The Gap-Analysis Editing Process
I speak from experience: Majors problems can and do happen when editors edit comprehensively without following a process–-or, as I like to say, without conducting a gap analysis.
My process works like this:
- STEP 1: Evaluate and, with your input, define the content’s desired state, looking at purpose, audience, budget, time-frame, goals.
- STEP 2: Analyze the existing content to learn where it falls short in meeting the stated purpose, audience, budget, time-frame, goals.
- STEP 3: Create a plan for closing the gaps, thus bringing the content from here to there, from existing to desired state.
- STEP 4: Most important, share and confirm the plan with you before proceeding, gaining extra clarity, guidance, and insight.
Editors who do not follow a process will, inevitably, wind up in situations where they misinterpret the desired state and thus either close gaps that never existed or close gaps incorrectly.
Although I have followed this process intuitively in the past, today I follow it formally and explicitly to avoid missing the boat, as I have done several times on various projects, primarily when I ignored step four and failed to consult with the author before making changes. I have since discovered that following a formal process not only helps me edit more efficiently and effectively, but also boosts your confidence and gives you added assurance that you’ve made the right decision in hiring me.
Click the image below for a PDF version of my editing process.
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