Important document management functions needed in technical projects management

Companies involved in the execution of engineering projects are aware of the large amount of information and documentation that is generated and that they have to handle for their work to be performed correctly. In many occasions, dealing with this large volume of documentation becomes an obstacle that hinders their daily activity.

For this reason, having a tool to comfortably, easily and securely manage all this documentation becomes an essential element in any engineering project. And this can be achieved thanks to document management systems.

Through the digitization process of companies, it has been achieved that their documentation does not generate space problems, that it is stored securely and that it can be managed in an optimal way.

A document management system in engineering projects ensures that all the information is always organized, thus improving business productivity by being able to manage a large amount of documents with greater agility.

Why is document management necessary in engineering projects?

Any engineering project generates a large number of documents in its daily activity. In addition, and due to the type of tasks they perform, document management is especially important in this type of companies.

Usually an engineering project works in a collaborative way, that is, the company is not in charge of executing the whole process on its own, but subcontracts certain aspects of the work to third parties. For this reason, there is a need for perfect coordination between all those involved in the project.

To this end, it is essential to have a document management system that allows all project participants to have access to the information they need at all times and in real time, such as plans, technical specifications, etc. This avoids any delay or mistake that could compromise the viability of the work.

At the same time, it is very important that all this documentation is kept in a safe place and that only the people involved in the project have access to it, avoiding any possible industrial espionage. Thanks to document management systems for engineering projects, it is possible to securely establish which people are authorized to view which documents.

All these needs that arise in an engineering project can be solved in a totally satisfactory way by a document management software.

Types of documents that a document management software must take into account in engineering projects

As we have just seen, document management software is a valuable and essential aid in an engineering project. Let's see which types of documents should be covered by this type of software.

An engineering project needs to generate and transmit many types of documents. These are some of the most important ones that we have to handle most frequently and that a document management software must take into account:
  • Feasibility study. In engineering, actions are proposed that subsequently are not feasible, either because of the technical difficulty, or because of the cost they would entail, or because of other factors such as environmental, social, etc. The feasibility study is a document that takes into account all the possible difficulties and draws conclusions about them and the way to solve them.
  • Plans and calculations. Before starting the project, it is necessary to determine what is to be done and in what way, in order to carry out the correct distribution of tasks and their allocation to the different people in charge.
  • Budget. It gathers the cost that has to execute the project and that will be presented to the client for its approval.
  • Follow-up reports. They describe the progress of each task, including the difficulties we have encountered and how they have been solved. Thanks to them we know how the project is progressing.
  • Meeting minutes. They record what was agreed at a work meeting and serve to keep in mind the roadmap to follow, detecting where we may have deviated from the established program.
  • Legislation. They are all the legal texts of obligatory fulfillment for the execution of the engineering project. In this sector are especially relevant the technical standards that demand that the task is fulfilled following certain parameters.
  • List of supplies. Those we need to execute the project and its different phases according to the forecasts made.
  • Reference material. Any type of documentation or manual that is considered outside the project but that, if necessary, will help us to overcome any problem or difficulty.
  • Expert opinions. Issued by an expert on a specific issue required by law or that may be useful at some point in the process.
  • Economic documentation. There is a wide variety of documents related to the movement of capital that can be processed through the document management of an engineering project.
Depending on the specific characteristics of the engineering project we are working on, the different documents will be more or less relevant. However, given the number of participants involved, it is necessary to establish an adequate workflow, always supported by document management software.

Necessary functionalities in a document management software for engineering projects

A document management software applied to an engineering project must allow us to carry out, among others, the following actions:
  • Digitalization of all types of plans where the project is to be carried out.
  • Unification of drafting formats of the different reports.
  • Creation of a common space where all the consultation materials are accessible.
  • Establishment of access permissions to the different files depending on the phase of the project in which each expert participates.
  • Adoption of security measures to prevent leaks.
  • Etc.
All these tasks can be very laborious, tedious and complex if attempted manually. Having a document management software will help us to systematize and speed up the process.

This is the case of the useful Sage 200 tool, which has a complete document management module that allows you to quickly and efficiently manage all the documentation generated and received in any engineering project, structuring its classification, location and archiving. It also offers tools for searching, selecting, handling and tracking documentation.