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6 tips to improve document revision management

Document collaboration tipsThe document review topic is not new for us, being analyzed in some of our articles. This time, we’ll try a new approach and bring you the strategy and tactics of document review. So let’s get to it!

Document revision projects usually involve over three people and the steps are always the same:

1. Elaborate the document.
2. Send it for review.
3. Modify it.
4. Send it for review again. Repeat steps 3 and 4 (endlessly sometimes, as no document is ever perfect).
5. Send it for approval (to project manager or client).
6. Publish/ Implement the reviewed document.
7. Update it if necessary.

We’ll just focus on the document review part for now. Even nowadays, many companies print electronic documents and distribute them to each member of the document revision team. This is a highly ineffective and time consuming process, to say the least, delaying the whole document review process and making the author’s job pretty messy. In order to be truly effective, the document review process should take full advantage of the new document revision technical tools available now.

What a reviewer should look for in a document:

  • Form - here’s what makes for a “good looking” reviewed document:
     Correct spacing
     Correct page numbers
     Accurate headers and footers
     Correct margins and page breaks
  • Content
     The material is technically accurate
     The goals of the document have been achieved
     Quality, style and grammar (don’t forget that spell check!)
     Document uses consistent tense
     Document addresses the audience appropriately
     Sentences use simple structures
     Unnecessary information is eliminated
     Does the reader leave wanting more?
     Internal cross-reference within the document is accurate
     References to other existing documents are valid

We know that the document revision process can be different, depending on the review requirements of every business. Some steps from the review process described above may be missing or unnecessary.  We would appreciate your contribution to this list. So, feel free to add your own steps to the process, leave a comment!

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