How to build a workflow to manage multiple translations of a document

Large companies need to create manuals, knowledge bases, FAQs, and other documentation in multiple languages, for multiple products and audiences. To manage this complex process, some of today’s top companies use Confluence and Comala Document Management.

Building custom workflows for multilingual documents

For Confluence documents that need to go through a review process, Comala Document Management provides the tools to build custom approval workflows that can manage the entire life cycle of a document. You can bring a document through multiple stages, assign reviewers to approve documents, set expiry states, and much more. Another useful app for publishing documents in multiple languages is K15t’s Scroll Versions, which allows you to manage multiple versions and variants of a single Confluence page. Scroll Versions and Comala Document Management integrate together, to form an excellent solution for this use case.

One challenge for translating documents into multiple languages is that those translations are not always available at the same time. Teams can overcome this challenge with custom workflows, like the example below. Based on a real-life customer’s use case, it publishes a page in different languages at different times while keeping track of the overall document status.

The workflow starts in the DRAFT state. From there, the content author can send it to the CONTENT REVIEW IN PROGRESS state, where it can be reviewed and, if approved, sent to the EDITORIAL REVIEW IN PROGRESS state for a second round of reviews. Reviewers can be assigned manually or automatically, depending on the use case. The author can also choose to transition the page right to the EDITORIAL REVIEW state if only one round of reviews is needed.

If the page is rejected in either review, it returns to DRAFT, where it can be edited and put through another cycle of reviews. Once the document has been approved, it goes to the APPROVED AND READY TO PUBLISH state. At this stage, the original-language version of the document is complete and can be published using Scroll Versions. While Scroll Versions usually publishes the content of the whole space, with the Comala Document Management integration, they are able to mark the finalized original-language pages so that only those pages are published. Next, the page must be translated into other languages. The authors use the two states, TRANSLATION IN PROGRESS and TRANSLATED AND PUBLISHED, to track the status of this process.

If the page needs to return to the DRAFT state because of a new release or update, a simple button starts the process over again. At each state in the workflow, notification emails are sent out to the appropriate users, and an expiry date can also be added to the final state so that the author can keep an eye on the topicality of the content.

With this workflow, document administrators can track the progress of their pages throughout this complex process. The app’s built-in workflow report also allows them to view the history of the workflow and page activity.

Saving time with web-based documentation and workflows

For the world’s largest companies, efficiency is key, and that includes crafting documentation. In the past, authors had to open a word document, enter their text, attach it to the email and send it to a colleague, then wait to get the approval – a time-consuming process, especially when multiple languages are involved. With Confluence and apps like Comala Document Management and Scroll Versions, teammates can work together in real-time, manage their content creation, and speed up the publishing process. For end-users, digital solutions like this get them the information they need quickly and in the most up-to-date version. No matter how complicated an organization’s documentation needs, they can create a customized solution and get the control they need.

To learn more about Comala Document Management and try the app for free, visit the Atlassian Marketplace.

Last updated: 2023-07-31

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