4 ways to improve productivity in the document creation process

4 ways to improve productivity in the document creation process

Silje Stensland
16. Jun 2020 | 5 min read

4 ways to improve productivity in the document creation process

No matter what type of document your company is creating, there’s a simple reality you face: You have a limited time to complete and deliver it before the deadline. 

Collaborating on content in and across complex documents is a challenge that most organizations face. It can take considerable effort, requiring your sustained attention as well as attracting the interest, cooperation and help of other people in your organization who are also focused on day-to-day responsibilities.

Productivity issues are all too common – and costly. 

A widely cited report from the IDC shows that information workers waste a significant amount of time each week dealing with a variety of challenges (and frustrations!) related to working with documents. In fact, these challenges are robbing organizations of 21.3% of overall productivity, which the IDC then breaks down to an individual productivity cost of almost $20k per employee, per year.

To put it in perspective: For an organization with 1,000 people, eliminating these time-wasters would be equal to hiring 213 new employees!

Let’s take a look at 4 ways you can improve your organization’s document productivity, and how a co-authoring and automation solution will contribute to each step.


Fix your broken process

More often than not, all you have to do to get your productivity soaring without resorting to the ‘necessary evil’ that is overtime, is to mend your document production process. 

Is there perhaps a duplication of effort? Could it be that your precious time is being wasted in the to and fro between processes? Do you have a bunch of people twiddling their thumbs and waiting for the workflow to… well, flow? All these factors add up and contribute heavily to the time wasted.

Your document creation process can be made 70% faster with the right co-authoring and automation tools.


Collaborate better

As shown by a joint study between the Institute for Corporate Productivity and Babson College, companies that are effective collaborators are five times more productive.

Writing a detailed and customer-focused business document is a task that should never be undertaken alone. No matter how good your writing skills, you will make mistakes, and due to the frailties of our brains, you will probably find it hard to spot where you’ve gone wrong.

Many organizations rely on the traditional mix of email, spreadsheets and file-based solutions to help progress the timeline, chase for content and discuss thoughts and ideas as a document comes together. But with three different tools, multiple iterations flying around and no centralized view for all, it is easy to see how this leads to errors and problems, even with the most organized document team managers at the helm.

Document co-authoring solutions allow documents to be edited simultaneously by multiple contributors. True collaborative solutions are built on databases and allow for different sub-sections of a document to be edited in parallel. Basically, everyone can work on the same document at the same time, while management has complete control of the process.


Read more: How to collaborate efficiently on complex documents


Work in parallel processes 

In a traditional document production process, using file-driven solutions, the workflow is sequential. Files and folders will have to be created, maintained and transferred sequentially. Additions, deletions and edits will have to follow the course of the flow, and the last person in the workflow will have to wait for the entire process to unfold until he or she can make the approvals and finalize details. 

And God forbid they spot an error; then back it goes to the relevant department, writers, approvers, and so on up the chain. Result: Slow and time-consuming document production. 

A database-driven document solution, on the other hand, provides the ability to streamline this process and work in parallel, i.e. allowing multiple tasks to happen simultaneously. A parallel process will bring enormous time savings when you are producing documents in collaboration with internal and external contributors.


Enable your team to work from anywhere, anytime, and on any device 

In order to unlock the full productivity potential of your team, workers need to be able to perform the full range of document-oriented tasks using their smartphone, laptop or tablet.

A cloud-based document co-authoring solution enables round-the-clock accessibility. Say you need to make some last-minute additions or changes to your document while you are out of the office. Cloud-based co-authoring software gives you access to the system from anywhere – in the office, on a train, in a café, at home, and on any device. All you need is an Internet connection.

Are you struggling with productivity in your organization’s document creation process? Consider moving to a database-driven solution.


Ebook collaboration is the new competitive advantage


Silje Stensland

Silje Stensland

Silje is Marketing and Communications Director of Xait. She holds a Bachelor in Marketing Communication and an Executive Master in Business Administration. She is an analytical, efficient and results-focused marketing and communications professional and her career spans over 15 years within real estate, oil & gas and IT. When Silje is not busy growing the Xait brand, you can find her at her family cabin in picturesque Sirdal, Norway, hiking, trekking and cross-country skiing.

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