In the dictionary, “Wrap-up” means to bring something to a conclusion. It’s a terrific definition because in TakeTurns, “wrap-up” is how you formally conclude your collaboration with another party. It helps everyone keep “Everything in its right place.”
How you finish is as important as how you start
Many email-driven collaborations don’t seem to have a formal ending (more on that beneath). For those that do, it’s entirely manual. Customers have told us that they:
- Produce “Closing binders” or “Final packages” by manually picking through all their emails (and Slack, and Teams, and OneDrive, and GDrive, … ) to find the final and approved versions of everything they’ve been working on with their external parties.
- Create archives (often in their mail server!) by hand-collating all the related email threads, instant messages, and attachments.
While everyone is resigned to the waste of time, talent, and energy (“Isn’t this why we employ analysts?” quipped one senior leader). A few interviewees pointed out that this process is also error-prone. One senior consultant described a case in which her team had accidentally emailed over the wrong versions of a complex agreement at close. And because those versions were missing some hotly debated changes, that error led to a lot more acrimony and a loss of trust with the client.
Avoidance is not a strategy
As we wrote above, many email-driven collaborations don’t seem to have a formal ending. When we dug a bit deeper, many folks acknowledged that they should wrap up, but they didn’t because of a lack of time. (“I know I should,” said one freelancer, “but then there are a lot of things I should be doing … like to work out more.”). The most common approach was just to leave everything in their inbox.
Unfortunately, avoiding work doesn’t usually pay off. In fact, the general consensus was that this strategy simply shifts pain to later. Multiple people joked about trying to use email search to find a specific version of the file or document. (“[Outlook] either turns up nothing or I get dozens of different emails with attachments that all are named final.” complained one consultant.)
Worse, the “leave it in email” approach transforms email into a defacto archive. And it goes without saying that while one can archive email, email servers are not intended to be archives. Not only does the message-centric structure and lack of organization make it tough to find things. There are security and confidentiality concerns. Email is vulnerable to hacking, data breaches, and unauthorized access, so leaving all those files from your collaborations hanging around on the mail server creates risks. Finally, depending on the jurisdiction, there may be compliance concerns about how long this data can be persisted. This is of concern if one is handling PII or other sensitive personal data. (In fact, we heard about this from a mortgage broker).
Save time, avoid confusion, and improve security by wrapping up
When our team took a step back and looked at the problem, we thought we could do better. For your consideration, we present our wrap-up feature.
- It’s automated - Whether you need a closing binder or a full collaboration archive, TakeTurns creates it for you. There’s no manual effort required. Because of the way TakeTurns operates, there’s also never any confusion about which versions are the most recent.
- It’s packaged - As we noted above, not everyone packages up all the files, documents, and correspondence tied to their collaborations–but they should. Having a clean, self-contained package helps if you ever need to go back to review the context of your collaborations or to examine how documents evolved. And having a system-generated archive also makes it easier to maintain good record-keeping hygiene. Learn about archives.
- It improves security - Once you wrap-up, TakeTurns schedules the deletion of the collaboration content from our servers after a grace period (the default is seven days). Our ephemeral storage approach helps you avoid persisting all that sensitive data in your inbox which creates both security and compliance issues.
And, last but not least
It can be undone - Wrap-up has an undo, it’s called “re-open.” We included an undo because things can happen. Agreements that you thought were finalized end up enduring another couple of rounds of negotiations. Deals you thought were closed get reopened (and hopefully expanded). It’s the same pragmatic logic behind turn recall.
Start using TakeTurns to improve your external collaborations
Wrap-up is just one example of how TakeTurns is rethinking how we collaborate with the outside world. To learn more please follow us on LinkedIn, or subscribe to our YouTube Channel. And, of course, when you’re ready, sign up and start using TakeTurns yourself.