Huddle Up. Groupware on Three. Written by Joe Miller
It could just be me, but my experiences with document collaboration remind me of a football game. It sounds crazy, I know, but working with a group and sending emails off to other members of group caries with it that familiar uneasy sensation of Thanksgiving Day football games, where I often play quarterback and just as often wonder whether members of my family will catch pass, and if they do, what they will do with ball. Using groupware in document collaboration is similar to having a game plan that separates “Turkey Bowl” family football team from real competitors.
Groupware on Three
Now, this doesn’t have to be team cheer. But it could be, because groupware is distinguished from other document collaboration software by three characteristics designed to work way businesses do. Since businesses frequently experience ad hoc document collaboration, groupware designed using Digital Thread, Digital Signature, and Version History most effectively manages and controls ad hoc editing and keeps businesses informed.
As a document manager, groupware helps businesses piece together puzzle of ad hoc document collaboration. However, when sifting through millions of indexed pages under “groupware” in any search engine, it is important to know what you are looking for. To that end, let me explain a little more of “Groupware on Three” concept. Another helpful resource is my article Groupware: 3 Tips for Sifting Through Collaboration Suites.
Business collaboration requires a lot of document sharing through email. Often document sharing creates a lot of confusion. Emails are being sent out, drafts are being edited, drafts are being saved in multiple locations, and changes are getting sent back to you out of order. Everything is jumbled up like a dog pile of lineman at end of a play. The temptation at this point is to be a ball hog, and to run ball ourselves. In football, Steve Young could do it, but in business, nobody can. It just doesn’t work.
A Content Management Tool Provides the 5 Essentials of CommunicationWritten by Joe Miller
The five essentials of communication come as an answer to questions left in wake of ad hoc collaboration. Businesses do it, whether large or small. Sure, ideal would be perfect control of documents as they get passed around and changed. But when deadlines fall due, or when something unexpected is called for by your boss or your clients, it simply needs to get done. The problem, however, comes when it’s time to pull a document back together again after it has been passed around and pulled apart in ad hoc editorial process. All that’s left is questions.
That’s where a content management tool comes in. Since all you were left with were questions, 5 essentials of communication that a content management tool provides are simply answers. Answers to questions “Where is version X stored?” “When was version Y created?” “Who created version Z?” “What changes were made to these versions?” and “How am I supposed to bring them together?”
Here is another question for you: Do these questions sound familiar? I thought so. But when answers are available, businesses want them. So, Adam Smith’s invisible hand has reached into market again to create content management tool, often referred to as Groupware. Let’s take a look at how exactly content management tool provides answers.
The content management tool, or groupware, needs to contain Digital Thread technology, which places information in metadata of an electronic document--this includes MS applications most businesses use--and tracks document and its versions across email your desktop and servers, literally threading together document versions. You will always know where a document is stored.