Benefits of Revision Management

Many people think change management starts when a design is complete. However, a revision management system provides many benefits throughout the product development process.

Communication is Key. During the development of a product there are many different people talking about different things at different times. In addition, there are often different objectives depending on when the communication takes place.

Revision Management provides a common reference for communications. It focuses the discussion on the facts, not hyperbole or perceptions.

Things exist in both Time and Space. Many organizations have a shared file system. But that does not let you know how things change over time, no matter how nifty your folder naming conventions might be. Nor does it let you easily refer to a specific version of a document.

Revision Management keeps track not only of where things are located, but also when.

Product Development is Complicated. Developing a product involves many different people, from designers to engineers, from technical writers to marketers, from salespeople to manufacturing experts. The product design includes many types of information, from customer surveys to engineering models, from sales brochures to maintenance manuals. There are requirements that always seem to change. The interactions between constituents continually generate new interfaces.

Revision Management provides a canonical reference for project status. It is a definitive snapshot of "this is where we are" as well as a history of "this is where we were and what else we tried".

There are many Tools. The good news is that there are many tools to help the product development process. The bad news is that you now have more information to track. You should be spending time solving the engineering problems, not keeping track of file folders. Doing modeling and simulation results in many files - how do you manage the design variations? Engineering feasible solutions results in many files - how do you manage the information that will be sent to manufacturing?

Revision Management keeps track of all the assets, from sketches and spreadsheets in the early stages of concept evaluation, to geometries and manuals in manufacturing and documentation.