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Serial vs. Parallel Process

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3 min

You hit Google with ‘Serial vs. Parallel Process’ and you find thousands of articles talking about the study of how our mind can run both in serial and in parallel. In the white paper Serial vs. Parallel Processing: Sometimes They Look like Tweedledum and Tweedledee but They Can (And Should) be Distinguished written by James T. Townsend, it says:

Serial processing means strictly sequential, without overlap of the successive processing times on objects or distinct subsystems. In a standard type of serial system, each object takes the same average amount of time to process and the next object begins processing only when the previous one is completed. On the other hand, parallel processing signifies simultaneous processing on several objects or subsystems at the same time, although processing may finish on different objects at different time.

Simpler version? A serial process is sequential, one process after the other; a parallel process is simultaneous, with a lot happening at the very same time. It looks a bit like this:

Parallel Process vs Serial Process


Though these studies are to do with the capacity of our mind, the rule applies to most everything we do at work, especially in document creation. Let us apply both these processes to our beloved document creation and let you decide which you would opt for.



Traditional Serial Document Creation process

Document Creation the traditional way, follows a serial process for the most part. Look at this traditional proposal creation workflow for instance:

Proposal Management Process



A bit daunting, eh? Document creation is a very detailed and intricate process, and rightly so. To create that winning proposal, a flawless legal document, or a detailed product report, is no easy task and requires many hands. In a traditional process, the workflow will have to be 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 man on the workflow will have to wait for the entire process to unfold until he can make the approvals and finalize details. And God forbid he sees an error; then back it goes to the concerned department, writers, approvers, and so on up the chain. Result: Slow and Time consuming. But despite its share of glitches and errors, this method has worked thus far for many.

But if you're not getting better … you're getting worse right. So what’s better?


The New and Improved Parallel process

As introduced, a parallel process means that very many tasks can happen simultaneously. What does that mean for the document creation process?

  • You cut through the workflow
  • You have all your teams working together towards the document simultaneously
  • And you cut turnaround time (TAT) by half or more

Document Collaboration and co-authoring enabled by XaitPorter allows your team to create documents seamlessly and in real time. Your document can be edited simultaneously by multiple contributors. All the authors and reviewers of the document complete their allocated tasks working at the same time. How does that happen? XaitPorter allows different sub-sections of a document to be edited in parallel.  Parallel processing in the truest sense! In a serial process, the Proposal Manager is usually the last one to get the file and run final checks and approvals. But with XaitPorter, the Proposal Manager has complete control of the production process from the word go.  He can give constant inputs throughout the production process, greatly contributing to the quality of the document and reducing turnaround time.

proposal manager bast practises free download


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Xait is redefining document collaboration. We believe that document collaboration should be about improving both quality and productivity. And this is exactly what we help our customers do with XaitPorter. By removing interruptions in the document creation process, we provide our customers with focus.

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