This is how you make clear agreements about document management

Geschreven door:

Dani Lameris, October 30, 2023

Getting the most out of your document management system is more than just choosing the right software. By making the right agreements within your organization, you ensure that you utilize the full value of your DMS. Of course, no two organizations are the same and all organizations have different challenges with their own processes. However, there are a number of topics that it is always useful to think about carefully and make agreements in advance.

Permissions per folder

Not everyone needs to be able to view the same documents: the project leader needs access to much more data than, for example, a subcontractor. That is why you can select per folder who can see and/or edit the folder by assigning the correct rights and roles.

An easy way to do this is to number folders, from the most public (1) to the most restricted (for example, 20, but this depends on your project or organization). You then assign the correct rights to this. For example: external colleagues can only see folders 1 to 5, internal colleagues can see folders 1 to 10 and management sees folders 1 to 20. This means that users never see more folders than they have access to and you prevent people from get the feeling that there is something they should not know.

An additional tip to speed up this process is to add all users who fall into 1 category to a user group. For example, put all subcontractors in the Subcontractors group. You then assign the group the correct rights.

Have you set up your folder structure more generically and do not want to set rights for each project partner? Then use Approve and Freeze to unhide files. For example, set that external users can only see approved documents.

Keep all in formation in one place

In addition, agree that you will only distribute all your files within your DMS. If you have files stored in different places, this can lead to different versions of the same document coexisting. Within Prostream there are various solutions available to edit files, while guaranteeing the complete history.

In addition, make agreements to share files that require an action in a certain way. Does a file need to be assessed by a project partner? Then create a document task. Progress is recorded in the log of the file, and you can immediately see what the status is.

Is there a file that does not require immediate follow-up? Then send it as an attachment to a message. You can also send this to colleagues who are not in the project. This way you can inform everyone efficiently.

Prevent multiple versions of a document from coexisting by making clear agreements.

Set the right meta data

By filling in the correct metadata when uploading a file, you add a lot of value in the long term because you create different insights in this way. This can also make the folder structure less important when looking up a document, because you can filter on the metadata.

To ensure that this is always done correctly, make it mandatory to complete metadata. You can set this at both organizational and project level. In addition, ISO-19650 requires that as much relevant metadata as possible be added to files in order to classify them correctly.

Version or file name

It is also important to be clear whether the version or file name is leading. You set this for each project. This way you maintain clarity in naming files and managing versions. You can also do this by setting a download name in Prostream. You do this based on the entered metadata.

Appoint someone responsible

Finally, it is useful to appoint one responsible person who keeps an eye on the rights, folders and metadata structure. This way everyone knows who the point of contact is in case of questions, uncertainties or adjustments.