Using Submission Software to Keep Review Teams on Track

07/08/2019

Setting up review teams for success requires a solid foundation of soft skills combined with the right software. Ensuring that reviewers have the right tools to help them efficiently move through each step of the process will enable your team to communicate clearly, identify unfinished tasks, and collaborate. Using a submission software platform like Submittable, where all submissions and reviews are located in one place, can provide the maximum focus for review teams, streamlining collaborative work.

Consolidate Information

With the right software tool, all team members will be able to see the appropriate submissions and have the ability to rate, review, and discuss submissions within the same digital space. Having all submission information in one place reduces clutter and confusion for team members. It also means that there is no need to flip back and forth between platforms. This will keep team members focused and on task; it will also reduce the number of meetings that need to be scheduled since much of the discussion can happen in the notes field of each submission. As an added bonus, cloud-based submission software keeps submissions out of email inboxes and does not require space on a hard drive.

Assign Work

When a team is working with a large number of submissions, it can be helpful to set up automatic submission assignments. Auto-assigning submissions eliminates the time it would take for a manager to manually assign submissions. Additionally, auto-assignments can be set up in a number of ways. For example, if the submissions are categorized by genre, topic, job description, or any other distinction, particular categories can be assigned to specific team members. Alternately, submissions can be randomly assigned for even and unbiased distribution.

Review Progress

Managers of review teams can use submission software tools to keep team members on track. These tools also provide information that can be used in performance reviews.

For example, using the Progress Report in Submittable allows team managers to review how many submissions a team member has reviewed vs. how many submissions remain unfinished. Managers can use this tool to look at each team members’ progress individually. If a team member is not meeting deadlines or is not fulfilling all components of the review process, a manager can use this information to check in or help troubleshoot any problems that might have arisen. 

Sending a one-time reminder to team members can be a good way to gently nudge individuals who are a little behind schedule. Better yet, using submission software to pre-schedule reminders can help team members continually prioritize longer-term review processes. With Submittable, reminders can be pre-scheduled on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis and they will be delivered to team members’ emails. Pre-scheduling reminders is quick and intuitive and can help cut down on direct manager oversight. Using the search filters at the top of Submittable’s page can also be a good way for managers to review a team member’s activity. They can check which submissions have been assigned to each reviewer and further narrow the search to submissions that are “New” (unreviewed) or “In-Progress.” 

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Submission software like Submittable is an all-in-one solution to the headaches that review teams have faced in the past. Navigating between email, cloud storage, and a hard drive, among other digital tools, can be clunky and confusing for collaborative work. Submission software makes it possible to locate all important information in one place. And by providing multiple ways to make notes, set reminders, and search submissions, teams can use submission software to work more efficiently than ever. 

Emily Withnall

Emily Withnall works as a freelance writer and editor. Emily also teaches poetry in public schools in and outside of Missoula and in the Missoula County Detention Center. Some of her work is available at emilywithnall.com.