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Merge Quality Assurance and Document Management Teams

Larger IT companies provide a number of services and functions within the Document Management team, including technical writing, catalogue / document / record management, document control and reporting. The large numbers of documents and records managed, along with the high demand for technical writing and document support usually justifiies a separate, specialist team.

In mid-size to small business there is a strong argument to combine the functions (and teams / staff) based on the overlapping functions and processes in the Document Lifecycle. A well-disciplined document management system should be completely in tuned with a company's policies and standards for achieving Quality Assurance objectives. Hence Document Control practices should be aligned with whatever Internal Audits processes or assessments are in place to ensure compliance to agreed standards (for both the Quality Management System and Documentation Standards).

To achieve quality excellence for products and services, Six Sigma provides tools, methods and techniques to continually drive process improvement.  As we discussed in another article, processes and all supporting documents, work instructions, specifications and design documents need to be meticulously detailed and preserved, before we can analyse them for effectiveness and improvement opportunities. Document Management is essentially a quality management discipline and requirement to preserve and control processes, documents and records. Hence it becomes integral in the strategy for implementing a Quality Management System (as best described in the ISO9001 Standards for a QMS).

For this reason, the roles and functions for Document Management and Quality Assurance should sit along side each other, and preferably within the same management team.

Once the support teams have been established for supporting Document Management, Process Improvement and Quality Assurance, it is critical that the structure, functions and methods are carefully crafted to be both effective in outcomes, and efficient in costs and resourcing.

The following diagram is a functional overview for establishing a Document Management System.



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