Re: Document Review

Subject: Re: Document Review
From: Tom Murrell <trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 2000 05:32:04 -0800 (PST)

--- Jean Cooper <Jean -dot- Cooper -at- twtelecom -dot- com> wrote:
> I have just completed a draft of a 70-page technical manual to be
> given to new employees who join an IT team of 10 people. My next step
> is to request that the 10 team members review the manual and offer
> any feedback they have.
> What is the best way to solicit feedback? I'm reluctant to distribute
> an electronic copy because I don't want people making changes to the
> document without checking with me first. If I pass around the hard
> copy, should I just ask people to write their comments/suggestions in
> the margins and write their initials as well?
> I'm new to this process and appreciate any advice you all have!

First, your instincts for getting feedback are good. Since your
audience seems to be new people joining the team, existing team members
should be able to help you.

I don't think you should be reluctant to distribute electronically, as
long as you keep the 'official' draft safe from changes. Each reviewer
can comment or otherwise mark up their copies without messing with your
'official' version. YOU can then control what goes into that and what
doesn't. Have them use DIF marks and different styles in their
comments/changes (in MS Word you can have them use the track changes
feature to handle this part...other programs have similar

Set a reasonable time, but not too long, to get comments. Then plan to
hold a meeting to review/resolve conflicting suggestions, which you
will get. Plan also to follow up individually with reviewers who
'forget' or get 'too busy' to send you comments or participate in the
review meeting.

Tom Murrell
Lead Technical Writer
Alliance Data Systems
Columbus, Ohio
mailto:trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com
Personal Web Page -

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