Managing ISO Documents and Workflow

Tags: Management, ISO 27000, ISO 27001, ISO 9000, ISO 14001, Software, Philippines, Workflow, BPM, Document Management System, DMS, Archive One, Activity Factory.

Analysis: Managing ISO Documents and Workflow for ISO 9000, ISO 27000, ISO 14001


Managing ISO documentation requires a lot of work and patience.

Some of the challenges that a QMS Officer or QMS Teams may face are:

Central Document Repository

A central storage for ISO related files is quite difficult to organize using the file system or a shared drive.  It requires a lot of discipline in terms of folders and document naming conventions.   It also allows document consumers to access old revisions that causes confusion.

Version control

Version control is a major pain for most QMS teams.  Overwrites and version confusion always happens.

Review Scheduling

Reviews can be scheduled on fixed intervals or annual calendars to make it more manageable.  However, QMS teams still need to deal with reviews affecting procedures and policies that are updated as a result of an incident.  Gathering and organizing a review session between all stakeholders involved is tedious process and costs a lot of man-hours.

Publication or dissemination

Publication of approved and updated procedures to a large document consumer group is quite a challenge.  Specially for organizations that have large work forces such as Manufacturing and Mining Companies.  

An example of which is an updated procedure or policy as a result of a Lost Time Injury (LTI) case for a manufacturing or mining site with 5,000 employees. The QMS team does their job and calls for an update to prevent the LTI case from happening again.  The challenge comes when the 5,000 employees need to be informed of the updated procedure.


Possible Solution:

Having a combination of a Document Management System (DMS) and a Workflow (WF) application can help with these issues.

The Document Management System (DMS) takes care of all version control, controlled access and storage of all QMS related documents.

The workflow application (WF) handles the review and approval routing of procedures and other documents.  The end of the workflow may be programmed to store the approved documents to the DMS.

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