Come Together, Write Now!
Microsoft Office 2010 and Co-authoring
Need various team members to contribute to a document? Microsoft Office 2010 offers a great option – co-authoring. Wondering how this feature will help you? Well, the main aim of co-authoring is to enable you to write with multiple authors simultaneously, making your existing workload easier. Need an input from an expert in a particular article? Well, you can breathe easy as such a format helps include ideas from different experts within a single document by giving each person secure access to add his bit, providing a faster and smoother route to a good article.
You can start off by placing a document on any team member’s Window Live “SkyDrive” or on a shared folder in Microsoft SharePoint 2010 and Voila! Just like that, it’s ready to be worked on. But, before you start out- here are 4 simple tips that will help you and other writers have a truly wonderful experience while using co-authoring:
1. The first thing necessary to deal with as you start out is the ownership of the document. Be clear when assigning ownership to one person - this assigns ultimate responsibility and avoids creation of confusion as to who takes the final call in case of any dissent or disagreement.
2. All wars are won through clear and concise communication between team members. Thus co-authoring needs a project manager to coordinate between all the co-authors while setting the overall pace and tone of the project. Traffic needs to be controlled to maintain team sanity.
3. Each co-author needs clearly defined areas of responsibility and deadlines. This makes for a smooth and easy contribution flow from each stake-holder. Timeframes ensure easy prioritization for each co-author.
4. Do keep in mind that for those new to Microsoft Office 2010 and co-authoring, some degree of training or an orientation might be needed. Arrange this before you start out so that ground rules and a clear framework is set for all concerned.
5. A final word of caution: Even though it may seem tempting to apply co-authoring to all aspects of your work, do not fall into this trap! Unless, perhaps, you want a referee from the WWE team to have to step in and break up employee brawls. Choose co-authoring documents wisely. Not each document lends itself to co-authoring.
So, buckle down and help people come together. Once they realize that it’s actually simple to access a document and contribute, it can result in greater productivity and more meaningful inputs from all stake-holders.