How do I choose the best publishing workflow?

The best publishing workflow for your company depends on the size and composition of your team.

The publishing workflow describes the path a document takes from the writing stage to publication. The best publishing workflow for your company depends on the size and composition of your team. Your system is constrained by the limitations of your printing process and publishing software. It is also important to choose a publishing workflow process that can proceed through multiple forms of communication. Your choice of a business workflow must balance budgetary considerations, efficiency, and accuracy.

The size of your workplace will dictate your ideal publishing workflow process. Your entire team can be involved in editing written material in a small office. This workflow would involve a “round robin” of edits followed by delivery to the printer. Larger offices often have more hierarchy when dealing with creative workflow. Your large-office publishing workflow might involve handing a draft over to a copy editor, section editor, and editor prior to printing.

The best workflow for your business is to anticipate personnel changes. Your workflow should be easily explained to new employees involved in publications. Temporary editors, writers and graphic artists should be able to easily fit into the process. A good rule of thumb when choosing the best publishing workflow is to design a process that can be explained to the average reader of your publication.

You should consider the software used by your publishing team when developing a workflow diagram. Your workflow system can be significantly slowed down if your writers, editors, and print team use different versions of the same software. This problem is compounded when a writer uses publishing software that is incompatible with their office software. Your publishing workflow must anticipate these issues, requiring compatibility from everyone in the process.

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Your ideal workflow template can be used with your current approach to printing. You will likely need to create additional review and edit sessions in your workflow diagram if you use offset printing. Your publishing workflow can be more compact with print-on-demand services, but the cost per unit is higher than with offset printing. The size and frequency of posts should also inform your workflow analysis. You can make corrections with daily newspapers and memos more easily than with annual reports.

Your workflow system must also be built to withstand interruptions in communications and document delivery. Your diagram should instruct publishers to keep digital and hard copies of publications in the event of a power outage. The publishing workflow process must also allow for network outages that disconnect newsroom teams from their printers. Your writing and editing teams must use portable drives, laptops and frequent printing to deliver publications on time.

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