8 September 2010

Question: When do you up the revision number on a document?

I've been kicking around a few ideas in my head recently as I put together a post on document revision numbering. As my thoughts have percolated over the last week or so, I realized that I'd like to put the call out for thoughts to the readers of this blog prior to posting my own thoughts.

So here's your chance... what do you, readers of BetterProjects.net, think about document revision numbering? Do you do it? When do you increment it? Do you use major/minor numbering? Do you have any specific methodology is it really whenever you feel like it? What is your starting number?

Post your thoughts in the comments and I'll include them, with proper attribution, in my post!


  1. Something that always bugs me is when I see someone has appended a doc filename with "Final" because you know it isn't.

    How about you have version numbers that map to decision making forums. So if you have a Working Group and a Steering Committee that docs need to get through you have three layers

    1.0 for Steering Committee
    0.1 for Working Group
    0.01 for internal team reviews

  2. I have taken multiple approaches on this problem depending on the risk of misinformation and the ease of re-versioning.

    Tpically with manual versioning I increment 0.1 for each "release", i.e. each time I send it out to anyone. I will upgrade to 1.0 on "baseline" that is agreement to progress.

    It is worth noting here that i will protect the docuemts as Read only, such that I control the change and release of information.

    If I use sharepoint or similar, I will version control each change - easily done with check in/check out etc.

    In this case i will pretty much refuse to release the document by email, and ask all stakeholders to pick up via the sharepoint. Versioning becomes almost irrelavent as the tool will present you with the most recent and a full version history.

  3. iqi61610:48 pm

    I agree with Cleggton. Failing that, I use major.minor numbering e.g. 4.23. Version 0 is while the document does not have initial approval. Each time there is formal approval I update the major number. I'm not afraid to have a high number in the decimal. Everytime I send a document to any other people, I increment the decimal on my copy. I ask other people to add their initials if they are changing anything.

  4. I do the same as Cleggton, and I have to say, I like the no-fuss way Sharepoint deals with version numbers.
    The first version you upload is #1. If you make a change, it's #2. The change could be big or small.
    Theoretically, if you keep track changes on, people should use that to denote whether it had major changes or not: just look at the changes instead of the version number.

  5. Karyn C11:11 pm

    We only use minor numbering, so 423.02 would be the 2nd version of document #423. We increment everytime we make a change/distribute the document. We also have a table which shows if the document is still in draft form or has been baselined/approved/implemented along with a revision table that describes the changes. We also use version control.