Somewhere between “Draft 2” and “Draft 73,” it can be easy to lose control over your all-important report. It can happen as a result of having many hands in the cookie jar: multiple edits, deletions, insertions or course-corrections.
Without a proper version control system in place, and the right tools to help you keep track of changes to a document, you’ll get lost in the Bermuda Triangle of document management, potentially spending more time trying to tell the documents apart than was spent to create the original in the first place.
Version control is needed for documents that undergo a lot of revision; those that are completed frequently and those that have multiple contributing authors. Changes may not be apparent, especially in text-heavy documents.
And if multiple drafts exist but are not properly catalogued, someone searching for a document may find an earlier draft with incorrect information, which could then be passed on to clients, partners or employees.
This can ultimately hurt your business’ bottom line and image, and in some industries, create legal troubles.
In a space such as Work Health Safety, a mistake in report filing can open an entire organization up to fines and other penalties. If you have to submit incident reports promptly following worker illness or injury, it’s important to be able to tell quickly which version of a report is the most recent, who was the last to make edits, confirm all additions were approved, and that the information is 100 percent-accurate.
What’s important when considering version control?
- Clarity: Versions have to be clearly distinguishable, with the latest version easy to find. Whether different versions are linked together or kept in separate folder structures, they should have the same—but versioned—files names, be dated, identify the author and separate the edits by additional contributors.
- Annotation: Describe which changes are taking place and list the reason for the edits. Point the approver in the right direction.
- Revision history (Track Changes): Edits should be easily identifiable and pop off the page, giving an editor or approver the ability to accept or reject changes.
In the Noggin OCA platform, we’ve made tracking changes in reports quicker and easier by clearly highlighting the changes made in the approval task using rich text.
We’ve added support for viewing rich formatting in tasks, so you can see special formatting like italics, underlines and inline images. Changes made to a report can be seen in a “details” section, and any changes made since an earlier version of a report can appear highlighted. There are also separate sections for added text and removed text.
If you’re not a customer but would like to see this feature in action, you can request a quick demonstration of our platform to see the feature in action!