The buzzword “collaboration” is thrown around by a lot of technology vendors. Sometimes, their products don’t offer business collaboration in the true sense of the word.
The definition of the word “collaborate” is very specific. It’s a verb that means, “work jointly on an activity, especially to produce or create something.”
In business, several people often need to review and edit a document before it’s considered “final.” However, the traditional business collaboration process can be inefficient.
Traditional Business Collaboration on a Document
The following scenario can apply to any business document that requires two or more pairs of eyeballs. We’ll use a sales proposal as the example.
The editing and approval sequence for a sales proposal might look something like this:
- The salesperson drafts a proposal document for a prospect
- The salesperson emails the document to an admin at HQ for grammatical review
- The admin makes edits to the document and adds comments
- The admin emails the edited and commented document back to the salesperson
- The salesperson updates the document
- The salesperson emails the document to the sales manager for pricing review
- The manager calls the salesperson to jointly mull over the pricing
- The manager makes pricing and content edits
- The manager emails the document back to the salesperson
- The salesperson makes final edits to the document
- The salesperson emails the document to the customer or prospect
By the time the proposal is ready to go out the customer or prospect, several days may have gone by. The last iteration of the document has a filename that looks like one of these:
Sometimes its difficult to tell which of many spawned versions is the real “final.”
The New Way to Collaborate on Documents
What if the salesperson, the admin and the manager could all work on the same document at the same time?
Vendors like Google have added real-time business collaboration to documents. Now, there never has to be more than one instance of a document.
This short video shows how three people can look at and edit the same Google document at the same time.
All previous versions can be viewed within the one document. Versions can even be named.
Google Workspace, the business suite from Google, makes this possible. The same business collaboration applies to spreadsheets and presentations.