Monday, August 1, 2011

The new collaboration

I've been working on a dreamforce 11 presentation about chatter. It's a powerpoint presentation and I've been on google apps for a while and I really noticed a difference between the "old way" of collaborating and the "new way".

In Google apps, I create a document, share it, and then just make changes to it as I see fit. If my co-presenters want to make changes, and I've given them the rights to, they can. If we want to have a chat discussion about the changes first (which is always a good idea) we can chat right in the document. It's very cool and allows me to focus all of my energy on the content and none on the logistics of sharing the document.

But for this presentation we are using powerpoint. Don't get me wrong, I love powerpoint. Frankly when I'm working on something it's great. The challenge with it is when I need to work with other people.

The way we work as a team with powerpoint is slower. Basically I make a draft, and email it out, in this case it's too big so we use Salesforce content deliveries. My co-presenters make changes and email it back. If they both made changes I need to merge the changes together and then email it back out. Repeat until done.

As you can see I have to spend a lot of energy just managing the changes, which means less time making them. As much as I hate to admit it, my amount of time to spend on this is limited so the more I can spend on creating content versus managing changes, the better.

Now powerpoint is better for creating presentations than google presentations. Everyone knows powerpoint, it has cool features like "smart art" and with Office 365 it's supposed to be better at collaborating. I hope either MS gets better at collaborating or Google adds more features.

I love the new way of working, just need to get the best of both worlds in one tool.

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