Having a Worthwhile Peer Review Culture

Friday, December 3, 2010
Some document management systems already have simple document workflow functions with them. These are convenient for easy peer reviews. If you are used to this type of workflow you may find managing documents by business process management systems (BPMS) overly cumbersome.

That said, if you already have a peer review culture in your company, we suggest defining a general file review process. After running the process for one week, you'll get a good idea of what kind of documents are circulating within the company. In other words, what kind of business processes need to be managed. (At this point don't worry too much about complicated matters such as visualization of bottlenecks or measuring time.)

Recent workflow systems and BPMS's usually include easily defined loops and splits, as well as file attachments and chat forums.

Reviewing and commenting on other people's documents are important responsibilities. As an organization it's important to build a corporate culture where employees are used to having other employees review their completed proposals/plans/presentations, etc. Employees who get a lot of peer review requests should be rewarded accordingly during personnel evaluations.

If there are a lot of cases where peer reviews don't involve comments to the original drafter, you could prepare a workflow that doesn't go to task 4 (confirm) depending on whether comments were made or not.