“Version control” refers to a system designed to control access to edited documents to ensure that only editors can make changes to them as they move toward finalization. This is usually done through limiting access rights to the online file management system. In other words, once files reach a certain point in the production process, version control ensures that writers can’t go back into a file and screw it up by introducing any of a variety of errors.
An analogy would be to put former Wall Street executives in charge of the current federal financial bailout effort; you know, like the fox guarding the hen house. Such is the case in my office.
Despite ongoing protestations from my co-workers and me, our manager will not enforce the much-needed version control by restricting access rights for anyone above her in the company hierarchy. This includes several VPs and senior VPs who also function as proposal writers. The result is that my editing is regularly nullified, and proposals go out the door with multiple errors that were introduced post-editing.
The absence of effective version control is one reason why many editors retain copies of every file they work on. CYA!