Photo by Lauren Mancke on Unsplash

Through my work as a technical writer, I’ve become a student of document reviews especially those performed by geographically dispersed work teams. You may know from your own experience that document reviews can be a painful process — often times poorly enforced, planned, and scheduled — meaning that some may want to throw new tools at the problem looking for some sort of cure all over this age old issue.

The rise of group chat tools such as Microsoft Teams and full-blown enterprise social network (ESN) platorms

  1. Document reviews typically fall to the end of the project cycle. Like it or not, you’ve probably seen your document reviews happen in the closing days of the project where reviewers are often times going in multiple directions. Outside of another communications vehicle, social media can’t help much here.
  2. No built-in enforcement/accountability. Document reviews require levels of enforcement for management and accountability for reviewers this is doubly true for geographically dispersed project teams.
  3. ESN lacks definable standards and processes. You can shore up a new or existing process with ESN tools but a document review requires definable standards and processes.
  4. It’s just another tool to learn for some users. I am a big proponent of today’s web-based collaboration and project management tools but am the first to admit that not everybody shares my interests and passions
  5. Collaboration & ESN aren’t always baked in. While social media and online collaboration have great promise within the corporate enterprise there is always going to be the organizations, teams, and users who aren’t going to be comfortable with the communications and transparency that the tools provide in a document review.

Are the technical writers in your organization using ESN tools for internal communications?

My name is Will Kelly. I’m a technical writer and content strategist living and working in the Washington, DC area. My current focus is thought leadership and technical marketing content. I got my start writing user guides, administrator documentation, online help, and later moved into SDLC documentation. My articles about enterprise mobility, BYOD, and other technology topics have been published by IBM Mobile Business Insights, Samsung Business Insights, TechBeacon, CNET TechRepublic, and others. Follow me on Twitter: @willkelly.

%d bloggers like this: