Save time on paper and electronic copy approval review by facilitating the next person's critique.
Not every job created at a pharmaceutical company is destined for a live meeting. This means that, in addition to ensuring that your verbal skills promote clarity and consensus, you will need to do the same with your writing ability. Here are some ideas for developing an effective writing style for paper or electronic copy review.
1. Stick to the facts.
When you write questions or comments, try to keep your language neutral, focusing on how you think the language should change. Starting a comment with a “why are we saying” or “shouldn't this be” adds an accusatory tone that doesn't help solve the problem at hand.
2. Seek consensus for complicated issues.
Sequential review is a time saver only when everyone understands the issues to be resolved. If you'd like to request a change that is too involved to mention in written format, it's best to visit or call any necessary stakeholders, if time and schedules allow, to gain agreement on a solution. Similarly, if you see someone has raised a complex question when a job comes your way, try to talk offline to resolve it, rather than add more running dialogue to the job.
3. Explain your reason for wanting a change.
To clear the air that changes you request are necessary and are not the subjective comments of a slash-and-burn reviewer, add a few words to explain your rationale. For example, “For clarity, I suggest changing to...”
4. Communicate clearly.
If you're writing comments on a paper version of a job, make sure that you are writing legibly. Only use abbreviations and unique terminology if you know the other reviewers will understand them. If you are marking up an electronic job in a format like a PDF, utilize the markup and commenting tools in a way that makes it clear as to which block of text you are discussing.
5. Review your comments before sending the job along.
When I review a job, when time allows, I like to look over my comments one last time, just to make sure they make sense. You can also use this time to delete comments that you have resolved yourself during the course of your review. Additionally, a final check will allow you to make sure you have not forgotten any key information or neglected to raise any additional questions that are on your mind.
Use these tips to streamline the process of offline review, and your biotech brand team will be able to efficiently clear their job queue out without the controversy that often plagues live meetings.
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