6 Replies Latest reply on Apr 4, 2011 10:05 AM by sanjivkvarma

    Looking for strategies and best practices for document collaboration for large teams in SBS

    jcrump

      Hi,

      One of the ways our organization uses SBS is for document creation and collaboration, primarily done through file uploads. Many of our teams have become increasingly frustrated.

       

      The most common frustration is that team members cannot directly edit Word or Excel documents through SBS without saving to desktop and re-uploading.

       

      The most extreme problem (of late) has been a series of Excel files, with 20 editors apiece, all required to add information to it. All the downloading, saving, and re-uploading led to serious versioning issues. Although saved versions are archived, it still wasn't clear which version was which, etc.

       

      I have a couple questions:

       

      1. What are your best practices for document collaboration in SBS? Are your teams able to do this successfully?

       

      2. What features of SBS are most effective for your teams? Docverse? The Office Integration plug-in?

       

      3. Google Docs does allow for document editing through an online interface. Is anyone using Google Apps/Docs in addition to/conjunction with SBS? If so, how do you distinguish for your teams when to use Google and when to use SBS? (I'm afraid that a recommendation for Google is a recommendation to create a new silo.)

       

      Many thanks and best regards,
      Jeff

        • Re: Looking for strategies and best practices for document collaboration for large teams in SBS

          Hi Jeff,

           

          For one of our projects, we have a simplistic use case. We use it more as a doc repository. Collaboration need is low since these are process docs, but the owner/approver workflow is implemented to keep the docs updated and manage expiry timeline.

           

          We also found a Javascript to put the docs into 2 level categories and could deploy the same script multiple times to create three level buckets. That gives the 300 odd docs some structure/grouping to meet our business need. It is not a CMS but works for the need we had.

           

          I can appreciate the issues multiple folks updating the doc may be causing. A check in Check out type functionality might help...may be a possible suggestion for features..

           

          Do you have any suggestions for us how to put multiple docs in categories, in multiple levels and display them ?

           

          Regards

          Sanjiv

            • Re: Looking for strategies and best practices for document collaboration for large teams in SBS
              jcrump

              Thanks Sanjiv,
              Do you recommend a process for your teams when using the owner/approver workflow (such as it is)?

               

              Am I correct that you are using parent-child (i.e. 2-level) categories within a single space? We have not explored this, though it is a very interesting idea. We have about 100 spaces, with 25% using (single-level) categories to help organize the content. Oddly, it seems that our teams generally scan the most recent documents rather than navigating through tags. Luckily, while categories are not folders, they look like them, and our users intuitively notice and click them.

               

              I'm not sure about display options for categories, though I suspect a customization might be made to the freemarker template to show the "filter by categories & tags" drop-down "open" instead of closed. With categories on the Overview tab, our recommendation to space admins is to place the categories widget adjacent to the Recent Content widget so people see what happens when the category is clicked. This is for 4.0.14. I understand the category widget may have changed a bit in 4.5. Sorry if I'm misunderstanding your question.

               

              We have started testing the Document-Lock Plug-in. The plug in doesn't prevent an editor from downloading the document and working on it (which is the root of our problem), but it does make very obvious that someone else IS working on it. Since you can upload through the document-lock mechanism, it involves locking/unlocking in the actual workflow process. You can read more here, https://community.jivesoftware.com/docs/DOC-35230

               

              While we like what we've seen with the plug so far, the Jive Office Connect Module Andrew mentions below may be more effective for our use case of many time-constrained editors, requiring both simple and extensive edits, to co-edit an uploaded file in SBS.

               

              Thanks and best regards,
              Jeff

                • Re: Looking for strategies and best practices for document collaboration for large teams in SBS

                  Hi Jeff,

                   

                  Yes we do have the teams follow a process for review/approval of docs. It is a small approver set though. The SME’s are doc owners and can be a larger community. The SME’s know that when they update a doc, it will be reviewed and approved by a central person who is responsible to ensure the program goals are being met.

                   

                  The parent / child mechanism we have is in the same space.

                   

                  In our experience having too many multiple spaces creates a very big structure and users find it hard to navigate. The best view for them is to be able to see a navigation for all the docs upfront. By having multiple instances of the parent/child in the same space we have taken it to 3 levels too. The filters and tags are useful, but it is hard for authors to tag accurately/repeatedly and the user community thinks filtering is useful but only if it is on consistent (system generated info).

                   

                  I hope the doc locking widget works for you. The office Connect is nice too....I tried to check if it supports check in / check out – but could not verify – I have asked that question.

                   

                  Best Wishes

                  Sanjiv

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              • Re: Looking for strategies and best practices for document collaboration for large teams in SBS
                Andrew Kratz

                Have you looked at the Jive Office Connect Module ?  It seems like it would meet your needs.

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