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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Five people collaborating on a tender via mail...

12:23:00 PM Posted by Oscar Berg , No comments
  1. Steven, John, Lisa, Susan and Greg are to produce a tender together. Steven e-mails the first version of a 2MB large PowerPoint called "Tender v0.1.ppt" to John, Lisa, Susan and Greg.

  2. John and Susan edit the PPT and sends it back to the others. They do this independently of each other. John renamed the PPT to "Tender v0.1_John.ppt" and Susan renamed it to "Tender v0.11.ppt"

  3. There is now a slight confusion which version is the current one. This is because there are now two current versions. To get things on track again, someone has to merge the two versions into one. Since Steven sent out the first version, he starts to merge the two new current versions.

  4. As Steven is working on merging the two PPT:s into one, Lisa provides some feedback on Johns PPT and John has opinions on Susans changes. Lisa renames her version of the PPT to "Tender v0.1_John - Lisa 090302.ppt" and John renames the version he got from Susan to "Tender v0.11_Johns feedback.ppt". They send the documents to all the others, independently of each other. They did not know that Steven was merging the two other versions of the PPT.

  5. Steven sends the merged version, which is now 3 MB and called "Tender v0.2.ppt", and asks the others to review it.

  6. John notes that Steven forgot about his feedback and sends Steven a reminder. Doing so, he forgot to reply to all. So Steven also gets a reminder from Greg that the feedback is missing.

  7. Steven sends a new mail to all the others, stating that he will update the PPT with the feedback. He asks everybody to stop working until they get the new PPT. They do so.

  8. Steven makes some updates to the document, annotating what he think should be changed and why, renames the PPT to "Tender v0.3.ppt" and sends the PPT to the others.
This was only the first iteration. The work on the tender continues with an additional four to five iterations. When the tender is completed, there PPT exists in close to 150 copies, taking up more than 400 MB of storage on the mail server.

How would this process have looked if they had used a wiki instead?

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