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Document management is an important part of successful project execution. This document covers the aspects of document management. Project specific information should be written in the project Document Management Plan, which is a part of the Project Execution Plan.



Electronic Document Management


Because the technology and work processes are changing so rapidly, typically the Document Management procedures will require adjustment to meet the requirements for each project. Additionally, Clients frequently include requirements for electronic documentation in the ITBs and in the contracts. For these reasons, it is important to consult with a documentation specialist at the inception of the project or proposal. For major projects it is advisable to have a Document Manager as a full time member of the task force. For small projects, this function can often be performed by a Project Engineer, in consultation with a lead document management person.


Electronic capture and processing of documents on a project can significantly reduce work-hours and prevent schedule delays by providing quick and reliable access to project information. However, it is crucial to implement the procedures immediately, and to train all task force members as they come on board. Therefore, the lead document management person should join the project as early as possible to coordinate these activities.


The list of project documents to be managed includes:


1. Engineering drawings, datasheets, technical reports, calculations and other documents

2. Correspondence, meeting minutes, periodic reports, presentations, etc.

3. Vendor data and other documents originating with suppliers and subcontractors

4. Procurement documents including purchase orders, inspection reports, etc.

5. Field documents including reports, queries, etc.

6. Any other documents normally included in a Project Manager's files


Every project document be assigned a unique document number, and be recorded in a computerized document index. Although this practice does not require that the documents be captured electronically, it is usually cost effective to do so.


The following key decisions must be made very early in the project and communicated to the entire project team in the Document Management Plan:


1. What types of documents will be captured electronically?

2. How will documents be identified (numbered)?

3. How will documents be made available to the various project offices and to the job site?

4. What communications links (e.g. T-1 or satellite) are needed to the site and other offices?

5. What documents must be delivered to the client; when and how?

6. What electronic file or hard copies must be delivered to the client at the end of the project?

7. What restrictions has the client placed on electronic document format, and how does this affect our work processes?

8. What document management systems used by the client or by other contractors will interface with our systems?

9. What document management systems will Company use?

10. What are the requirements for Job Books at the end of the project?

11. What are the Document Access criteria?

12. Will a Web site be used to communicate document issues?


While a Company’s main offices will have access to a reliable and fast network, the implementation time for deploying computer equipment and communications links to some remote locations may be several months. It is therefore crucial to identify communication requirements very early in the project.



Management of Electronic Mail


Electronic mail messages are not considered project documents, thought they can have be used as legal evidence to support claims. Therefore some of the messages are important and should be retained in the project files (during execution).


Project Managers and other engineers may forward these selected messages to the lead document management person for electronic or hardcopy filing, in the Project Files.



Project Files Hardcopy & Standard File Codes


Standard filing codes cover the filing of project documents during project execution. Project Managers are urged to use the standardized subject coding with the understanding that file subjects can naturally be expanded to suit project needs, or revised based on the scope of work. Consistency in filing facilitates location of information in archives by other personnel. It is expected that Project Managers will maintain separate private locked files for sensitive documents.


Each work group maintains its own hardcopy deliverable document files:



- Drawings

- Requisition

- ITB's

- Purchase Orders


- Home Office Let Subcontracts


- Field Document Files

Commissioning and Start-Up Services

- Field Document Files



Long Term Storage


At the end of the project, hardcopy and electronic documentation must be stored for possible future reference.


Key project documents need to be given special attention in long term storage. The following is the Table of Contents for Key Project Document files. The key project documents are to be kept on the project task force and sent by the Project Manager to long term storage upon completion of the project. Key project documents are to be sent to long term storage as a group separate from other project documents being stored. They may be stored as hard copy or electronically. In the long term, Company will ideally have all documents stored electronically.


1. Project Execution Plan

a. Overview & Owners Strategies (a Process flowsheet, plot plan, and equipment list to establish the basic scope and type of project)

b. Project Execution Strategy

c. Project Milestones

d. Project Organization

e. Key Issues and Risk Mitigation Plans (including Risk Analysis Memoranda)

f. HS&E Plan

g. Project Success Practices

h. Customer Satisfaction/Loyalty Program

i. Project Controls Plan

j. Project Quality Plan

k. Engineering Plan

l. Procurement & Materials Plan

m. Document Management Plan

n. Construction Plan

o. Plant Services Plan

p. Contract Administration Plan

q. Project Close-out Plan

2. Project Security Plan

3. Coordination Plan

4. Project Design Data

5. Monthly Status Reports to Clients

6. Monthly Project Review Meeting Memorandum

7. Project Cost Estimates

a. Last Check Estimate (summary only).

b. Original Proposal Estimate (summary only) of project as-sold (i.e. Initial Approved Cost Summary).

8. Project Schedules

a. Last Project Master Schedule (Planning, Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Start-up).

b. Original Project Master Schedule at start of project.

c. Last "CPM" summary.

d. Original Proposal Schedule as-sold.

9. Contract (unpriced copy) and Amendments

10. Operating Guarantees (performance and utility)

11. Ready for Commissioning (RFC) or Mechanical Completion (MC) Letters, as applicable. (The Letters to the Client notifying them of readiness and letters from Client agreeing with conditions; or not agreeing, with reasons.)

12. Post RFC or MC Record (Key status reports that deal with this subject.)

13. Test Run Status (Key status reports that deal with this subject.)

14. Plant Services Summary Report (May also contain Process Observer Report.)

15. Final Project Report

16. Design Hazards Review Report

17. Plus any other important project documents not listed above which the Project Manager feels have significant impact on the project history and Client relationships.



Document Management Plan


The Document Management Plan is to be prepared by the lead Document Management person.

The Document Management plan is part of the Project Execution Plan.



Pre-Qualification and Proposal Documentation


After completion of a pre-qualification and/or proposal effort, the Proposal Manager is required to save the proposal files until job award or loss. Upon award, the proposal files become part of the project files. Upon loss, the Proposal Department maintains a copy of the Qualifications, Proposal, and Presentation for a limited period of time. The Proposal Manager may personally save any useful documents from past proposals for his own use.



Document Security


For Security purposes, projects may require special handling of documents. These special requirements should be reflected in the Document Plan. For Electronic Document security, the Project Manager should coordinate with the Lead Project Document Management personnel, and the I. T. representative to establish secure electronic files.

Document Management Procedure


The importance of good communication. Or telepathy as the alternate!

An “armchair scheduler” or frontline messenger?

Why Project Controls

Selected Articles

A necessary document to support and explain the cost estimate: How did you arrive at that number?

Basis of Estimate