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Best practices for collaborative document development

  • For any document of non-trivial length and more than 2 people, use some kind of shared access:
    • Source control (subversion, cvs, etc.)
    • Single shared-storage Office documents with change tracking
    • Google docs
    • etc.
  • Agree on minutae early: naming, style, point-of-view, voice, etc. Enforce these decisions, and explicitly make new decisions as soon as possible when new ambiguities arise.
  • Don't let an individual or part of the team go off and write part of the doc in isolation for an extended period of time.
    • Unless your writers have worked with each other for a while, the text you get back won't fit with the flow and style of other sections
    • There may have been a miscommunication as to the nature of the section
    • There is a tendency to put off completion of the section to near the deadline for the whole document, making editing or a rewrite impossible
  • For large groups, someone needs to be a technical executive have final say in decisions of scope and content. This is often not the same as the manager.
  • As your team grows, stronger leadership is required to limit meeting length, frivolous discussion, and the effects of standing disagreements.
  • more tbd
best_practices_for_collaborative_document_development.txt · Last modified: 2010/04/27 17:13 by tkbletsc

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