Set Deadlines for Document Reviews

Posted on: October 14, 2009

Managing document reviews can quickly become complicated, especially for long documents. Add multiple reviewers to the mix, and the review phase of a project can meander with no finish line in sight.

To help resolve this problem, set review deadlines at the beginning of the project during the planning phase. At that time, as the writer and other team members discuss the review process, it is not unusual to realize that the original document delivery date may have to change to accommodate review requirements (or vice versa). For example, the number of anticipated reviews and how extensive they are likely to be will very definitely have an impact on the delivery date.

Starting with the final delivery deadline, create a schedule for each phase that leads to it. You might, for example, list the following phases: planning, gathering information, outlining the document, writing the first draft, reviewing the document, revising, and so on. Discuss timelines and due dates for each phase with everyone who is part of the project. Be realistic about what it takes to get the job done.

The key point is that you and everyone involved in the document project must know what has to be done, by whom, and when work is due. It is essential to get buy-in from all participants. Follow up by giving everyone a copy of the schedules and deadlines that have been established for the project.

With an action plan that truly accounts for reviews, you gain more control and give yourself a powerful tool to help guide the document to successful completion.


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