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Project document file structure

Project document file structure

Project document file structure

Our internal audit folks just told us our project files were a mess.  

I'm in the government in a department that does a lot of heavy civil construction.  Some of the design is in-house, some by another government department, and most by consultants.  Construction supervision is either in-house or by consultants.  There's a lot of email and electronic stuff, but a surprising amount of paper as well (particularly once construction is underway).  

I'm supposed to come up with a proposal for standardizing our filing system---what to keep, who keeps it, for how long, etc.

Google has only been marginally helpful:  too vague on "Information Management" in general.  The departmental records people are working at a level way above this problem:  this would be a sub-sub-sub category of the stuff they work on.  

So, does any one know of any "standards" specifically for construction project documentation---from project initiation through to final completion?   

We would all be better off if we tried to be better, instead of trying to be better-off.  --Aristide Pierre (Peter) Maurin   

RE: Project document file structure

If you are going to design your own you need a lawyer.

However I'd have thunk that it is such a common requirement that your contacts in other jurisdictions would already have what you need.

Your google search might work better if you were to search for document retention policies or processes.

The trick is actually getting people to throw stuff away.



Greg Locock

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RE: Project document file structure

I would also ask the audit folks what they deemed messy about the current situation, as well as what suggestions they may have to remedy it.  Nothing says you have to use their ideas, but since they're the ones who deal with it day in and day out, they likely have formed opinions on what would make it easier.

Dan - Owner

RE: Project document file structure

Try looking up "ISO 9001 Document Control."  Then go have a drink.  The shakes go away eventually.

I have a background in biopharm manufacturing and ASME code fab, and although my desk may not look like it on a Friday afternoon, I take document control very seriously.  You need a system that can process every form of communication, report, completed form, revised drawing, etc.  And you have to follow it.  It's definitely not fire and forget.  It's something else that requires management.  But it's definitely a lifesaver for me.  I have a small practice with a lot of little gigs going on each week, and it generates a lot of paper and a lot of reports.  Couldn't do it without some form of document control.

RE: Project document file structure

If you're a government employee, then there's probably rules for dealing with file retention.  

Here in Indiana, we seem to keep everything in hard copy (or now electronic copies) for at least 7 years (if not 10) and everything older is placed on Microfiche.

RE: Project document file structure

ISO 9001 would be a good place to start. I've worked at a few places that used ISO, and it worked pretty well. As DTOREC said, it requires management; everyone has to be on board and do thier part.

Also, if the budget allows it, you might consider hiring a consultant. You can e-mail me (jwilsonatx@gmail.com) for a recommendation if you would like.

RE: Project document file structure

i was working in construction management company that developed own project file structure, while in general you can google for construction document management, you will find both software and book/manual offers.

iso has real pile of documents, and if it not mandated i would avoid it myself.

RE: Project document file structure

There are no standards, really; careful reading of ISO 9001 requirements simply state that you need to control your documentation and you need to have a documented process for documenting your process winky smile

Nonetheless, you can do a search for "project documentation structure" and get the following hits:


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