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Working on a development project can be complicated. The days where everyone is sitting just a cubicle away are long gone. You need to keep the project manager, the clients, the copywriter, the developers, the marketing people, the designers and the SEO team in the loop. Every decision that’s made effects every part of the project. There are lots of project management tools available, and they all fall short. Email chains get unwieldy after a few replies and sharing files can become a burden quickly.

Google Wave might be the answer we’ve all been waiting for. It’s a combination of email, social networking and file sharing that brings people and ideas into one place. We’ve been playing around with Wave for a few weeks, and it’s impressive. It especially excels as a way to keep complicated projects moving along while removing the bulk that comes with other methods of project management.

Here’s a few reasons why we’re using Wave:

Media Handling Forget attachments

  • Wave handles every media file we’ve thrown at it in an elegant way. Relevant links, videos, audio files, copy and code can be shared right in the message. You seem them right in front of you without having to click around. That’s efficient. There’s also an option to browse media files which is very cool. Clicking through the various stages of a design, or every photo being used on a project is very convenient when making design changes.

Latecomers at Different Points in a Project

  • It’s sometimes necessary to bring a new person into the mix. Getting them up to speed can be a difficult dance of dredging up old emails, zipping groups of files and filling them in on past conversations. With Wave, simple include the new people working on the project in the Wave and they can get briefed on thier own time, see all the past revisions and discussions, and view the various iterations and changes that have been made. This is a gigantic time saver.

Tags

  • Tagging your projects gives you the ability to build an archive of your work over time, making it easy to see how problems were solved in the past. If you’re diligent about tagging specific issues and solutions, when you run into a similar issues, just search Wave and see how you developed a working solution in the past. That’s something so valuable you can’t put a price on.

Contacts

  • Having your contacts right in your project management software is very convenient. There’s no imports that fail, no proprietary data formats, and since Wave is spreading quickly, after you’ve collaborated with someone, you’ll be able to add them to new projects with a click. Over time you’ll build a database of old and new collaborators expanding your business network.

Fast

  • Wave is fast. Really fast. It swallows big media files, updates in real time, and is hosted by Google, who overall have a solid record of data integrity.

Is Google Wave the perfect project management tool? Maybe. It’s still new, but so far we’re really impressed with it. So impressed we’re about to start a huge new project involving a big team in many different locations, and we’re using Wave to keep it together. We’ll keep you updated.

What are your experiences with Wave so far? We’d love to hear how you’re using Wave for business or fun. 

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