Rick’s Suggested White Paper Process
One of Rick’s primary objectives is to create a project to the client’s complete satisfaction. Planning and preparation go a long way toward that end, so we follow a systematic approach. This white paper process is based upon that proposed by renowned white paper expert Gordon Graham as being the best way to successfully complete a project. A typical white paper will flow through the following stages of development:
- Kick-off Call with all approvers and subject-matter expert(s). Including all interested parties on the kick-off call ensures everyone’s opinions and objectives are accomodated from the start. That minimizes any radical restructuring of the white paper later.
- One Page Synopsis. The one-page synopsis represents the entire white paper in skeletal form. The document is submitted for review with a reasonable deadline for response. This is the best opportunity to make changes with minimal disruption to the overall white paper timeline and the least possible wasted effort.
- Executive Summary. The executive summary expands upon the outline and will often appear at the beginning of the white paper itself. This is the last opportunity to influence the white paper before the full document is written.
- White Paper Creation With an approved outline and executive summary, this step should be a fairly straight-forward effort that may involve a few questions to the subject matter expert(s) for details. Direction, content, and flow decisions should already be in place from the previous steps.
- Review and Revision Cycle This step begins when the first draft of the white paper is submitted to the client for review. Minor changes and corrections are made. This stage concludes when the white paper’s final draft is delivered.
- Wrap-Up This is the time to discuss any lessons learned. We’ll also ensure we have any necessary permissions, and all source references are provided. Client is invoiced, and full copyright of the white paper is transferred to client upon payment.
Following this white paper process improves the chances of first time success.