Organization of work using Google Wave

    We are a small team (30 people) which leads one rather big and quite successful project. We, like many IT-firms, had problems with the documentation, planning and organization of our work. For six months now, we have been using Google Wave for teamwork, which has helped significantly advance in solving the above problems. And this is despite the fact that the product is not yet in beta.

    For the transition to Google Wave for 5 years we used Trac, half a year - Microsoft Project, got acquainted and tested almost all systems of planning and organization of work. But it’s simpler and faster than the rest of the systems that google wave has taken root in us, and we are very happy about this. Perhaps the large companies that have implemented ERP-systems, our achievements seem ridiculous, but Google Wave really made life easier for us.

    The purpose of this article is to draw attention to Google Wave, to collaborative work on Google Wave, to development (with or without us) for Google Wave (and indeed everything related to teamwork). We really want the work to become even more convenient, interesting and efficient.

    At first glance

    The first plus, which I would immediately like to note, is a low entry threshold. Finding out how to use Google Wave is easy. Half of our employees are not from the IT field at all, but after a short presentation and training, discussion of all tasks, they got into the wave quite easily.

    The second plus is that the service is in the cloud, and we do not need to spend our own resources and resources on supporting our server. Although, if we have a need or paranoia, we can transfer all this to our Wave-server.


    The correct wave

    But the wave in its pure form, of course, is not a panacea, we came up with a lot of rules by which we are working. In the following articles I will describe our rules, I will tell and show robots, browser extensions and gadgets that we wrote for more convenient work with the wave, and also provide access to the sources.

    But before you begin familiarization, you must at least briefly tell some of the rules that we adhere to:
    • Each task should have a responsible person who is responsible for solving this problem.
    • Each task must have a deadline. Even if the timing is not clear, indicate approximate.
    • In no case should situations with expired tasks be allowed, but they can be transferred with a description of the reason for the postponement.

    Under these simple rules, we came up with our own system of organizing work. A very important point in creating the system was that it was convenient to use.

    How did the problem statement go before the introduction of Google Wave?

    In certain cases, we used Trac, but the very creation of a ticket for setting the task took a lot of time, and it was far from always always describing the whole task at once - questions arose. To discuss them, we switched to Jabber (ICQ) or set the task verbally. But at the same time, this task became divorced from the situation as a whole, from the context in which it was discussed. Such tasks were difficult to analyze, part of the information was lost, etc. Google Wave helped get away from these difficulties.

    Solving problems through Google Wave

    In the process of conversation and communication, we conduct the conversation in such a way that as a result we have documentation (how this happens, will be described in the following articles), and we set the tasks themselves directly inside the content, which is both a discussion and future documentation. We try to minimize all communication through other channels.

    When setting a task, the person who sets it writes the corresponding tag, thus marking to whom it is addressed and in what time frame it should be completed.

    Tags are written in parentheses in the task itself, directly next to the task text. The first two letters of the tag indicate the executor of the task (Surname Full name, for example, IP - Ivan Petr). The third letter of the tag is the status of the task (example: n - New task). Jokes that we will not take a person to work, if his initials are repeated, we already had. At the moment, we can all easily remember the initials of all employees, and 2 letters can be written very quickly.

    The tag also indicates deadline (the deadline for completing the task).

    Example tag: (tp 18.05)

    Decryption: A new task for the Test User, the deadline is May 18.

    With us, it usually looks like this:


    When the task is completed, the tag is corrected by the executor to the appropriate one. The task is checked by the director, and if he did not accept it, he re-sets the tag “n”. If the contractor cannot complete the task on time, he unsubscribes according to the state of affairs, calls the new deadline and changes the deadline in the original tag.

    In the navigation panel in searches, you can make search queries relevant to yourself. And call them natively (for example, “outstanding tasks,” “tasks under discussion,” “all my tasks,” etc.).

    Record format deadline

    Write the day and month number (with leading zero):
    • (tp 19.02) February 19.
    • (tp n 19.02 12:00) at 12 noon
    • (tp n 19.02 09.02) the first deadline deadline is the 9th, which was moved to the second deadline on the 19th.
    • (tp n) A task without a date is considered a task that needs to be done today. Running a little ahead, our robot will automatically set the current date in this task.

    • n - unsolved problem
    • c - the task requires additional questions (this tag is for the task to disappear from the list of tasks that are worth paying attention to before new information appears.)
    • p is the completed task.

    Search Query Examples

    Quotation marks are required.
    • in: inbox "(tp n" - all outstanding tasks of the test user.
    • in: inbox "(tp r" - implemented tasks of the test user.
    • in: inbox "(tp 21.02" all unsolved tasks on February 21 of the test user. Unfortunately, this request cannot be added to the ones used, and everyone will have to write this request manually daily, adding the current date.
    • in: inbox "(?? n" - all outstanding tasks.
    • in: inbox "(?? n 21.02" - all unsolved tasks of all users on February 21st.

    Search queries can be saved. And quickly open your tasks in the search.


    Each employee, leaving work, must check whether he has open tasks for today.

    If you use only the search system, then finding your task inside the wave is not very convenient and difficult to analyze the list of all your tasks. And a special robot helps us in this, which analyzes such tags and writes them to the personal calendars of employees with links to the waves (we will talk about it, how it was written and the sources in other articles will be uploaded).


    In this article, I described our system very briefly and simplistically to find out if there would be interest. If it does, then in the next article I will tell in more detail about how we arrange information-communication-documentation in waves.

    Also popular now: