Improve Team Collaboration – Share Documents using Globodox
Let your colleagues review them…Publish only when approved
When you need to discuss certain points from a document, you may need to call your team members for a meeting. There are 2 ways to do this:
- Print one copy of the document for each member and assemble for the meeting. Let everyone read the document there itself and discuss. Rewrite or edit the document using MS Word and then proceed with the paper based approval process, sign the hard copy and then publish the final document electronically to be accessible by all users. The multiple paper copies of the draft will lie around in the meeting room and add to the clutter.
- Use a document management software program like Globodox to securely share the document with all the team members. Let them first review it. Any team member who wants to suggest changes to parts of the document can highlight and add notes to those parts. You can then check out the document and make the changes suggested – use the check-in, checkout and draft document ‘Under Review’ features offered by Globodox to do this. Automate the routing of the final document for approval and signing. Once ready, it can be published for all users to view. No paper printouts needed, no meetings required!
Clearly, not only does the second method allow you to share documents easily, it also makes team collaboration more efficient. It can speed up decision making, performance of process related tasks and rollout of official documentation like policies, contracts etc. Collectively, this results in far more efficient operations.
When you share documents, you grant access privileges to the users, so they can open the document and maybe work on them (if relevant privileges have been given to them). It does not mean that the user will for sure open the document and work on it. Collaboration, on the other hand, is a type of active sharing where the user actually refers to the shared document and (if relevant privileges have been given to them) modifies it. This is usually done when the document is in the preparatory or revision stages; e.g. a policy document being revisited by a team once every year to update it with any changes that may be recommended by this team. After every member of the team has reviewed the document, they can meet up and discuss the policy updates. If any changes are needed, these can be made and the document approved and then published. The new version of the policy would then come into force, replacing the earlier version.
Using document management software is a more efficient way to work than the paper based method. It also has many more capabilities than simple file management systems like Windows Explorer. Let’s look at why document management software Globodox is the better way to share documents and use them for team collaboration…
- Digitized documents help in team collaboration
Globodox stores your electronic files (like MS Word, MS Excel etc.) and also lets you scan paper based documents and store them. This is a prerequisite to securely share documents for team collaboration – no more passing around of paper copies or originals. No more wear and tear of documents due to frequent handling. Working with digital documents means you need not “file back” a document after referring to it and working on it!
- Organize documents in multiple, search friendly ways
Arrange them into Folders, tag them, segregate using Document Types and also manage them project wise or client wise, using Stack Types. For example, you could use the document type Contract for all contracts and add indexing information like Start Date, End Date etc. for this stack type. Or every approved document can be tagged as ‘Approved’.
- Find documents in secondsusing Quick, Advanced and Saved Searches. Search documents by text content using full text search. Looking for documents can be a major time wasting activity, if good search features are not available. Globodox gives you the ability to find files quickly, helping you get down to the actual job of working on the documents right away.
- Share documents securely
You cannot collaborate on documents if your colleagues do not have access to them. You will need to share documents with them. Globodox offers document level access control and other security features that help you choose whom to share documents with and whom to restrict them from.
- Save documents as Drafts or Publish them
Most document management software would allow you to check out a document for editing, save it and check it back in. But what if you want a core team to review and suggest further changes to the document? Simple check-in will make the revised document accessible to all users who can view it. What is needed is a system that lets you share the tentative edits with the core group for discussion, without allowing anyone else to view the document. After all, that is what team collaboration is all about. Globodox helps you do just that. Instead of checking-in the document as usual, you can check-in the document as a draft ‘Under Review’. This draft with tentative edits will be visible only to the core team and will be a minor version; e.g. version 2.1. Once they approve the changes, you can roll out the document to the whole user base (that is authorized to view it) by using ‘Publish’. This will publish the document to its next major version; e.g. version 3.0. All minor versions of the document are deleted at this point.
- Version control
In addition to the versions discussed in the point above, Globodox also lets you view previous major versions of the document. What’s more, you can even choose to revert to an earlier version and make that the current version of the document!
- Automatically route documents
The process of document review and approval gets truly automated with this step. Globodox allows you to create digital workflows to accomplish this. Once created, the workflow will automatically route the document to the user who needs to approve the document and sign it off. The workflow will send them task notifications for approval and signing. Document routing can also be used for actions other than review and approval. Once the document is approved and signed off, it can then be published to its next version.
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