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Document Control vs Change management

Posted by Zeeshan, 26 May 2011 · 8,998 views

Dear All,

I require your help here.

What is document control in Quality Systems Management? Anyone with an idea of how it is effected within an organization.

What is the difference between document control and change management. or rather the purpose of document control.

Please help.


IMO after "Management Commitment" "Document Control" is one of the most important aspect of any management system.

By Document Control you ensure that:

1) All documents in used are properly authorised (reviewed/verified/approved by competent authorized personnal) and are of the correct version.(applicable current issue or revision)

2) Documents are clearly legible/readable, unambiguous, in appropriate languages and sufficiently detailed to enable their correct application by appropriate staff.

3) They are readily accessible to relevant staff at all times through any convenient media (soft copy / hard copy / display)

4) The reason/justification for any changes or amendments to documents critical to product safety, legality or quality systems and procedures is recorded so that its justification could not be challenged by any competent second or third party including customer, CB auditors and legal bodies.

5) A procedure is in place to control obsolete documentation.

Documentation is the backbone of a management system because you can not achieve the objectives of stadardization and continual improvement without it. In other words documents provide the baselines for recording and maintaining current performances and also give confidence and clues for moving ahead for further improving the outputs. If documents are not controlled (for example if documents are not authorized or changes to them are not controlled) then no body could get the expected performance and expected records in the standardized manner. Therefore a true effective organization is one which always "appropriately" update its documentation system after every change or modification. And a true effective documentation system is one which always continually improve the overall and functional-level performance of an organization in the intended direction. By the word "Appropriately" I mean through properly planned, effectively implemented and efficiently controlled system. The following figure reveals the fact that almost every function of an effective organization is or should be linked with the documentation control module.

Posted Image

Change management is entirely a different term. According to wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia....ange_management)

"Change management is a structured approach to shifting/transitioning individuals, teams, and organizations from a current state to a desired future state. It is an organizational process aimed at empowering employees to accept and embrace changes in their current business environment."

There is another term frequently used in the field of QMS - "Change Control". According to wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia..../Change_control)

Change control within Quality management systems (QMS) and Information Technology (IT) systems is a formal process used to ensure that changes to a product or system are introduced in a controlled and coordinated manner. It reduces the possibility that unnecessary changes will be introduced to a system without forethought, introducing faults into the system or undoing changes made by other users of software. The goals of a change control procedure usually include minimal disruption to services, reduction in back-out activities, and cost-effective utilization of resources involved in implementing change.

Hope it helps!


Source: Document Control vs Change management. Edited and added some contents in the original post.

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