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Documentation Naming Conventions

realsilly (186931) writes | more than 4 years ago

1

realsilly writes "I am a requirements analyst, and I often find myself in companies where they either have an extremely rigid naming convention and structure for storing documents or there is no structure in place at all. I find myself in the latter of the two situations, where I'm trying to come up with an easy to use and implement naming convention that will be followed by those who don't name things formally. I am avoiding using numbers and dates within document names and in many cases, I have much of my early documentation on internal wiki pages. I'm looking for some best practices ideas from the Slashdot community."

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1 comment

No easy solution (1)

hatemonger (1671340) | more than 4 years ago | (#29995486)

I'm active duty military, and worked this problem recently for a ~2000 person operation. In the end, we had a fairly complex set of rules laid out in a 2 page instruction, but also provided a tool (an html file that used text input and javascript) that simplified the process. There was a checkbox for "Is this a draft?", "Is this a template?", a dropdown for classification and another for originating unit. There was only 1 mandatory text field, and that was for Base Document. Each input field had a brief description of what went into it.

Other things we required: no punctuation other than spaces, no "v1", "v2" (instead we used versioning on SharePoint), date-time group format was yymmdd hhmm and was only used in certain files like recurring reoprts. Also, don't forget to set up rules for creating folders. The last ~2000 person operation we did ended up with 17 pages of 9pt font to print our folder structure.

In the end, the hardest part is going to be convincing users that a standard naming convention is worth their time. You have to show them how bad it can be when done ad hoc, and how easy you've made it to follow the rules.

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