Facilitating the Review and Certification of 170 Procedures in Thirty Days

The Situation

At the end of 2014, a station was ordered by the COO to ensure that 170 procedures were reviewed, certified, and organized by the end of January. Most source files were stored on a station shared drive at that time, but a few were on the plant’s SharePoint site and a few were being developed and were located on personal hard drives.

Station operators were busy marking up hard copies while two training coordinators were reviewing their suggested changes and editing the documents. Without a solution, it was unlikely that all 170 procedures could be certified in time due to the churn involved in the old-school method of storing and tracking the documents.

The Task

Fortunately, the Regional Vice President knew enough about the potential of SharePoint to request my assistance in the matter. Given the urgency of this task and the fact that the second-highest ranking executive in the company was demanding completion by the end of the month, a colleague and I were asked to be physically on site to ensure completion by the end of the month.

The Action

We relocated all files to a new SharePoint Document Library and permissions were set accordingly. We added a status tracking column to the standard fields of metadata required for files to be saved in the library because there were going to be so many procedures in various stages of completion. The training coordinators identified six stages of the process, so each stage was assigned a status in the status tracking column. We essentially converted the document library into a task list by adding an “assigned to” column and a status update appended comments column.

With the process being tracked in the document library, all the team's efforts became focused on the important work of ensuring the content of the procedures was correct, with little effort being required to manage status tracking.

The Results

Plant management reported completion of the effort at the January 31st report-out meeting. Additionally, plans were made to add a calculated column to determine when annual re-certification of the procedures was due. The procedures were divided into twelve batches so review and certification could be regulated evenly throughout future years, rather than having all of them coming due at the same time.

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