Degree and university: Business Information Systems and Management at the University of Westminster
Job title: Senior Document Controller
What do you actually do?
I manage the flow, approval process and recording of all documentation on a large construction project in London. Such projects can involve literally millions of documents such as engineering designs and without document controllers, there would soon be an unmanageable mountain.
On a daily basis I will typically be processing documentation into ASSAI (an Oracle-based document control system) and producing ad hoc reports for engineers which detail all documents which need to be submitted or that have been rejected. In essence, I ensure processes for various workstreams across the project are implemented correctly.
What skills do you need to do that? Experience of ‘best practice’ document control, understanding of how a construction project works and the phases of the project and generally good IT skills, good communication skills, an ability to work in a team effectively and to get the best out of people. The interpersonal aspects are particularly important as good relations with engineers are central to the job.
How did you know you wanted a career in document control?
I didn’t know anything about document control initially, I just fell into it. These days, aspirant document controllers can have a look at the new Institute of Document Control which launches in August/September 2010 (www.document-control.org) to learn more about the job.
What would you like to be doing in ten years time?
Setting up document control best online casino processes/systems for projects in various sectors across the world. Training people in ‘best practice’ document control and how to use systems effectively.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Being part of a large team. Being the backbone of such a large project and bridging together all the various departments of the project. The satisfaction at the end of a project of being able to tell people the exact status of how much further work is left to be completed and finally handing over ‘cleanly’ the last few bits of documentation which marks the end of the project.
And the worst?
Can be quite repetitive at times and a lot of time is spent at a desk in front of a computer, although getting a look behind the scenes as this project takes shape has been a privilege.
What advice would you give new graduates who want a career in your field?
Apply for jobs as a technical clerk and gain a basic understanding of ‘best practice’ document control from the senior document controller in the team. Become familiar with the different document types that are handled on a project. Learn the various roles of different departments/individuals on the project. When the opportunity arises try and get promoted to a document controller position.