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How to Craft Perfectly Streamlined Document Approval Process in Google Docs.

A document approval process is crucial for streamlining your operations and bringing order to your creative workflow. Getting documents approved in a structured, timely fashion is one of the more understated challenges in project management. You might have everything lined up perfectly, but if a key stakeholder doesn’t give the ‘okay’ on schedule, things can go downhill quickly.

In this article, I’ll show you why creating a document approval process is important and how to go about creating one.

What is a Document Approval Process and Why You Need One?

If you’re working in an agency - creative, marketing, or development - you’re invariably dealing with work that needs to meet some quality standards. Your code needs to be up to scratch, designs need to meet brand guidelines, and marketing collateral has to match up to campaign requirements.

Meeting these quality standards means that any deliverable usually goes through multiple rounds of approval before it can go live. Some work might get rejected outright, some sent back for revisions, and some might actually be approved.

All this back and forth is an operational nightmare. At any point, you, the project manager, might be tracking dozens of documents stuck in the approval workflow. You have to keep tabs on who to follow up with and when to do it. And if that’s not all, you also have to make sure that the approvers actually follow quality guidelines, not just their individual biases.

A document approval process.

A document approval process is exactly what it sounds like: a workflow that defines the steps necessary to approve different types of documents and deliverables - copy, designs, code, etc.

You might have the following process to create a blog post

  • A writer proposes three different topics for a blog post

  • The editor approves one topic but requests a new SEO-friendly headline

  • The writer sends a new headline, which is approved by the SEO lead

  • The writer writes the article, but the editor requests some revisions

  • The editor approves the first draft and sends it to the content marketing lead

  • The content marketing lead requests some revisions to meet campaign goals

...and that’s just a part of it. Depending on the complexity of the deliverable, you might have dozens of rounds of revisions and approvals.

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