Integrating Document Control as part of Project Control


When working on projects, Document Control is one of the roles that help control the project and help monitor its progress.


It is therefore an essential function to the Project Management team, providing them with the key performance indicators of the documentation.


What are Project Controls?


Project Controls can be defined as the group of disciplines that plan, measure and monitor the project.


It is about monitoring the difference or gap between the planned variables and the actual performance.


An example, from the Cost Control area: We were planning expenditures of 125,000$ this month, but we actually spent 250,000$: what happened there? Does that come from an overspend or is it just expenditures planned for another month that came in early (or late)? Is there any corrective actions to take?


How does Document Control fit into Project Controls?

Document Control, when properly implemented and executed, is one of the key roles to help measure the performance of a project and its progress.


Indeed, the progress of most major projects is monitored through the provision of the agreed documentation deliverables. 


To take a simplified example, if we were supposed to deliver 10 documents during the design phase of a project and we have delivered 5, then the progress is 50%. 


And if we were supposed to send those 10 documents by a certain date, and this delivery is overdue, this is something the Project Manager needs to know as soon as possible.


How Document Control can help control the project?

  • By issuing regular reports to the Project Management & Project Controls team, showing the progress of the documentation 
  • By keeping an up-to-date and accurate Document Control dashboard that displays the status of the documentation key performance indicators.
  • By issuing, at least on a weekly basis, a report on late documents / late comments to the project team, so that they can take immediate action
  • By keeping lines of communication open between Client Document Control team and Contractor(s)/Supplier(s) Document Control teams so that we can identify and fix easily any potential issue that may arise regarding documentation
  • By issuing, at least on a weekly basis, the latest updated MDR (Master Deliverable Register) to the Client and asking them to cross check information. This helps identify gaps and potential issues
  • By sitting down as early as possible with the Planner, in order to integrate the provisional dates for documentation delivery in our DC system. This helps then to measure where we are compared to where we were supposed to be.
  • By ensuring that the Project Manager understands the Document Control team’s capabilities and how we can support him/her along the way. 
  • By discussing with project team their reporting needs as well as  defining thresholds for red-flagging during the project
  • By ensuring that project users receive an induction to the Document Control essentials at the start of the project, and that they know who to ask questions if they have any
  • Finally, by ensuring that the mechanism for spotting and correcting non-conformities is in place.


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Comments: 1
  • #1

    Jan Iversen (Wednesday, 18 September 2019 19:03)

    I have been in Document Control for over 25 years. I have worked in the Oil & Gas Industry, but in two totally different entities. My previous employment we built to Customer needs and specific parts. Where I work now it is very challenging and have been thinking of so many ways to better our system. Of course all departments use different systems, Document Control system was built in access and we build by sales order, meaning we can not build the data book until we have the sales order and that is usually at the shipping stage, due to the work orders generated to major parts that go onto the main part. We say we build to stock, but we are not at that point yet. I have been working here for 14 months, and have tried to come up with new processes, but since the way this place has always ran, then everyone says there is no other way. I strongly disagree with that answer. I need some advice on what we could do better in document control area, on getting information prior to not knowing until it's in the shipping stage. I have been wanting to sign up for this class ever since they have come to USA, but I personally can not afford the class, and the company didn't see the need for me to get certified. We are API certified and we used to be ISO certified, but API Q1 overrides ISO procedures, so they say. An example of what I am asking for advise is as follows
    BOP Body will have a work order with Sales Order number, the Assembly Bonnets that are welding to the body will be a generic work order which this will be completed prior to the BOP Body. Our QC Department scans in and saves the Trace Sheets to the assembly bonnets, but we can not start compiling the parts listed on the trace sheet and or start building DB until we know what BOP Body Sales Order it will be assigned to. In my eyes this is wasted time and we could be so much closer to getting data books out to customer in a timely manner if there was away we knew what work orders will be assigned to the main part. Has anyone that you know of that builds to stock or do you have any ideas for me that will help me in this situation?
    Thank you in advance for any advise or examples that you and or Consypsys has information about.
    Jan Iversen