Optimized workflows, better-looking and more effective presentations, more professional outcomes – what’s not to love about dynamic templates? And despite what most people think, it’s actually not that hard to get started with them. Before drilling down how a dynamic template can make your work life better, let’s cover the basics.
What is a dynamic template?
A dynamic is any kind of template used for business documents created by employees, on any of the various office platforms – Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Apple iWork, OpenOffice, etc.
Office templates are born static. A dynamic template adds a level of context and makes it relevant to the specific user creating a business document. Most organizations don’t have a static data set, so insertion of data dynamically to make the document valid. The data set varies from organization to organization but can include elements like brand, department, language and contact details.
1. Dynamic templates ensure brand compliance
The easiest way to look unprofessional is to leave it to users to generate their business documents from scratch. People want to follow the rules, but often don’t have the time, skills or knowledge to do so. Which means external documents go out with outdated logos, wrong contact details or even incorrect disclaimers and other legal compliance issues.
Dynamic templates eliminate such errors because the right data is integrated automatically. It’s an easy way to help users be compliant.
2. The templates boost productivity
Getting started with dynamic office templates is an investment. Time needs to be spent to get a good structure for the dynamic data across the organization to ensure all templates are correct.
Once the data is structured correctly, however, it will save users a lot of time and hassle when creating new business documents. They no longer have to adjust standard elements every time they create a new file as it’s all been done for them.
3. Dynamic templates make it easier to manage ongoing changes in an organization
No organization is static – employees change departments, departments change office addresses, offices divide or merge to form new divisions, business divisions are sold or acquired…
Even if you have a good data structure to support your templates, the data may be outdated by tomorrow. By using dynamic templates, it’s easier to manage and roll out changes whenever necessary.
The flip side? Implementing the business document templates does require a time investment up-front. To make them work, you need to build a good data structure and understand all the variables. Also, the templates need a redesign and testing before launch to ensure everything looks correct before they are pushed out to users. If you don’t spend that time and implement the changes prudently, as well as communicate them to the organization, users won’t be encouraged to change their habits to start using those templates. Plan and execute the process well, however, and you’ll be helping make everyone’s work life a whole lot easier.