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I may need to cross-post, but I'd see if anyone has experience with this project management issue.

We have a core document, say, a series of standards, that, based on that, we create solution guides, promotional materials, or other supporting documents. The idea is that every time you change that core document, you have a way to trigger or flag all the downstream documents for checking to see if they have to be updated or are fine as-is. It's not always a direct citation of a particular standard, but something as general as "because we have standard 1.3a, we wrote this explanatory document". If 1.3a changes, that explanatory document may need to change, or be removed, even.

I've been reading about document management systems, and they seem to have versioning, but I don't see this particular kind of feature out there. Are there specific terms I should be looking for in evaluating the product, or does someone out there have a workflow that they use to make this process relatively painless?

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Tracing Requirements

You may be talking about a traceability matrix or requirements traceability. There are certainly commercial products in that space (e.g. DOORS) that may be suitable, but in many cases a versioned spreadsheet or ASCII table under revision control may be enough.

  • Thanks for the links - if I understand the things you suggested, these examples focus specifically on code/engineering dependencies, like a required module for a particular version of a software project to work. Is that right? I'm looking for something more along the lines of data object/asset management, or things like pdfs, etc. Do you have ideas on how that may apply here? – Charlene Barina Jan 7 '15 at 19:00
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    @CharleneBarina Don't focus on the tools; focus on the process. The point is that you need to trace relationships between things (requirements are just a type of document), and a matrix is usually the right way. – Todd A. Jacobs Jan 7 '15 at 19:05

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