Each project has unique requirements, so we tailor our approach to ensure that the work effort meets the goals of the project in the way best suited for its success. Among the techniques that we’ve developed to make sure the structure of a project contributes to its timely and successful completion is to include review cycles.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the role that client review cycles play in different kinds of projects and why they’re so important for the production of compelling content.
What is a review cycle?
A review cycle for a project serves as a checkpoint to ensure that the initial intentions of the project are being represented throughout its completion. These can either occur at intervals while content is being created, or at the end of a full draft of a document or elearning module. The client reviews the content in its current state and provides feedback regarding revisions and suggestions to incorporate going forward.
While we make sure to get the full picture about a project during the initial phase, keeping in touch with our clients throughout the process ensures everything is progressing as it should be.
What are the benefits?
Review cycles ascertain that the clients maintain control of their content. It also provides the opportunity to redirect the work effort if goals or focal points change. Often, when a project moves from a conceptual phase to a concrete document, adjustments need to be made that may not be possible to foresee at the onset. Review cycles allow for this kind of flexibility.
Many of the projects we undertake also involve highly technical or specialized information. Editors or writers can derive a solid understanding of the subject matter from research and subject matter expert (SME) interviews. However, having someone, such as a SME, with experience in the field to review content is a great way to ensure that the intended meaning or purpose was clearly and accurately represented by the writer or editor.
At a glance, some of the benefits of the review include the following:
- Validate highly technical content.
- Ensure that the project’s emphasis aligns with intentions.
- Redirect the project in order to account for changes in focus or goals.
- Capture opportunities to better represent subject matter.
- Avoid surprises at the end of the project’s life cycle.
What kinds of issues does a review cycle address?
While the specific issues addressed will vary from project to project, some similarities link review cycles together. The following are a few of the challenges that we frequently resolve through review cycles:
- Clients notice areas where further information would benefit end-user of technical documentation.
- Outdated images and diagrams replaced without halting work effort of elearning courses.
- Revisions to equipment designs incorporated in final versions of user manuals.
- Issues with timing and course flow identified during a pilot review (i.e. running the course all the way through on a test basis).
How does it work?
The process for a review cycle is personalized based on the needs of each project. Usually, a version of the content is supplied to the client, as well as a way for our clients and resources to call attention to specific elements and sections. Marked-up copies of manuals, spreadsheets of requested changes, and even face-to-face meetings to discuss a working copy are all forms the review can take.
Even the most complex project can be an opportunity for success with the appropriate tools and techniques. Review cycles can be a great way to make sure a project gets off on the right foot and stays on track. Contact us to learn more about how we incorporate these and other design elements into successful project structures.