Document Management

What is Document Management?

Depending on the business need, the implementation of a Document Management system would normally take place in several phases.

The foundation involves, registering the existence of existing and the creation of new documents in a business area.  Modern systems are delivered as a configurable package.  An indication of its date of destruction or archiving could be made as this cotains the grwoth of the data.

The next level would enable others to retrieve and view a document, allowing it to marked up with any corrections (often called red-lining in drawings).  These would then be assessed and incorporated, if accepted.

The computer system would be required to ensure the integrity of documents and control access to documents to those with the required authority.

This could be linked with Workflow.  This facility enables an organisation to stipulate who or what job functions need to be involved in a business work process.  A clerical task may be quite simple, A checks several boxes of a form, depending on the values contained, passes to B or C who action further, before D approves.  In Engineering the workflows are often more complex, requiring irreative, multi-step sequences through levels of in-house engineers, external consultants and Approval Authorities.  Engineering Standards and Corporate Standing Orders would require fixed patterns of Approval, often going to the highest level of the company.

There are of course other issues, but the main one not mentioned in this overview is that of media. Images and hence the term Document Image Processing (DIP) is often the vehicle as it takes account of paper-base documents of all sizes as well as other electronic, video and audio media.

Important external issues concern communications with Suppliers and of course the public, raising issues of Document Capture and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).

A Typical Document Structure

NB          Each box will supported in the integrated computer system associated with the Document Management function.

My background

My early work was a simple vendor control system for an engineering contractor’s project in the late ‘70’s. Next, in the early ‘80’s, a major project was to guide BNFL to a Drawing Registry system for 1.25 m drawinThen in the 80sgs increasing by 1,000 per week, for the THORP Project.  More experimentally, initial attempts to have key data “on-line” were made on this project. In the mid 80’s, I pioneered sales and use of a PC based system, arguably ahead of its time,  In late ‘92, I chaired the Intergraph task force set up to re-specify their product’s direction, as a PC based, modular offering.

A later major assignment, for a major utility, was as Programme Manager for the provision of Document Management on 1,500 desktops, the replacement of 140 UNIX CAD seats with Windows/Intel equipment. In addition, 1,200 standalone databases were to be migrated to an Enterprise wide ORACLE system.

A further large project was to customise and validate a system, to control drawings and documents in a regulatory compliant way for a pharmaceutical R&D facility.  A key element in the  project was to register and then make a raster/vector conversion of 80,000 paper drawings.

The most recent assignmant, in 2016, was to review and comment upon the 3 key specifications for a large aircraft equipment manufacturer

Systems have been specified and installed in support of the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) for developers of software for use on the healthcare industry.

The Software Development Life-cycle (SDLC)