Project Filing, probably more than any other task, is often seen as a boring administrative burden. It may seem mundane, but the benefits of setting up a good, but simple filing structure and process are:
- A team that knows where to file items
- A team that knows where to retrieve items
- Control over item versions
This can save much aggravation, confusion and hours of correction.
Establishing the file management approach from day one and making sure you publish it, is one of the easiest ways of keeping method and order in your project’s administration, especially if you don’t have the luxury of a project support office (PSO).
Keep it Simple
Use the hierarchical product breakdown structure you created when planning. You’ll actually need a second one, apart from your project’s business products, there are also your project’s management items, such as plans and progress reports.
Do a structure chart even if you are using a configuration management software tool. It will help you organize your items and use the tool more effectively. As with all tools, it’s how they are managed that makes them useful!
Don’t make the filing system too complex, otherwise people won’t follow the process.
Test the Process
This is a good one! Testing the filing process of project management items is almost never done unless it fits in with a configuration management tool used for the business products, the main object of the project.
The team needs to be comfortable with the project filing process so they can focus on their main tasks and not be distracted by faulty administrative procedures. Worse, if a filing problem causes confusion over item versions, the results could significantly impact the project’s quality and have consequences with time, cost and of course, credibility.
It pays to put the effort in early when it comes to project filing!