27 Jan Relieving the stress of Collaborative and Contract Reviews

If you’re the author of a document that is being reviewed by multiple people in parallel, what is the biggest single problem that you face in the review process? If it’s a contract, what is your biggest concern? We’ve done some research on these two questions and the answers are normally one of two issues:

  • As a document author, I back multiple marked up copies of the Word document that I previously distributed all marked up with Track Changes. Not only do the multiple colors make them difficult to read, but when I get multiple document copies back, in many cases one person changes a word to say “X” and another person changes that same word to say “Y”. In other cases, someone’s change in one part of the document does not fit with a change made by someone else later. I then have to or email the reviewers to get their input and normally they are not available on their phone when I call. It takes a lot longer to sort those things out than it should.
  • If I’m working on a contract, there is always the risk that the other party could change the wording in a way that Track Changes does not pick it up… wording so that Track Changes does not pick it up when I see the document. To address that concern, I have to run the original document and the revised document through a system to create a “blackline document” that will show me all of the changes between the two documents. Not only does that take extra time, but how do I tactfully handle it with the reviewer when I find a change that they had either intentionally or mistakenly submitted that didn’t show up in Track Changes. It’s even tougher when they send back a PDF’d copy of the changed document rather than a word document.

Here is an anecdotal example of the second problem. A large multinational company was working on a major outsourcing deal with a partner. There was a great deal of trust between the two companies so the company did not run blacklines. Ten minutes before a major press conference to announce the deal, a lawyer from the company came running in to the executive who was going to sign the deal noting that the partner had changed some wording that had not been picked up and it had a significant impact on the contract. How would you feel if you were that lawyer? How would you feel if you were that executive? How would you feel if you were that partner?

What if there was a simple and intuitive solution that would eliminate both of those problems while you still continued to use Microsoft Word as your document authoring tool? What if the suggested changes were seen by all the reviewers in parallel and the reviewers could add threaded comments if they disagreed or just wanted to say “Great idea”? What if you had all of the suggested changes from all of the reviewers wrapped into one single stream of suggested changes that lined up with the exact page that you were looking at? What if there were no confusing multicolored changes and strikeouts that you had to try to decipher? What if the reviewer of the document could not actually change the document, they could only suggest changes that you, the author, had to approve and you could rest assured that you were the only person who could change the source document?

Wouldn’t that make your life as an author or contract administrator a LOT easier?

If you are an author of a document, you might actually enjoy the document review process rather than dreading it. If you’re in contract administration, wouldn’t that make your interaction with partners a lot less stressful? If you are a sales person, you might actually have more time to focus on sales and increase your commissions rather than struggling through a difficult contract review.

SavvyDox provides all of those benefits and more. Check it out at www.savvydox.com and enjoy a free trial to see for yourself how document management can be simplified.