5 Replies Latest reply: Apr 24, 2014 1:31 PM by Jeff_Coatsworth RSS

    SME review workflow

    shawninvancouver Community Member

      Hello all,

       

      Unless I am using incorrect search terms, I am quite surprised to find very few posts regarding reviewing of FM content.

       

      Here is my situation... and I don't think it is terribly unique.

       

      I am building documentation that requires random and multiple SME review. Some SMEs will only review a chapter or two and only one-time. Through the course of a year of documentation effort, I may require a hundred different subject matter experts, all using different OS platforms (many on Linux or Mac computers, a few on tablets).

       

      Absolute requirements for a SME review platform:

      - OS agnostic

      - must not require software installation

      - No restrictive licensing (because many SMEs will be one-time reviewers from outside the company)

      - Minimum ability to comment on text

      - Allow multiple and simultaneous SME review and editing

       

      Nice to haves:

      - Integration with FM

        > Ability to import comments back into FM

        > Export content directly to the on-line review tool

      - Allow SME to change content on-line (text, images, etc.)

      - Allow SME content sign-off

       

       

      Does such a tool exist?

       

      Currently, this is my workable but tedious workflow:

      - All draft work is completed in Google Docs (allows real-time and unrestricted access to multiple reviewers)

      - Once draft work is completed and signed-off, I manually copy the content into FM (note: At this point the Google Docs copy will become out of sync and no longer useable)

      - Format the document in FM

      - Final review work now takes place in a tool called Crocodoc (allows comments and annotations) or Box (allows comments and assigning tasks)

      - Take Crocodoc/Box comments and integrate into FM doc, republish FM doc to PDF, upload/update document to Crocodoc/Box

       

      There must be a more efficient workflow.

        • 1. Re: SME review workflow
          Jeff_Coatsworth MVP

          Why not just use the PDF Review function? In TCS5/FM12 it’s gotten much better at handling changes to the source FM docs while the PDF is out for review.

          • 2. Re: SME review workflow
            shawninvancouver Community Member

            Thanks for your reply Jeff.

             

            The PDF review function looks great *but* it doesn't come close to my requirements because:

             

            1) A default PDF viewer cannot edit a PDF document. So this is a non-starter because I cannot expect all my SMEs to have the ability to edit a PDF document.
                Is there even an Adobe PDF editor for Linux? Certainly not for free, even if it did exist.

            2) PDF editing is not real-time editing. It doesn't allow multiple SMEs to edit the same document simultaneously.

            • 3. Re: SME review workflow
              Jeff_Coatsworth MVP

              Acrobat Readers from version 9+ have the ability to do commenting and corrections that can be sucked back into FM. How many SMEs need to be reviewing the same doc simultaneously? You send to multiple people as a Shared Review, they all make their edits, and send it back to you to re-incorporate back into your FM source. When we reviewed Matt Sullivan’s FM11 bible, that’s how he did it in FM11.

              • 4. Re: SME review workflow
                shawninvancouver Community Member

                Thanks Jeff.

                 

                Please correct me if I am wrong but I believe that using PDF edits, as you describe, other SMEs cannot see each other's edits. This doesn't seem real-time collaborative.

                 

                Reason is... I would want SMEs to see all the comments made, in real-time, so that they can comment on each other's comments and also avoid duplication of effort. This is the one aspect of Google Docs that works exceptionally well.

                • 5. Re: SME review workflow
                  Jeff_Coatsworth MVP

                  Yes, you’re correct about that – the only way to see other’s comments is to send it out for review again.