The Project Nightmare
There are several fundamental Fright-Factors of lost files and documents. Losing key documents or using old versions may be more frequent than you think, particularly in companies that are working on several ongoing projects at a time, involving many contributors, team members and clients. This collaborative way of working is more and more commonplace and keeping everyone in the loop is paramount.
However back and forth emails or sharing multiple files with Dropbox for example, provides a prime environment for one or many project members using old versions of files or documents, missed amendments or instructions for such files and project in general and blame-passing. Worse still, some documents may be mislaid altogether and if not backed-up, sometimes easier said than practiced, lost forever. This infuriates and can set back projects and deadlines as well as overall team morale.
So the key is to prepare for any occasions in advance. Businesses that have a document version control process in place can utilise this along with a comprehensive audit trail, in order to ensure damage limitation and increase accountability.
Even if businesses are already backing up versions manually, are they using auto-save functions on their tools, even then are all key group and project members aware of the changes being made at any given time on projects in order to provide a comparison and collaborative input? It would certainly be a good idea to do so, here is why..
“Well, I did email it”…
Let’s take an example of a busy media/publishing house with various editorial content being; shared, uploaded, amended, edited, discussed and distributed. Is this happening all via email? Is so, that is scary. Email chains and round robin emails can be missed, files can be marked inadvertently as spam or sent to junk, vital people may be missed off the recipient lists and certain images and shared content may not get through. On top of all this, there are deadlines to be met so delays aren’t an option, cut to the team re-working on new editorial documents through the night! A solution that the age of the Cloud offers is a multi-use online portal or collaborative tool for example, to limit the number of platforms such businesses use, in order to streamline day to day activities.
Time to Wake Up
Collaboration is a corporate buzz word it seems, however it is essentially ‘working with others to do a task and to achieve shared goals’ and a holding a ‘deep, collective determination to reach an identical objective’. More and more businesses are realising the importance of using Collaboration tools in order to manage, communicate with, share content with and involve all project team members, from start to finish. When choosing such software the way to limit some of the nightmare experiences of losing documents or mis-communication and collaboration of key files and projects, would be to introduce a Cloud based platform or tool that includes document version control, secure file sharing, audit trails and effective discussion and commenting functionality in order to ensure everyone is on the same page, and pun intended when it comes to a media/publishing house.
Providing the foresight has been introduced at the start of any projects, magazine or newspaper edition cycles, or indeed any group file sharing responsibilities, then there will be less ‘scream management’ and more Time and Project Management. Whatever damage limitation strategy a business employs, it should be sure to highlight document version control as a priority.