Managing for Optimal Documents

Recommend course:


This one-day course is for those involved in document production processes and managing (and commissioning) writers. It looks at ways to replace busy, complicated workflows with simple (‘lean’) processes that efficiently produce effective documents.

Who should attend:
Anyone involved in managing the production of documents. The course will also benefit those who commission managed documents, including board members, chief executives, and ministers and their advisers.

Learning objectives:
To improve participants’ effectiveness in working within an existing document production process and to enable them to design and implement a new optimal document production process.

Participants will learn about:

  • the conditions for optimal performance in general and optimal knowledge working in particular
  • the qualities of effective documents in a context of extreme information oversupply
  • the optimal information design (writing) process
  • the conditions for optimal writing performance
  • the importance of clear and confident briefs
  • the benefits of pre-draft outlines and an explicit organisation-wide writing standard
  • the nature of optimal (efficient, effective, sustainable) document production processes
  • ten levers for improving the performance of a managed document production process
  • change management techniques that aid process implementation

Course outline:

Part 1: Introduction to ‘optimal knowledge working’

  • What is ‘optimal’ for knowledge workers?
  • How do knowledge workers provide optimal value?
  • What are the conditions for optimal solutions, change and information design?
  • What is today’s information context?
  • What is an optimal document?
  • What is an optimal writing process?
  • What improves efficiency and effectiveness more than any other single action?

Part 2: Creating the conditions for optimal writing performance

  • Create the conditions for optimal document production
    • support ‘Optimal Knowledge Working’
    • meet a writer’s core needs
    • support the optimal information design (writing) process
    • provide clear briefs
    • review pre-draft outlines
  • Analyse an existing document production process
  • Design an optimal document production process
  • Employ change management techniques to assist the adoption of a new process

Course format:
This course comprises two half-days. The first part outlines the components of optimal knowledge working; the second part is a workshop on the design and management of an optimal document production process. A workbook is provided.

This course complements our Writing Essentials: Clear, Concise, Compelling one-day writing course.

Simon Hertnon

Further details:
If you would like more information about this programme, please contact us on:
Ph: 64 4 463 6556 Email:

Customised workshops:
Victoria Professional and Executive Development are able to customise many of our workshops to meet specific individual or organisational requirements. Please contact us for further information.