The best automated workflows for your content review process

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Whether it’s a contract you need to get signed or an invoice requiring validation, the content review process often requires continuous back-and-forth communication between stakeholders to address questions, provide clarifications, and get approvals. If you rely on manual methods such as email chains or paper-based workflows, you’ll extend turnaround times. 

With digital workflow automation, however, you make your document review and approval process more efficient, saving your team time. For 34% of the respondents of an IDC survey, automation of repetitive tasks and workflows will become almost ubiquitous. Let’s review the definition, steps, and benefits of automated content workflow management — plus, the best way to get started. 

Content review: Definition and use cases 

Content review is the process of evaluating and revising content for accuracy, completeness, consistency, and compliance before approval, publication, or distribution. Think of it as quality assurance. 

This collaborative process involves different stakeholders that might review documents to: 

  • Verify that the content follows desired requirements, including relevancy, completeness, style, and brand guidelines 
  • Proofread for grammatical errors, typos, and clarity 
  • Validate the factual accuracy of information presented and ensure alignment with business goals 
  • Identify and rectify any errors or outdated information 
  • Make suggestions to enhance the content 
  • Acknowledgeunderstanding and compliance with requirements
  • Approve or sign documents

Documents that might require a streamlined content review process include:        

Type of contentUse case for content review
ContractsVerify accuracy and ensure legal terms and clauses adhere to standard business practices
InvoicesValidate invoices for accuracy and completeness before processing payments
PoliciesEnsure alignment with organizational standards and requirements
Marketing assetsMake suggestions on how to improve the content and confirm alignment with branding guidelines
Product documentationCheck user manuals and specifications to assess clarity and usability

Document review process: 

Content review process steps

The document review and approval process is a multi-step journey that involves various stakeholders, each contributing their expertise. Here’s how it typically works: 

  • Submission: The author, creator, or responsible party submits the content for review 
  • Evaluation: Reviewers assess the content based on predefined criteria, objectives, or guidelines 
  • Feedback: Reviewers provide feedback to the author or creator, highlighting areas that require revision, improvement, or clarification 
  • Revision: The author or creator revises the content based on the feedback received from reviewers — a step that may involve making edits and updates to address identified issues and improve the overall quality and effectiveness of the content 
  • Final approval: Once revisions are complete, the revised content undergoes a final review and approval process to ensure that all feedback has been addressed and that the content meets the required standards or objectives — and the person approving might be different from the first set of reviewers 
  • Publication or distribution: Upon final approval, the content is ready for publication, dissemination, or distribution to the intended audience or stakeholders — depending on the case, the document is archived for compliance or auditing purposes 

For a smooth review process, you need effective communication. This way, you avoid misunderstandings and rework that could impact your bottom line. Case in point: the 2023 State of Business Communication report found that miscommunication costs US businesses $12,506 per employee per year. 

What you gain with an automated content management process 

By automating your content management workflows, you benefit from: 

  • Increased efficiency: When you automate the review process, you reduce manual work and enable faster document turnaround times 
  • Reduced errors: When you enforce predefined workflows, you ensure consistency and accuracy in document handling 
  • Improved collaboration: When you provide centralized access to documents and real-time updates on review progress, you enable better collaboration among team members 
  • Enhanced compliance: When you apply automated rules and audit trails, you minimize the likelihood of errors or oversights in regulatory compliance 
Benefits of automated content review

Critical steps of content workflows you should automate 

Here are seven automated workflows that help accelerate your content review process. 

1. Centralizing your content in one secure platform 

When you manage all your documents from one centralized, comprehensive platform, you make it easier for your team to find the content they need and collaborate with others. For example, you’re able to establish rules and templates that automatically categorize documents based on specific criteria, ensuring consistent organization and simplified document retrieval. You can also implement automated controls that restrict access to documents based on predefined roles and permissions. This way, only authorized individuals can view, edit, or share the content. This feature is useful during the content review process when you want to restrict what people can do with the document. 

2. Assigning tasks or routing content for approval 

Instead of relying on emails, spreadsheets, or shared folders, automate repetitive tasks like routing documents for review and approval. Enterprise workflow automation tools automatically assign tasks based on predefined criteria such as document type, urgency, or departmental roles. For example, your HR team can create a content workflow to assign all your onboarding documentation to anyone identified as a new hire. This ensures that tasks are delegated efficiently and consistently, reducing the need for manual intervention and oversight. 

3. Gathering electronic signatures 

Integrate your document management solution with electronic signature software. This way, you review and sign documents digitally from one place. No need to print, sign, scan, or send physical copies. You not only accelerate the document approval process but also reduce paper waste and associated costs. 

4. Sending notifications 

Automating notifications ensures that team members are promptly: 

  • Alerted when there are pending or overdue tasks requiring their attention 
  • Informed when a workflow is complete

With reminders via email or instant messaging systems, you improve overall accountability, eliminate the need for manual check-ins, and prevent reviewers from missing deadlines.

5. Integrating feedback within the document

According to a report from the Association for Intelligent Information Management (AIIM), 60% of decision-makers have an explicit strategy and systems that encourage content collaboration. With cloud collaboration tools that offer built-in annotation features, reviewers can highlight specific sections, add comments, and suggest edits within the document itself — from any device. With threaded discussions, reviewers respond to each other’s comments and clarify their suggestions. These capabilities eliminate the need to exchange emails or chat messages, summarize feedback in separate documents, and attach multiple revised versions. Plus, allowing multiple reviewers to edit and provide feedback simultaneously accelerates the content review and approval process because you don’t need to wait for someone to complete feedback to start working on the changes. 

6. Tracking changes 

Content review tools automatically track and log any modifications made to a document, including who made the changes and when. These automated workflows allow for better document version control and audit trails. You ensure transparency and accountability while enabling team members to easily review the history of document revisions and revert to previous versions if necessary.

7. Ensuring compliance 

With workflow automation, you can configure your digital file management system to enforce retention policies and meet data residency needs. These automated checks help mitigate the risk of non-compliance and potential legal or regulatory consequences. 

Streamline your content review and approval process with Box 

By offering one place for you to store, share, and collaborate on files, Box helps you accelerate the content review process. Using The Content Cloud, you work out of a secure, centralized repository for all your files. You automatically assign tasks and use version control and features such as in-file comments and tagging to speed up document review and approval. Push notifications keep you always informed of updates and deadlines, ensuring a smooth and efficient workflow. 

With Box Relay, you choose from pre-built templates or create your own content review workflows in minutes. By leveraging Relay with Box Sign, you can automate post-signature tasks. And more: security controls and granular permissions give you the peace of mind your content is protected, while Box Governance makes it easier to meet retention policies and ensure compliance with regulations such as FINRA, SOX, and FLSA. 

Let’s connect and discuss how to streamline your content review process with Box.

Call to action to automate your content review workflow with Box

While we maintain our steadfast commitment to offering products and services with best-in-class privacy, security, and compliance, the information provided in this blog post is not intended to constitute legal advice. We strongly encourage prospective and current customers to perform their own due diligence when assessing compliance with applicable laws.

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