Understanding the nuances of document control within project-driven organizations, including owner-operators, EPCs, and engineered equipment suppliers, is crucial to delivering software solutions that successfully support this information management practice. At Ascertra, we recognize the invaluable insights gained from real-world experience. That's why we recently sat down with two seasoned document control professionals from our team. With a collective experience spanning nearly five decades in diverse roles across owner-operator and EPC companies, they shed light on 4 of their favorite Proarc EDMS tools and techniques that help doc controllers. Their recommendations not only look to enhance efficiency but also provide invaluable guidance for document controllers navigating complex project landscapes.
Before looking at each of their tips and tricks, let's learn a little bit about our doc control experts:
Having worked extensively in document control and life cycle information (LCI) coordination over her 26-year career for companies such as Bane Nor, Kongsberg, and Aibel, Anette understands first-hand the challenges associated with managing documents for engineering projects and asset operations. Anette brings her hands-on experience in document control to help support Proarc customers and ensure their solutions meet their business needs.
Ashley Heinen brings 23 years of document control experience to the Proarc team and leverages her experience working on projects for companies including Maersk and ExxonMobil to ensure Proarc EDMS supports proven document control practices. Right out of high school, Ashley worked in document control for a major oil and gas company before graduating from university in Management Information Systems.
Based on their vast experience, we asked Anette and Ashley what Proarc capabilities they recommend to the doc controllers they work with, and the following is what they had to say.
Anette's Top 2 Proarc Capabilities for Document Controllers
1. Start Project Planning Early without Files
Proarc doc controllers can start planning for documents very early in the project with only a list of the documents expected - no files needed at this point. With Proarc's bulk creation feature, document controllers can pre-allocate document profiles and numbers prior to the creation of any documents. These document profiles can be loaded with planned dates and linked to packages in the project schedule for planning and tracking. Responsibility and ownership of document deliverables can be assigned early in the process and monitored for ongoing progress in meetings. Many systems require a file before you can recognize a document, which limits early planning and progress tracking.
2. Leverage Flexible Metadata
Proarc doc controllers can use metadata configuration to streamline user experience and improve data quality. Flexible rules for document numbering, classification, and data validation ensure that all documents are indexed to consistent data standards and nothing is missed. Flexible metadata views for searching and profiling documents make it easy to list information for each discipline, department, or role to access documents in a familiar way. Doc controllers can progressively update metadata throughout the project for continuous improvement.
Ashley's Top 2 Proarc Capabilities for Document Controllers
3. Create Packages with Favourites Folders
Proarc provides doc controllers with the ability to save documents to a list within a Favourites folder even if the documents do not share common search criteria. This allows document controllers to create packages of documents using custom criteria even if they don't share a common set of metadata values. Using this tool, a unique set of documents can be easily collected and sent together on a transmittal or a workflow.
Help Tip: For more information on how to save documents to a Favourites folder, search Proarc Online help for 'Favourites'.
Figure 1: Viewing a Favourites Folder in Proarc
4. Use Spreadsheet Mode for Bulk Updates
Proarc provides the ability to perform quick bulk updates and bulk allocations for document profiles with the user-friendly Spreadsheet Mode. Combined with the flexibility to use personal metadata views, also known as Results Lists, Spreadsheet Mode allows doc controllers to choose the metadata columns they need to perform bulk changes or to bulk allocate document profiles. Once in Spreadsheet Mode, information for all listed items can be updated from that one screen as if being updated in a spreadsheet.
Help Tip: For more information on how to access Spreadsheet Mode, search Proarc Online help for 'Create/Update Documents'.
Figure 2: Bulk editing document properties in Proarc Spreadsheet Mode.
From Doc Controllers for Doc Controllers
Recognizing the value of insights gained from real-world experience in document control has always been an essential component to delivering software solutions that successfully support this practice, which is why perspectives from team members like Anette and Ashley are invaluable. Pulling from their extensive experience and the time they spend with clients every day make them great resources for providing tips and tricks on how doc controllers can get the most out of Proarc EDMS. Document allocation, flexible metadata, Favourites folders, and Spreadsheet Mode are just a few of the tools they recommend to help doc controllers be more successful in their roles. There are many more tips to share about how Proarc helps support project information management processes and practices; be sure to visit our blog to learn more tips and tricks from our in-house experts.
Share your Tips & Tricks
If you have a tip you would like to share with your fellow document controllers and have it featured in an upcoming blog post, please send an email to email@example.com!
If you’re looking to learn more about how Proarc EDMS can help support your document control processes, visit the Proarc EDMS solution page or check out some of our other document control/document management blogs, such as Streamline Project Closeout with Better Document Handover Packages.