Collaborative competency is not only important to learners, but also to companies that employ them. The whole idea behind running a company is to make sure that the product sells. Collaborative writers are expected to create opportunities for sales, marketing, relationshipbuilding and reliability through their writings.
Keeping this in mind, workplace writers need to hone sophisticated skills of communication through their written text. The demands for collaborative writing also is based on certain practical factors. For example, a business letter full of lengthy, complex Terms and Conditions could be quite challenging to write for any single writer.
Even if the person is an experienced campaigner, he won’t be able to encapsulate all the absolute points needed to be put in the document and if he does, then he will take extra time to consider all the factors and elements. To avoid this congestion of ideas and time, the companies nowadays recruit collaborative teams to address the constraints economically and efficiently.
Often is the case where business environment dictates the collaborative process. For example, the writers are often instructed to write keeping in mind the mood of the general public and the general reviews that a product has received.
Benefits of Collaborative Writing
Collaborative process is used in political processes too, where two countries enter an agreement and everything they decide and agree upon reaches a consensus. In such sensitive cases, no single person from either country and no single country wants to be solely responsible for the drafting of such an important document.
In such cases, the collaborative writing process involves the best drafting teams from both the countries. That ensures a level playing ground where no country will be able to exploit any secondary interpretation of text later. That’s the reason all treaties today are drafted by a committee working on collaborative writing principles. A few more benefits of collaborative writing are listed below −
- Higher quality output, because various perspectives, skills and inputs of numerous writers.
- It is highly motivating to work in a team where participants try to outperform one another.
- Co-writers operate as critics and deliver valuable feedback during drafting.
- Writers of lesser experience get industrial exposure and experience working with senior writers.
- Better working relationship and coordination among team members.
- Unanimous acceptance of the final draft because of collaboration and feedback among members.
As you can observe, there are multiple scenarios where collaborative writing not only accounts for higher efficiency and reliability, but also is an indispensable necessity.
Pitfalls of Collaborative Writing
As with any creative process, there are times when highly-skilled people will have a difference of opinion. When such scenarios come, a collaborative team gets split into sub-teams very quickly and things go out of control, if the team leader doesn’t respond to the situation quickly. Some of the pitfalls of collaborative writing are given below −
- Collaborative writing almost always struggles in case of political and social challenges.
- Coordination of collaborative process is very complex for a manager due to numerous writers.
- Collaborative writing is time consuming when it is on political processes and logistics documents.
- If all writers in the team are inexperienced, the documents won’t be necessarily of higher quality.
- Cultural differences and conflicting styles of writing can be difficult to channelize into one voice.
- Personal conflict over authority, styles of working and seniority are sometime inevitable.
Some of the most common reasons for the failure of a collaborative team is the weakness of the most junior members of the team in grasping the concept and right approach. People might wonder the reason behind employing junior staff, if they can prove inefficient, but their appointment is subject to logistics and budget considerations.
In addition to that, communication issues like improper briefing and physical distance between the writers, frequent editing of teams also slows down the process and results in team failure.