Modern society runs on information, and almost all organizations use documents to communicate information. However, many documents are dynamic. They get updated to reflect new events and understandings. The need to update means creates the need to manage documents so users can be confident that the document they access is the latest version.

Imagine, for example, that the script for a play is updated periodically, but the writer fails to control the version of the script or who accesses each version.

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The result could be that an audience witnesses a play in which actors speak out of sequence, use incorrect lines removed from the script long ago, and are uncoordinated as they move about the stage.

Virtually every organization needs to control the updating of documents, the approval process for their contents, and access to them so people use the latest and greatest version of each document. A record control document helps reduce rework, frustration, confusion, and the financial risks associated with organizations and individuals using dated or incorrect documents.

Document control is a profession and process distinct from the tools used to maintain control. For example, document management software, content management software, and document control databases are tools, while document control involves the overarching process that controls the use of these tools.

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