Be in Control: Q&A on Document Control

Many organizations and private companies have specialized programs and teams in place to enhance organizational flow, streamline and standardize documentation development, optimize time, and ensure the final product exceeds client needs. This is no small task, in fact, document control and document management are critical to a company and their project’s success. Having reliable project document control available allows for quick access to information to team members on jobsites as well as the client upon project completion.

CommTech Global offers Document Control services that assist in coordinating all commissioning documentation activities, from pre-commissioning preparations to turnover at various project field sites. These services include (but are not limited to) documentation development, documentation compliance review, effective communication to all necessary project personnel, and preparation of specialized reports.

Lead Document Control Specialist, Payten Johnsrud, answers questions about the importance of document control – specifically for engineering in the energy sector.

  • Why would a client request Document Control services? What benefits them as a company to outsource Document Control?

Clients request Document Control services to help the commissioning process go smoothly. Without the document control team to create commissioning documentation, the technicians onsite would be spending hours on end not only commissioning, but also completing all the required documentation to prove each piece of equipment has been properly commissioned, adding huge amounts of time to complete each task. If the client doesn’t request the document control team, then we wouldn’t be able to complete the job as quick and efficiently as possible, which in turn, means less projects completed for the clients.

  • In your experience working as a Document Control Specialist, what is the commonality for companies within the energy sector? What is vital about Document Control in that realm?

The commonalities between companies within the energy sector are the rules and regulations, as well as the time frame requirements/restrictions for the sites to be able to run appropriately. It’s also important to consistently be abreast of the budget and time restrictions given by or imposed on the client and/or end user.

The vitality of document control is a key function for proper flow and safety on the job site, within the company as well as the industry. Lastly, communication is crucial in all aspects of business.

  • What do you use to complete a Commissioning Documentation Package?

Depending on the company we’re working with, the companies will have a set requirement for what documents they need in order to meet their requirements for a fully commissioned site. The Document Control Team use these requirements to develop and populate each document for the commissioning team. We use Bluebeam, Excel, and Access to help us populate the documents.

  • When a project is complete, how do you hand off document control to a client?

Depending on where the project location is, we will ship the documentation package to the commissioning technician on the job site. If our commissioning technicians are going to be around any of our office locations, they will pick up the package before heading to the field. We like to keep the full package in the hands of our commissioning technician until the project is fully completed to ensure the documentation package is 100% accounted for and complete when turning it over to the client. This is usually done by the commissioning technician submitting all signed off documentation directly to the designated client representative.

  • Would you say Document Control is a lot like a rule-enforcer/authoritarian? If yes, how so? If no, explain.

Yes, I believe we do play a role as a rule-enforcer because we must be in contact with project managers as well as project engineers to get all the necessary information to be able to start the developing the device list, check lists, calibration forms, etc. This keeps everyone on top of what requirements are complete and what’s still outstanding to ensure the project is in compliance and on schedule. Once we finish the documentation package for the technicians in field, we haven’t completed our job. The technicians in the field will contact the document control team to edit documents or add any documents for equipment and devices that might not have been in the drawing set when the document package was first created.  The documentation team sometimes must go to the field to help organize documents and get signoff signatures from client project managers and construction coordinators, once again enforcing process compliance to make sure our final product to the client meets all commissioning requirements prior to startup.

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