4 Ways Your Team Can Overcome Collaborative Writing Challenges
Writing documentation on our own is hard. After all, creating something from nothing can be a difficult task. With powerful collaboration tools like Confluence, writing with a team of people has never been more accessible. But it's important to recognize that with collaboration comes new challenges that will make us better writers and a stronger team.
Here are a few growing pains you might experience:
As you begin working with a spectrum of personalities, you'll find that each team member thinks about a topic differently. Rather than seeing these different perspectives as a downside, you can focus on the benefits of having diversity of opinion.
- Some people focus on the big picture, while others concentrate on the little details.
- While some team members may need to collaborate in a group, others might prefer asynchronous reviews.
- You can be a leader in your team to help your teammates think outside the box and collaborate well.
While working with many different people, our ability to give and receive good feedback becomes essential. It's important to understand the various types of feedback that can be used, and which types to avoid.
- To begin the free flow of feedback, you'll need to share what you want feedback on and how you'd like to receive it.
- To call out great work while encouraging improvements, it's best to use constructive feedback.
- To show those you write with how to give healthy feedback, you can model it yourself by employing healthy feedback skills.
Lack of Passion
While everyone on the team can share feedback and contribute, it will become obvious who is passionate about documentation and who isn't. While not everyone you collaborate with will be as passionate about writing great documentation as you are, the team can still share a common motivation to contribute.
- You can share your passion around technical communication and help the team form a shared set of values.
- Showcasing your successes, your failures, and what you're learning helps the entire team improve and collaborate better in the future.
Need for Transparency
Having the team share their entire writing process is a big challenge. While it's difficult to be open and honest about the content creation process, teams thrive in a transparent and collaborative environment.
- When you're honest with your team about creation being a series of drafts, revisions, and constant iteration, you can truly collaborate.
- Sometimes it can be beneficial to write in pairs to train new writers or to bring a subject matter expert (SME) and a writer together.
Feeling the Pain?
Read the full article in tcworld magazine to learn how you can overcome the challenges collaboration introduces and embrace the power of diversity in your writing process.