LinkLine: Summer 2015

How to Maintain Several Versions of a Section for Version Control

Regardless of the project delivery method, there will always be changes to specification sections, and multiple versions of a section or project spec can be involved. Obviously, it's very important to identify these versions quickly and easily, and to maintain version control through the completion of the project. SpecLink-E has features to help you do this.

If project requirements call for multiple versions of a section in your project or office master, SpecLink can help. For example, there is only one master section 092116 (BSD). If you copy this section, by default it will be automatically named 092116 (USER). When you copy a section, SLE will prompt you to assign a number, title, and acronym to the imported/copied section. You can assign any acronym you want, up to six characters. If you don't assign an acronym, SLE will default to the acronym USER. By using an acronym other than USER, you can have more than two sections with the same number – such as 092116 (ADD001), 092116 (BUL001), etc. This copied section is basically a "snapshot" recording the change that was made at that particular time. It is not meant to be the ongoing active section, but a record of what was changed and when, after a project has gone out for bid or construction. Please note that copied sections will not be marked or updated like the sections based on the BSD master sections, which is a good thing. You would not want to update a time record version.

By naming the copies as described above, this way differing versions of the section can exist in one project file for addressing different releases for things like value management proposals, change order proposals, approved change orders, etc. A record of the changed section is always available within the project. The status box can be turned “off” for inactive sections as appropriate. If a revision date or other identifying text is needed, it can be added as the firm’s standards may require.

For documenting the actual changed content within the body of the Section, changed items can be identified using editing formats such as BOLD, UNDERSCORE, STRIKETROUGH, [BRACKETS] etc.

Where more than one user is assigned shared responsibility for editing the project, it is best practice for the office to have documented procedures for achieving consistency and accuracy.