Working on a large-scale document with multiple contributors has many challenges. First off, bringing team members spread across the globe (in different time zones!) under the same umbrella, then there’s the issue of communicating with one another, and finally the challenge of creating and collating the content.
Having a document collaboration tool certainly helps: it gives you a place to write and store your content, and people can work on writing together. But is just writing the content all you need for successful collaboration? It isn’t. Collaboration is more than just creating a document: it’s about transparency, balance, consensus, awareness and documentation. You should be able to work together efficiently and effectively – it’s the whole process that counts, and it’s the process that brings better results.
The Possible Roadblocks
When a group comes together to create a document requiring cross-functional collaboration, each person brings their own set of skills and knowledge to the table. The goal remains the same, but the roles and requirements of each member differ. And it’s likely that each member of the team has their own vision and methodology on how to achieve that goal. Team leaders may not understand the fundamental differences among the writers and editors of the document, and this leads to deadlock when objections arise and clarifications need to be made.
Contributors need to understand that their task is part of the larger picture, and that their content work can be changed, moved around and edited in order to get the document client-ready. Additions and suggestions from editors improve the document and take it in the right direction.
Having a solid process in place – that is, a framework on how to write, submit, edit and organize your content – will avoid misunderstanding, prevent errors and leaks, and keep your document consistent with the organization’s vision.
Why You Need To Focus On The Process
Here’s why: you need to understand the process to understand (and realize) your objective. Begin by focusing on the end goal: whether it’s to win business, make a case for your client or draft a proposal. Then look at how you can create and fine-tune your process to best achieve that goal. The content will keep changing – the process should remain intact so that you can speed up the content creation process. This framework serves as a guide to everyone on the team. The process is concrete, so there’s less chance of misunderstanding. Ask the following questions:
- What are you seeking to do through with this collaborative effort?
- What business process are you trying to improve?
- What activities within the collaborative process will help you reach your goals quicker?
These questions break things down and help you identify the roadblocks and impediments to efficient collaboration. This helps you design a collaborative process that addresses your issues. When you pay attention to the process, and create one that is efficient, writers have more room to create content with confidence.
Collaboration software aims at removing the roadblocks to working together. Imagine – there’s the problem of how to bring writers and collaborators into the fold, how to familiarize them with your writing process, and how to give them access to the document when they need it. Between figuring out how to go about the process and co-ordinating with team members, the content takes a backseat.
Xait puts the focus on the content with a built-in, foolproof process. The problem of accessibility goes out the window, since we are a cloud-based solution. Your document is password protected and can be accessed from anywhere. Xait puts the power in your hands: editing, reviewing and formatting has never been easier. You assign roles, and each participant has access to exactly what they need to work on. Sections can be accessed only by those who need it, and locked once approved. The Xait process ensures that all changes are saved as they are written, so you work with the freshest and most recent version of your document. Write, edit, review and format, in real-time: the process is already in place…all you need to do is fill in the content.