DCO back for more information. When the DCO is approved the document owner will get a notification signaling them to be able to start changing the controlled document. Just check the controlled document out and make the necessary changes. Check it out and back in as many times as necessary before the changes are ready for review. There is no chance anyone will see an unapproved version of the document if document hiding has been enabled on the controlled document schema. The DCO can be linked to the controlled document to provide a convenient method to access the complete summary of approved changes.

When there is a draft document ready for review a review workflow can be initiated on the draft document. Reviewers will be notified there is work to do and the document owner will get a notification when the reviewers have finished. Review comments can be incorporated into the controlled document and when complete the approval workflow can be initiated on the final version of the document. The DCO can be added to the review and or approval workflow as a supporting document to provide additional context for the changes.

This is just one of many possible examples of providing support for a DCO. Your processes and FileHold can work together in many different ways to support your CDCP. Regardless of how you setup it up FileHold will track everything you do making audits of the process a breeze.

The following are a few links to our knowledgebase for some of the features covered in this article.

Russ Beinder

Russ Beinder is the Chief Technology Officer at FileHold. He is an entrepreneur, a seasoned business analyst, computer technologist and a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). For over 35 years he has used computer technology to help organizations solve business problems.