To what extent do the documents your team members create represent your organization's brand? Do you often have cases where certain documents need to be reformatted because a staff member went overboard with creativity? There is a high chance you can benefit from a document control checklist. Many enterprises are using this to have better control of the documents generated by different people within the organization.
However, it is a good idea to understand what we are talking about. So let us define this checklist.
It is an important list to help organizations guarantee, quality, compliance, and consistency of their documents. Without this checklist, it may be hard to ensure everyone within an organization adheres to the requirements for quality documents.
Using a document control audit checklist, an enterprise can give individual employees within the organization as well as contractors guidelines to follow when generating documents on behalf of the organization.
The control checklist is aimed at creating uniformity as well as setting a standard for documents within a business. Everyone within the organization is required to perform the same checks when managing documents.
Some organizations use them as a training tool as well for new employees. The control checklist gives a document plan example to new employees so that they can understand the quality of documents expected every time they draft a document.
With clear controls understood by everyone, less time is spent going through documents before they are approved. A new employee can go through their draft and compare it to the checklist before they forward it to a supervisor or whoever should approve it.
Unless your business employs drones, then there is a high chance the humans you employ have varied preferences. If you allow each one to use those preferences to determine font style, page backgrounds, and where to place the logo, among other choices, your organization will lose its identity. Having a document review checklist template creates a uniform approach to creating professional documents every time. This is a big win for branding and all the benefits that come with a well-executed branding approach to documents.
Another benefit is the relief that comes with the knowledge that all the information being used in different documents meets a standard obligation the business has to its customers. For example, if the business needs to have terms and conditions or legal disclaimers in particular documents, a checklist will ensure that the information used in there is up to date and presented in a legally acceptable way.
Quality control is a major concern for many organizations, but quality goes beyond ensuring products are of a particular standard. Similarly, manufacturers endeavor to meet ISO guidelines for quality, businesses need to meet a similar standard with their documents. A control checklist is proof of quality control applied to all its documents. In some industries, this is a regulatory guideline that needs to be adhered to.
It may be tricky getting started especially if you have a complicated approach to this process. The following procedure can guide an enterprise as they get started.
All this can be achieved with the implementation of a smart document plan. That then poses the question, what is document planning?
This is a process of using technical writers to put together a detailed procedure to be followed when reviewing a document. The document plan will set up a checklist for the organization to follow. Common elements of document planning include:
The plan for the document makes it easier to understand what should be achieved when a document is finally presented to the intended consumer.
The techniques and elements of the checklist may defer depending on the industry and the needs of a particular organization. Those will be identified in the planning process. A typical document control checklist however will include the following:
The final checklist should be able to cover the following fields.
Organizations can simplify this process by using approved templates from a reputable software vendor. Templates usually have embedded checklists to ensure most of the elements discussed above are included. Templates can be customized to suit the industry or business. The use of templates will save time and minimize human errors and Windward makes managing them easy and effective. Know more about our document template software.