Ever look at the emails in your inbox that are suffixed with; _v1, _1.1, _gt, _EditedByGT, etc, etc and wonder Why are we still doing this?
We have all these incredible tools for version control and yet we continue to add these suffixes to the end of most of our documents? Is it because…
We don’t trust Version Control.
Or rather, we only trust it when we are in control of the implementation? When we are able to purposefully define that I am setting this as a new version? Or is that we are worried that people will not recognize the changes that have been made to understand that it is a new version? I.e., I changed two lines, is that the equivalent of a minor change or a major? Is it still in Draft mode or is this a Published update to a version control module? When opening a file and deciding to work on it, where do your eyes skip to first? Top left to see the filename and what version you are on? If you want to see the actual version number and taxonomy requirements you more or less need to go the “Version Control” area to see all that information. Its a few extra steps that can be quite bothersome to everyone who is in a rush to review and update. It breaks our workflow and is a change to how we previously created and shared documents.
But is this a problem with the Version Control implementation or those that are using it?
How frustrating it must be for those that setup these systems to reduce documentation duplication and redundancy only to see files renamed as in the above example stored in their precious implementations. And when things start to go wrong, the first blame goes to the system that was so carefully implemented and not the user itself.
But this isn’t a technology problem, it’s a people problem, an adoption problem, a cultural problem.
If the culture adopts the move to a new platform and invests wholeheartedly, then something as complex as multiplicated (new word) becomes a thing of the past as the culture pushes the adoption towards simplicity and constant effortless re-use.
Buying a new shiny toy doesn’t solve your problem, how you use it does.