Definitely good advice - unless you really need it, stay away from Source Control (in whatever software form it takes). BTW - working on the network and SC aren't the same; in SC, you check out the project's files to your local drive, work on them & check them back in.
One way you could approach it is to use a merged project. You could use the sub projects for modules of help that can be updated by different people. That way you have some flexibility but don't use revsion control software.
I was actually just reading up on Merged Projects. I'm not sure it would be a good fit.
I currently have a help project that consists of about 70 topics, divided into sections in the TOC by the main UI page they relate to.
Going forward, different people will "own"each of those sections and either updating those existing topics, or adding new ones to the section. There will also be entirely new TOC books with topics added.
Doesn't sound like merging is practical in that scenario ....
Well, you could have a sub project for each UI section for example....
You cannot have a non source controlled project on the network. With source control the authors take check out what they need to their local drive and check back in the changes.
As I see it, either you implement source control or you go with Author Care's merged help suggestion. You would have the full setup, the authors would have just their project(s). After updating they would send you their project and you would overwrite your old copy of it within the setup. May sound a bit messy but as long as you are methodical, it works fine, it does for us.
See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips
I would go with Author Care's suggestion in this situation and have each content provider create their own manuals, which you then merge with a master project that contains the top-level TOC for each section.
I work with another author on a project that was maintained by just one person for 3 years. We do not work in the same office and so trying to work collaboratively was awkward, even with source control. In the end I decided to turn several of the more disparate sections of the manual into separate projects, which I merge (both as CHMs and webhelp) back into the original on output.
The only thing I would add is to make sure they are all using the same stylesheet. Because our master and child projects are all under source control, I share the CSS between the projects. That way any changes to one are available and clearly visible in the others when the other authors next get latest. It helps provide parity and clarity for all.