Standard Editing process

Subject: Standard Editing process
From: Sarah Carroll <sarahc -at- INDIGO -dot- IE>
Date: Tue, 21 Apr 1998 16:39:07 +0100

Hi all,
I'm working with a client on preparing an outline for
their documentation process. The company is
(relatively) small, but growing fast, and wishes
to put in place a process which will be equally
effective no matter what size the doc. group ends
up at. Currently three to four tech. communicators.

The client and I cannot agree on what is the standard
process for editing. I suspect that there isn't one :-)
which is why I'm soliciting your help.

The subject matter is fairly modular, making it
feasible for multiple writers to work on the same
products' documentation. There is a style guide,
(although much in need of updating), a glossary
system, a separate indexer, and much legacy material.

The client contends that it is standard practise for
writers to submit first drafts of all material to editors
for review, a chapter at a time. That the editor then
marks up the changes, and returns the whole to
the writer, who implements the changes across
all the material after finishing the first drafts of all
the chapters he/she is responsible for.

I think that this is a most inefficient way of using
resources, and would prefer to see a process
whereby a sample/first chapter is submitted to
the editor for review, this is marked up by the editor
and changes discussed with the writer, who then has
the opportunity to write according to correct guidelines
from the (almost) start if they have not done so already.
With a coherent style guide, this should be possible.
The editor can then concentrate on clarity, grammar,
consistency, punctuation, completeness - etc. and
not necessarily in that order.

Has the client been reading too much Dilbert? Or
am being overly optimistic? Opinions and experiences
much appreciated.

Thanks and Best
sarahc -at- indigo -dot- ie

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