SKMurphy was interviewed and selected as one of a dozen case studies on Document Management Solutions for Consulting Groups by Central Desktop. Read about our innovative approach at “Document Management Solution helps SKMurphy Consulting Group Increase Productivity.”
We make some strong claims in the case study:
- Increased productivity – approximately 5 to 10 times more productive
- Significantly sped up decision making time on projects
- Eliminated version control issues for faster review cycles
The baseline is E-Mailing documents and phone tag. We rely on the edit lock that Central Desktop show to prevent you from editing the same file at the same time as someone else (this happens more than you might think as you get close to a deadline) and find that setting update notification for two hours encourages other members of the team to contribute.
We use Central Desktop to work with all of our clients and have found that it allows us to respond with drafts much more quickly and to achieve a working consensus in a few hours to a day or two. We use it to rapidly prototype the content for key E-Mails, presentation outlines, datasheets, backgrounders, and other content or documents that are used in the sales or customer engagement process by our clients. Each of our clients has their own password protected workspace, as well as any attendee at a workshop who wants one. We also use them for projects with our partners.
We think this approach offers them the following benefits:
- The workspaces are searchable and both the wiki pages and attached files are under version control so they good visibility and control over our joint work product, whether it is in planning stages, in process, or had been delivered.
- Meetings and conference calls are more productive. We use the same wiki page can be used the agenda, notes in process during the meeting, and for minutes and action items afterward. There is one place to look for anything about a meeting and it can have hyperlinks to other content that was discussed. This is an order of magnitude more productive than reconciling a stream of E-Mails for agenda and minutes.
- The workspace is the first place to look and it’s more easily organized than anyone’s inbox. It’s not uncommon for us to run a Skype text chat session for conference calls and append that to the meeting page as well. This is a lightweight approach to making meetings more productive and because things get documented immediately you have more of a complete archive as you add folks to the team or want to look back in two or three months to see what was decided.
- We normally include the cost of Central Desktop in our engagement fees but have turned over the workspace to clients at the end of an assignment. One client we worked with in 2006 through 2008 had more than 550 pages and attached files in the workspace.
We have been working in wikis since we started in 2003. We chose Central Desktop in 2006 and phased other wiki platforms out except where a customer is already using one. We have more than a hundred distinct workspaces (some are archived) that have been used with clients, workshop attendees, partner projects, and internal projects.
We are happy to have a phone conversation if you are interested in trying to incorporate them into your business: Sean has given a number of talks on them as well if you would like a briefing or presentation for your group or event. We do not resell Central Desktop and we were not compensated by them for the case study: we agreed to talk about it because we have been satisfied customers for more than three years.
Related blog posts on wikis:
- How Can Blogs and Wikis Help Me Collaborate With My Customers?
- Lunch & Learn Using Wikis for Projects
- Ten Tips for Leveraging Blogs and Wikis in Your Consulting Practice
- This was a talk at IEEE-CNSV Feb-15 2007
- slides are here http://www.californiaconsultants.org/download.cfm/attachment/CNSV-0702-SeanMurphy.pdf the wiki specific content starts at slide 14