As a federal agency many many times we are tasked with getting stakeholder input and acceptance. One of the many problems is getting all stakeholders onto “The Same Page”. This is extremely difficult and is amplified by the fact that we work with all states. This means different time zones and the inability to get people to work together. When we have a major project like addressing a technical document that will eventually be broadcasted nationally our only option is to send the document to all interested parties and have them address their comments and suggestions over a Word document.
Using track changes becomes a real nightmare to consolidate comments suggestions and disagreements. On many occasions, this whole back and forth exercise leads to mistakes, which frustrates people, not to mention the time it consumes! Simple projects are complicated and larger projects become unbearable. A case in point is a recent project whereby we needed to get a technical working group on a particular subject matter, in order to provide input into the development of a new and more comprehensive document. We chose not to use the Word document’s ‘track changes’ feature as we required the project to move forward very quickly.