We all face it. Meeting the demands of regulatory standards is important but has the ability to significantly slow us down on our mission to deliver content. It can reduce time to market, conflicts with deadlines and schedules and ultimately drains out content creators and those involved in triaging stakeholder feedback.
So how do you manage compliance and legal requirements while also hitting your deadlines? Although you can’t always get around the regulatory process, there are a number of things you can do today to help speed through your review process. We’ve gathered 6 ways our clients speed up their content delivery times. Here they are:
Getting everyone aligned on the status of the promotional material’s approval is hard. In our empathy sessions, we hear that the most common pain point within the review process is having open-ended dialogue between stakeholders that ultimately leads to unresolved feedback. That’s why many of our clients choose to rally a review champion. This person is ideally someone who understands the importance of the review process, is highly organized and deadline driven.
By electing a review champion, your team eliminates some of the common symptoms of lack of ownership and clarity specific to your approval workflow. The champion’s role is to keep all participants of your approval process honest by ensuring adoption of the systems selected and governing the status of stakeholder approval. They also focus on addressing unresolved feedback, getting everyone like medical writers, exactly what’s required to make the next revision.
Although not always a formal role, the review champion is critical to the success of your process by keeping everyone focused on deadlines and outcomes.
Many of our clients suggest that the most practical way to manage stakeholders during your review process is to call out where you’re stuck or having your doubts on a particular piece of text. It’s better to get everyone involved on the issue when you first encounter it, then to address it further down the review line.
With Papercurve, we’ve designed a simple alternative to emails and word processing files that allows our users to effortlessly reference claims in their promotional materials. Take adding a comment and tagging your Fact Checker for an immediate answer as an example. Simply upload the reference file and then link the claim in your promotional material back to the reference upload. When your reviewer is notified to view your question, they can easily see the exact line of text in the reference side-by-side with your claim in the same window. It’s that easy.
Don’t try and bypass the process! It’s there to protect you, not frustrate you. But we all know that one approver who refuses to follow the process or systems in place, so we consider accommodating them by tossing our content in an email for approval. But are you doing more harm than good in the long-run?
In an earlier post, we discuss the negative impact emails are having on the review process. We know firsthand from our clients that email-based approvals are compromising content delivery time. From version control issues to the manual need to consolidate feedback from multiple email threads, it’s important to stick to your current process to request and manage reviewer comments during each feedback round because, well...it’s just faster and more efficient.
Sounds simple, but we all fall victim to making side-changes either because stakeholder feedback just came through or because we’ve adjusted a small line of text to flow more naturally.
In either case, making changes this way complicates your process and despite your attempt to save time long-term, you may just be creating more work for yourself further down the line. It’s best to do the work upfront to consolidate all comments and then set aside time to adjust your content accordingly—once you have all the feedback.
First and foremost, sit down with your checklist of to-dos and go through what’s urgent and what’s critical. Often when we seek out our task list, we’re looking for the next area to focus our energy. As humans, we are compelled to take the path of least resistance, focusing our efforts on what may seem easiest to complete, versus what is harder and perhaps even more critical.
So next time you are reviewing your task list, consider this a reminder from your future-self to assess your tasks by asking, “what is most critical”? A good way to narrow down on multiple critical tasks is, “what will require more lead time”?. If there are various rounds of feedback required, or a complicated set of reviewers, it’s best to give yourself ample time by being proactive with the task deliverables so you can avoid running into a bottleneck further down the line.
We wish there was a magic wand we could wave to help with this one but when it comes down to reducing regulatory bottlenecks, the best way to do this is to become informed—or at least get to know someone who is! Attend events, follow an industry leader on Twitter or find a reputable podcast show host! Luckily, there’s never been an easier time to stay informed of the regulatory requirements impacting your industry.
You can easily leverage your networks to understand the latest news, events and updates related to your business, following key hashtags on social media that relate to your community. And if networking and social media aren’t exactly your style, podcasts and audiobooks are another helpful way to find and consume content on almost anything you can imagine.
Want to reduce regulatory bottlenecks and ship your content faster? Get in touch with us to see how Papercurve’s content approval software is helping teams across North America deliver content—hassle-free.
Papercurve helps streamline compliance reviews in regulated industries like cannabis and life sciences. Manage approvers, comment, reference attached documents and archive past versions for audit – all in an easy to use interface.Learn more