Using Google Wave for Project Management / Collaboration

For one of my latest projects I decided to invite everyone on the team to use the Google Wave for team collaboration. Wave is still full of bugs and slow but we managed to do a good job at using it as a project management / team collaboration tool to sharing tasks, comments and discussions. Is it also very useful for copywriting collaboration (better than Google Docs as it is faster).

Below you can find some basic principle we are using in Google Wave for project management.

First and foremost you will want to organize all waves related to a project in a separate folder. It’s nice to set a color to that folder so the waves stand out in your Google Wave Inbox. Below you can see a blue example of the ‘New Awesome Project’ (TM).

Google Wave Project Management Folder Organizing

Afterwards setup a new wave for every distinct topic and invite everyone interested and create inside that wave new replies with tasks lists.

For managing the tasks lists we use the following set of rules.

Google Wave For Project Management Overview Of Legend

You can create a to-do list inside a reply with usual tasks in normal text, bold tasks as high priority, done tasks with strikethrough. For attributed tasks you specify at the end of the task who’s responsible. In case of tasks with a deadline you specify before the task when it needs to get done.

For comments I recommend using inline replies as they can be collapsed and leave the list with a clean look.

Separate in each reply tasks in a GTD-friendly way, with next actions, waiting and someday/maybe groups and after a reply has a large number of tasks (and becomes too bloated) make an inline reply  at the end of the main reply and move the completed tasks there. In such way you can keep all task lists clean and current just by a daily reviews for the task lists you are directly involved with and you can ask your project manager to do weekly reviews across all waves including tasks lists to ensure the vision and goals are current and well represented in your waves.

Looking forward for your feedback and suggestions in the comments about this project management approach to Google Wave. It is not meant to be a complete approach, but a simple one that anyone can understand and use right away.

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  • It's interesting to see that even though you know that the product is buggy, you kept on using it (and also told your project team to do the same). A lot of Project Managers have high hopes for Google Wave. I am wondering what will happen to the competition (other online PM tools) once Project Managers start migrating to Google Wave, and if Google will ever charge money for this service.

  • We can pretty much assume Google will not charge for Wave as they intend to grow a messaging protocol on top of it.

    As a project management tool Wave will certainly receive soon bots that make organizing to-do lists more beautiful and make Wave then more and more attractive for this.

  • No wonder it's a wonderful tool. I mean the more you learn (read blogs like Mihai's ;)) , the more exciting it becomes. I could never actually start a proper conversation using Wave (somehow everyone started 'testing' it, uploading funny videos and dumb polls).

  • Thanks for the preps Arun.

    Indeed we all start using Wave by testing it in various ways, but as soon as you play more with it it becomes more and more useful.

    Looking forward for your comments here in the future!

  • Thanks for the preps Arun.

    Indeed we all start using Wave by testing it in various ways, but as soon as you play more with it it becomes more and more useful.

    Looking forward for your comments here in the future!