In a common Doc Meister's usage example, a city
wishes to share a planning document with the community. The project manager
enters a draft of the planning document as document elements within the Doc
At some point, city residents and other stake
holders are invited to review and comment.
They do this by going to the
online document display, typically as a link from the city's website.
A city resident can navigate the online document
through its table of contents or subject (keyword) index, with which they are
intuitively familiar through books. Or they can use text searches which have
become popular with website search directories like Google and Yahoo.
Finding a document element that interests them, the
city resident can click on the question icon to fill out a form that will go to
the Doc Meister user responsible for that document element. Or, the city
resident can use the paper clip icon to fill in an online form to suggest a
change or clarification to the document element, which will also go to the
Doc Meister user responsible for that document element.
The online document may be changed in response to such
questions and comments over time, reflecting the knowledge and interests of all
stake holders. This iterative process can happen without forcing the stake
holders to attend meetings that also cover issues uninteresting to them - at
times that conflict or in destinations far from them. Instead, they can focus
their contribution to where it would be most valuable whenever they have time
and from wherever they are. By incorporating their contribution, the city also
increases acceptance of the final plan among their constituents. This is the
value of public collaboration across the internet.
Part of the planning process often involves document
elements not for public consumption. There may be security issues or compliance
to regulations that do not benefit from public comment. Doc Meister
allows involvement by stakeholders, consultants, regulators, managers, and
others over restricted document elements not available to the public. Given how
the time and availability of those participants is limited, an online
collaborative document allows their contributions in a way that makes far fewer
demands than traditional meetings.
From a time effectiveness standpoint, the traditional
process to evolve a planning document was a series of authorizations. Every
change had to recirculate the new version of the document through an approval
cycle. With Doc Meister, the approval process can occur more in
parallel. City employees can work on their sections while others work on other
sections, secure that as overlaps occur they can be handled as part of the
Care had to be exercised so this was the current
version, without sections that had already become obsolete. With Doc
Meister, there is always only one current version and everyone knows where
The tasks in updating any planning document can be a
significant time drain. Doc Meister automates a great deal of this,
including in areas of delegation. The user responsible for a document element
can approve a public suggestion, quickly adding the annotation. Users can be
granted Trusted User access, allowing them to make certain changes, or
Librarian access, allowing them more rights to manage the online
document. All such document changes are time stamped and reference the name of
the person making the changes.
Doc Meister allows each document element to be
assigned a type and cross-type from a list you define. This can be a type
Standard and cross-type English, for example, or type
Abbreviated and cross-type Spanish. Users can set in their
preferences which type and cross-type is best for them.
Doc Meister allows you to designate these types
and cross-types by job function (secretaries, engineers, managers, etc.), by
project responsibility (construction, maintenance, accounting, etc.) or any
other custom designation that presents the views of your document that you
Doc Meister also supports restricted types such
as a type Management or Funding Authority so such users can see
those restricted document elements.
- During the planning process and certainly
afterward, printed copies of the planning document will be required. Doc
Meister provides easy-to-print versions of the online document. These
versions are simply assemblies of document elements
- - between sections of the table of contents, ranges
- by matching types and cross-types, or
- containing public
or restricted elements.
Note that most popular word processors such as MS Word
accept as input online documents in HTML format. This allows you to
save-to-file Doc Meister's easy-to-print version of the online document,
and then to edit it with your word processor prior to printing.
For a quick, hands-on test drive of Doc
Meister, see our Demo.