Our Work: SharePoint Collaborative Editing System

The client was struggling to manage the complex editing processes required for a 700-page final environmental impact statement (FEIS). Unable to reliably estimate the amount of work left to complete, the client was in jeopardy of missing its deadlines.

The client asked Resource Data to create a SharePoint solution that would enable staff to consistently and reliably manage the process in accordance with regulatory requirements.

The Solution

Our client needed a process that supported large-scale, collaborative editing and included formalized review, approval, and publishing steps.

To support this need, we built a SharePoint document library, in which each major FEIS section was stored and versioned as a separate document. Edits and public comments were then tracked and managed using SharePoint lists.

With the system, stakeholders created edit requests in SharePoint lists, identifying the section number, original text, and edited text. The system then assigned each request to the appropriate experts for review. If a change was approved, a technical writer applied it to the main document.

Public comments, all of which had to be included and responded to in the FEIS, were handled in a similar fashion. Tracked in a SharePoint list, each comment was assigned to an individual to research and answer.

This SharePoint system, which used only built-in functionality with no customizations, enabled our client to manage and track editing tasks using a streamlined process.

Our Approach

The key to our success for this project was in understanding and analyzing the business problem. We began the project by talking with stakeholders to learn about their complicated editing processes, the issues they were experiencing, and other requirements they had.

After carefully analyzing this information, we proposed a simplified, consistent process that would solve their business problems. Once this new process was finalized, it was just a matter of configuring SharePoint to support that process.