Improving Document Production

Replace loose or overly complicated workflows with a simple (‘lean’) process that efficiently produces effective documents.

Recommend course:


In large organisations, important documents (such as annual reports, proposals, and advisory papers) are written by teams. This one-day course shows participants how to replace loose or overly complicated workflows with a simple (‘lean’) process that efficiently produces effective documents.

Who should attend:

Anyone involved in managing the production of documents, and particularly those who brief writers. The course will also benefit those who commission documents, including board members, chief executives, ministers, and advisers.

Learning objectives:

To improve participants’ effectiveness within an existing document production process, and to equip them to design and implement a new optimal document production process.

Participants will learn about:

  • the conditions for optimal knowledge working
  • 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 crucial 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 and tools that aid process implementation

Course outline:

Part 1: Clarifying the nature of optimal documents

  • 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 an optimal document production process

  • 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
  • Use change management techniques to assist the adoption of a new process
  • Use a document management checklist to embed new behaviours

Course format:

This course comprises two half-days. The first part clarifies what makes a document effective and establishes the qualities of an efficient writing process; the second part is a workshop on the design and management of an optimal document production process. A workbook and customisable document management tool are 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.

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