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what is the best way of collaborating in technical documentation?

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what is the best way of collaborating in technical documentation?

naumansohail
we have team of virtual writers and i need to keep track of their activities while virtually communicating and collaborating on various stages of documentation. which tool or technology should be used to make it more real-time and effective by delivering quick versions online to the clients and reviewing it from internal stakeholders.
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    TobiF

    This is almost a philosophical question. Nevertheless, it's important.

    Depending on your needs and your situation "best" can be very different things.

    Is the price important?
    Or do you even want something that is free of charge?
    Do you have resources, time and knowledge to develop your own, tailored solution?
    Or at least to adjust some prefab solution for your needs?
    Do you have resources, time and knowledge to buy your own, tailored solution?

    Would it be a concern to trust your internal documents in process to an external party?

    Do you have servers, internet speed, connection stability and operating resources to host your own server?
    Or maybe placing your own server in a serviced data center?
    Is it ok for your people to work in a "virtual" environment, where they can't do anything if they lose connection with internet?

    Do you need huge storage capacity?

    What file types are you dealing with?
    Do you need automatic conversion between different file types?
    Do you need several people to work on the same document (or even file) at the same time? If yes, do you have the logics to tally such edits? (e.g. this is one spot where you currently have a huge different between MS Word and OOO Writer!)

    How involved in the process are your customers?
    Would a publicly available solution (sourceforge, wiki) be viable?

    How important is amount of training needed every time a new participant joins? (If you have a stable team, then it may become very efficient when it gets trained, even on a very specific solution. If people come and go all the time, then you should minimize the need for training and settle for a solution that is easier to use "prima vista".)

    Do you have a very strict approval process? Or does it differ between projects? Or can it change "by the hour"?

    One single administrator of the process, or should different administrators cover up for each other?

    Do your writers have the same type of equipment and operating systems?

    If you think through these questions, then you may be able to limit your search a bit. But right now, I don't know what can be best for you. It could be anything between a wiki or a shared Excel-table online to a tailored ERP application...

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    0 Votes
    Karen_Beck

    Well, I think, we are talking about online collaboration here with the opportunity to co-work with documents.
    In this case I usually suggest such PM systems as Zoho, FengOffice may also suit you.
    The last discovery for me was Teamlab (http://www.teamlab.com) - PM and Collaboration platform with integrated online document editor. What is convenient about it - you can control the project progress, collaborate online (essential when it comes to remote workers) and proceed documents as well - everything is in one place. Docs can be created, edited, shared and stored + integration with Dropbox.
    The system is free.

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    0 Votes

    After over 2 years, the OP is probably gone...just open a new topic
    and let the zombies sleep.

    +
    0 Votes
    Karen_Beck

    Well, I think, we are talking about online collaboration here with the opportunity to co-work with documents.
    In this case I usually suggest such PM systems as Zoho, FengOffice may also suit you.
    The last discovery for me was Teamlab (http://www.teamlab.com) - PM and Collaboration platform with integrated online document editor. What is convenient about it - you can control the project progress, collaborate online (essential when it comes to remote workers) and proceed documents as well - everything is in one place. Docs can be created, edited, shared and stored + integration with Dropbox.
    The system is free.

  • +
    0 Votes
    TobiF

    This is almost a philosophical question. Nevertheless, it's important.

    Depending on your needs and your situation "best" can be very different things.

    Is the price important?
    Or do you even want something that is free of charge?
    Do you have resources, time and knowledge to develop your own, tailored solution?
    Or at least to adjust some prefab solution for your needs?
    Do you have resources, time and knowledge to buy your own, tailored solution?

    Would it be a concern to trust your internal documents in process to an external party?

    Do you have servers, internet speed, connection stability and operating resources to host your own server?
    Or maybe placing your own server in a serviced data center?
    Is it ok for your people to work in a "virtual" environment, where they can't do anything if they lose connection with internet?

    Do you need huge storage capacity?

    What file types are you dealing with?
    Do you need automatic conversion between different file types?
    Do you need several people to work on the same document (or even file) at the same time? If yes, do you have the logics to tally such edits? (e.g. this is one spot where you currently have a huge different between MS Word and OOO Writer!)

    How involved in the process are your customers?
    Would a publicly available solution (sourceforge, wiki) be viable?

    How important is amount of training needed every time a new participant joins? (If you have a stable team, then it may become very efficient when it gets trained, even on a very specific solution. If people come and go all the time, then you should minimize the need for training and settle for a solution that is easier to use "prima vista".)

    Do you have a very strict approval process? Or does it differ between projects? Or can it change "by the hour"?

    One single administrator of the process, or should different administrators cover up for each other?

    Do your writers have the same type of equipment and operating systems?

    If you think through these questions, then you may be able to limit your search a bit. But right now, I don't know what can be best for you. It could be anything between a wiki or a shared Excel-table online to a tailored ERP application...

    +
    0 Votes
    Karen_Beck

    Well, I think, we are talking about online collaboration here with the opportunity to co-work with documents.
    In this case I usually suggest such PM systems as Zoho, FengOffice may also suit you.
    The last discovery for me was Teamlab (http://www.teamlab.com) - PM and Collaboration platform with integrated online document editor. What is convenient about it - you can control the project progress, collaborate online (essential when it comes to remote workers) and proceed documents as well - everything is in one place. Docs can be created, edited, shared and stored + integration with Dropbox.
    The system is free.

    +
    0 Votes

    After over 2 years, the OP is probably gone...just open a new topic
    and let the zombies sleep.

    +
    0 Votes
    Karen_Beck

    Well, I think, we are talking about online collaboration here with the opportunity to co-work with documents.
    In this case I usually suggest such PM systems as Zoho, FengOffice may also suit you.
    The last discovery for me was Teamlab (http://www.teamlab.com) - PM and Collaboration platform with integrated online document editor. What is convenient about it - you can control the project progress, collaborate online (essential when it comes to remote workers) and proceed documents as well - everything is in one place. Docs can be created, edited, shared and stored + integration with Dropbox.
    The system is free.