Collaborative writing is also known as group writing, or a process whereby a group of people performing a similar task discuss and work together to produce a document. Collaborative writing is mostly prevalent in the business setting, where people put concentrate efforts on producing a clear and quality report. Collaboration creates a greater outcome, since it not only draws in expertise, but also gathers efforts from more people specializing in a profession, such as business accounting, for instance. The sum of this efforts is greater than an individual endeavor. In collaborative writing, all the parties involved in the process have equal right to contribute the final decision while writing the document.
Steps to Successful Collaborative Writing
Collaborative writing in business requires prior planning. Below are the guidelines and steps that can be used to achieve a positive collaborative writing outcome:
- Those involved in the writing process should understand each other. Every participant should establish decent relationships with other members;
- There should be equality in the group. No one should consider him/herself more important than others;
- It is necessary to identify a group leader who will coordinate the activities of the group;
- The team leader should organize preliminary meetings before the discussion;
- Group members should agree on the overall organization and meeting venues;
- The team leader allocates the members with different responsibilities. The leader should consider such aspects as individual abilities and talents;
- It is imperative to establish the preliminary duration of each meeting;
- There should always be a strict follow-up of the timetable;
- Each member has a right to get clear feedback;
- Each participant ought to listen to other members’ views carefully.
In collaborative business writing, individuals should be ready to listen to other people’s ideas. In addition, participants be able to articulate their own thoughts plainly and practically. As such, the group should have a clear organization. A chairman and a secretary are the most necessary components of the structure.
In business writing, poorly written documents may lead to losses and unintended results. A collapse of institution or company may occur because of inadequately handled reports or documents. Professional collaborative writing may help to mitigate all these hazardous consequences. A well-written and organized document can increase the chances of enhancing business communication and ethics in the business relations. Quality business writing involves the preparation of document, drafting, reviewing of the draft, and, later on, its revision. In order to achieve a positive outcome, parties involved in the writing process should come together and share ideas about writing. They should be able to make the best use of collaborative writing techniques.
Collaborative Writing Strategies
Collaborative business writing involves various strategies that help produce an accurate document. Some of these objectives are:
The strategy of parallel writing is used in business writing, where a group divides and works separately as parts, each tackling different questions at the same time. They later merge their work to produce a single document for submission. The groups can also be assigned different roles, such as the author, the team leader, and possibly a facilitator. In accounting business writing, the tasks can be divided in a way that some members calculate, while other group members balance accounts.
This strategy is efficient in business writing when different groups offer their reaction to the comments proposed by another group. They may agree or disagree with the views of other members. The challenge is to communicate honestly and logically. Check business writing guides for more details.
The Use of Single Author Writing
This form of collaborative writing involves a single writer producing a business document on behalf of the group. The single author receives suggestions from other members in the process. As a result, he/she compiles a report on behalf of the whole team.
Mixed Mode Strategy
This kind of strategy involves the integration of the all abovementioned strategies. The groups involved in the business writing process may use different strategies to create a document which is of great quality and showcases tremendous accuracy. This is the most favorable strategy to use when writing a business-related document.
For any of these strategies to be effective, there should be a group leader who will coordinate the activities of the team. The chief will also be responsible for any task performed by the group badly. The team leader may also appoint other leaders in the groups to coordinate smaller tasks. This strategy is applicable in the case of large groups.
One of the crucial elements of collaborative writing in the business context is the topic. The groups should have a shared topic they will be willing to discuss, and it may be presented in a question form with specific guidelines. The groups should familiarize themselves with the questions individually before they meet for discussion. This approach will provide them with sufficient time to research the topic and become equipped with the necessary knowledge and material before the group meeting. The complexity of the question also dictate whether the groups will split or act as a single group. The intricacy of the subject will also determine which strategy will be used. For instance, if the question or the topic is simple, the group can use a single author strategy, which does not involve a lot of people. If the topic is complex, the mixed-mode strategy is usually the most applicable choice.
The time factor is also an important element in the context of collaborative business writing. It dictates the urgency to complete the tasks assigned to the group. A business writing task with a longer deadline will provide the groups with more time to research the topic and come up with quality and correct information for discussion.
All in all, collaborative writing has been used in business writing for many years. A decent business document will enhance an accurate and informed decision-making process. An improper decision may lead to a loss, while correct and sound decisions may lead to an increase in the profit margin. Collaborative writing is also important for organized processes, as it draws ideas from a group, meaning that different people make contributions to the decision-making process.