Document Review Process

Efficiently review documents in complex environments, avoid loops, and get a more predictable timeline.
Contributed by

Eric Lavarde

Published November 23, 2023

What Is Document Review Process?

This practice describes how to review a document in a complex environment with possibly a lot of reviewers with diverging interests, and a strong requirement for a very formal review process.

Why Do Document Review Process?

Document review processes tend to be convoluted and go into endless loops of review of review of review... This processes makes sure that the review is as straightforward as possible, avoids loop, and optimizes everybody's time and effort. The result is a predictable timeline for any document review.

It might not be the best fit in a very simple and small environment.

How to do Document Review Process?

The most important aspects are:

  1. the 1st review makes sure that all reviewers understand the purpose, the scope and the structure of the document (or its changes), so that their review can be focused on the important aspects.
  2. feedback of the multiple reviewers can happen in parallel without blocking the time of the author
  3. the 2nd review is reserved to discuss feedback provided before hand, with modifications prepared by the author to address this feedback, no further changes are acceptable and should be discussed; this especially allows to properly time box the 2nd review. Do not review the complete document, only the modified parts, the rest has been implicitly agreed.
  4. follow-up action items should be an exception to the process and be kept concrete enough that their closing automatically leads to the sign-off of the document

The role of "Review Manager" can be taken by the author themself, but a strong (and neutral) Review Manager can make sure that the above rules are respected.

The timeline is dependent on the size of the document and the availability of the participants, so the numbers given can only be an estimation.

If reviews are numerous and need to be sped up, time for the review sessions can be blocked on a regular cadence (similar to most CAB sessions).

Look at Document Review Process

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