Co-authoring in proposal management software

Co-authoring in proposal management software

Silje Stensland
21. Apr 2020 | 5 min read

Co-authoring in proposal management software

In a previous blog article, my colleague Tore writes about how, when using traditional word processors to create large business documents, team members typically find that working together can be time-consuming and frustrating:

“Instead of authoring quality content, valuable time is often consumed battling formatting and other mundane aspects and variables of content management that doesn’t actually contribute to the desired output.”

Does your organization suffer this pain?

A Salesforce survey of corporate executives found that 86% believed that lack of collaboration was responsible for workplace failures and that their company suffers losses due to dysfunctional team activities.

In 2020 and beyond, collaboration will be a key competitive differentiator for organizations in all industries. The chaotic situation my colleague describes above may have passed for collaboration only a decade ago, but today we recognize it for what it is: A dysfunctional team activity, fraught with ‘information chaos’.

Read on to learn why co-authoring in proposal management software will alleviate your document collaboration pains.


File-based solutions – barriers to collaboration

The tools that many businesses use to create high-volume, high-value business documents – i.e. traditional word processors and even cloud-based file-sharing systems – just aren’t fit for the purpose.

In a new ebook from AIIM, Kevin Craine, an internationally respected technology analyst, observes that “there is a disconnect between the collaborative capabilities of today’s information management systems and the ability of organizations to capitalize on collaboration as a distinct competitive advantage.”

As a result, proposal team members often end up spending more time finding information and managing the assembly of content than actually creating content that contributes to winning more business.


Co-authoring solutions – enabling true collaboration

Many popular content management systems are very good at providing a platform for file sharing, but they are not well-suited for the essential character of collaboration – co-authoring.

So, what is co-authoring exactly, and why is it important for your proposal team?

Different than file-sharing, co-authoring is a database-driven approach with the aim to standardize and reuse content, and to work more efficiently while producing the final product.

Co-authoring eliminates siloed content repositories

In far too many organizations, proposal contributors must copy and paste information from where it is stored to where it is needed. Is the information accurate or the most up-to-date? Nobody knows for sure, but hopefully so!

In the podcast AIIM On Air, which explores the methods, technologies, processes, and people on the front lines of digital transformation in action, Kevin Craine talks to my colleague Kris about cutting-edge co-authoring tools and strategies. Kris explains why using proposal software solution that enables co-authoring is critical for proposal teams:

“One of the biggest challenges that companies face is that when they work on large contracts and proposals across departments, cities and countries, and maybe also using outside consultants, it’s very difficult to manage that process if you work in a file-based system.”

You can listen to the AIIM ON Air podcast here.


Read more: Proposal collaboration or proposal co-authoring – what's the difference?


Move to a solution that enables co-authoring

Most document creation and management software allows for collaboration, but this doesn’t necessarily improve your process or save you time. Instead, you need to look for a solution that enables co-authoring.

A co-authoring solution allows multiple contributors to work on the same document, at the same time, regardless of where they are based. This means that the content review and approval process runs concurrently with the content creation.

Contributors, such as SMEs, can get feedback early in the process, instead of days or weeks after they have completed their content creation. Getting delayed feedback typically leads to process interruption or creates another process entirely, further delaying the proposal.

With co-authoring in proposal management software, contributors can also see how other team members have responded to a query, and then adjust their language accordingly.

A real co-authoring solution also allows the business process owners to break down silos by managing a corporate-wide process with complete insight into how the proposals are progressing. This is not really possible with a solution that is built on files or file sharing using Word.

Read more: Everything you want to know about proposal software



Many solutions offer file sharing, but this typically generates silos.

Co-authoring in proposal management software allows you to work in real time with your team anywhere in the world, while having complete visibility and control over what changes are being made.

The built-in workflow lets you assign writers, reviewers and approvers, all with individual deadlines. Your team works in parallel processes up until the deadline, and reviews and approvals are made as you go.

A parallel proposal process helps you produce proposals more efficiently, and more importantly, increases the quality of your content.

The better the content, the higher your chances of winning more business.


case study with dinhms-gruppen


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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