Presented by Jeanette Eichholz at Documentation and Training Life Sciences, June 23-26, 2008 in Indianapolis.
Global collaborative writing team. Sounds good, doesn’t it? But why would anyone want to develop and maintain a collaborative team, especially over international time zones? Doesn’t everyone want their own autonomy anyway? to control their own destiny? their own budget? be happy within their own writing silow? Why develop a collaborative writing team?
For consistent standards, to share content and processes, reduce costs, to share a one for all and all for one attitude, and to gain the best of all possible worlds, of course. Because the reality of maintaining separate but equal writing silos is costly, redundant, and ‘managed’.
In reality, we’re all working for one company, sharing the same budget, using the same vendors, developing the same templates, following the same style guide… With the business imperatives we all have today to deliver more documentation faster, consistently, and cheaper, can we really afford to work in a silo? And wouldn’t we really have more to gain by sharing costs to develop content, agreeing on standards and templates, and determine how to meet tight schedules by sharing responsibilities by empowering all members of the team?
Managers/Teams will Learn about: How to build, develop, and maintain a global collaborative team and the benefits/challenges of working with a global collaborative team. Here are some of the differences and benefits she’ll discuss about working with a collaborative team vs working in your own separate writing ‘silo’.
* Team Leader vs Separate managers for each writing group
* Developing a Style Guides collaboratively vs Maintaining consistent styles across all the writing groups
* Getting everyone to do the same thing willingly vs Enforcing standardized templates and processes
* Srategizing translation cost trade-offs with everyone’s input vs Being told to reduce translation costs by 20%
* Meeting ‘creative’ schedules by splitting up the tasks vs Missing tight schedules
* Controlling quality and consistency collaboratively vs Getting the go-ahead to hire for a department editor
* Agreeing to write and reuse one set of content vs ‘Enforcing’ no changes in order to minimize translation costs
* Implementing a content management system with 4 months to write a 1000-page manual for two products with development in two different countries by working together vs doubling the resources, doubling the time, and doubling the cost
* Validating Chinese, Korean, Japanese translations with team members overnight vs Using costly external experts that takes one week to turnaround
* Gaining the best from 8 global teams vs Utilizing the best of one team
* Having an on-site writer working alongside the subject matter expert in another country vs Developing content for software written in another country
* Empowering everyone, sharing best practices, and gaining from the global interchange of information and technology vs Keeping expertise with the chosen few and enforcing their guidelines
* Developing a shared repository of content vs. Developing unique documentation sets and translations
* Collaborating on schedules, standards, and costs vs Managing schedules, standards, and costs