website documentation, help online
website documentation, help online website documentation, help online
online document, collaboration, planning
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online document, collaboration, planning


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 Meister database.
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 process.

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 it is.

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 wish.

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 you choose,
- 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.

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