Let’s learn from the developers for once! Professionals need to take a similar path.

Your work environment is changing. Fact.

We are not talking technology here but the byproduct of what technology enables us to do. Think about it carefully. 10 years ago, apart from some lucky art industry professionals who was working from “home”?

Then entered laptops, high speed internet and VPN (secured connections to your company’s own network through an internet connection) in many professional’s lives.

Nowadays a significant number of professionals work from home part time (often after diner and into the night…) or sometimes for entire days.

All researches such as the one from the United States Department of Labor or the Telework Research Network show significant numbers and a constant increase of this trend.

It must be noted that, often, “home” is also called a hotel room, an airport lounge, a conference hall somewhere at the other end of the country or (as I write these lines) a train.

My former company, Econocom, even aligned its own slogan on this: “Mobility on Demand”. Trust me, they are successful. They are shipping bucket loads of so called “mobility devices”.

To cut the demonstration short, today a large number of professionals are being asked to work from any sort of places.

Then the question is:  Being physically segregated from a traditional work environment, who do you turn to for a helping hand? This much needed help when your boss or your customer ask you to produce and send them “asap” a financial spreadsheet, a PowerPoint presentation or a business analysis document?

The answer is obvious, either you’re lucky enough to work for a very large companies who maintains comprehensive document repositories (pretty rare but IBM is a good example for instance) or you’re going to have to do it all by yourself without knowing if what you’re doing is right.

I cannot keep counts of the number of times I have seen consultants, customers or even bosses starting from a blank page a new piece of work.

This often results in:

  • Wasted hours simply trying to come up with the structure of the document instead of concentrating on the content
  • Errors being made in the document directly impacting the business
  • Customer or management dissatisfaction in regards to the poor document quality
  • The document being rewritten by someone else later so that it can be used and is up to the expected standards
  • Etc

Note: I have witnessed myself all of the examples above during my career as a consultant

Some industries have tackled this challenge. For example, the IT Developers community rapidly understood that sharing would make their life easier and help them concentrate on quality and delivery speed.

As the program and code repositories started to flourish on the internet, it also became clear that developers could consciously or unconsciously take advantage of this phenomenon.

By “being inspired by” and “sharing with” their community, they can now boost their career path by hitting quick successes in their organization or attracting recruiters.

In a fascinating article, Anthony Wing Cosner wrote in Forbes that “GitHub Is The Next Big Social Network, Powered By What You Do, Not Who You Know”.

Their July 2012 100M$ round of funding proves that key Venture Capitalists also believe that it is the case.

We, at Dokker, are convinced that the world of professional documents needs to take a similar path.

Professionals will concentrate on what is important to their organization and their customers: Productivity, business agility and reactivity, quality and standards of deliverables, continuous improvement.

What do you think? What is your personal experience with professional documents?

Don’t hesitate to share your views here.

Fred (co-founder at Dokker)

You can follow me on Twitter @FredDucrot and follow Dokker @Dokker_Live.



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