Version Control Nightmares in Proposal Creation: How to Get Back in Control With Better Collaboration
Are you using standard shared drives or repositories to develop your proposals? If so, you’re in good company. These tools are used by many proposal teams to develop proposals and maintain content libraries.
In theory, proposal creation in a standard desktop content repository would be fantastic and allow multiple contributors to edit proposals simultaneously. It doesn't work well in practice, though – mainly because version control becomes difficult. Basically, it's impossible.
In this article, we’ll discuss the version control challenges you typically face when writing proposals in a standard shared drive or repository. You'll also learn how to eliminate version control issues, regain control, and streamline proposal collaboration.
If you create proposals in a standard shared drive or repository, you will likely run into several version control issues that complicate the proposal management process. These issues may include:
You and your team have probably experienced it: Finding the right version of a document when creating proposals in a standard shared drive or repository is a major pain point.
But even then, the document you're working on might not be the latest version. Someone may have downloaded that version, made edits/changes, then copied and pasted it back in. Or they may have saved a different version somewhere else in the wrong location of the repository. Furthermore, they might be using a Mac, and the formatting is messed up.
After that, someone else downloads the document and makes changes, overwriting someone else's changes. The situation quickly gets messy.
You can leave notes for tracking changes, but if people download the document and work outside of the shared environment, then upload a different version, it gets hard to track changes and comments efficiently.
This lack of visibility into the document's history can lead to confusion and discrepancies in the final proposal.
Proposal creation can be chaotic and stressful if you don’t have an efficient working process. Your team wastes time searching for the correct document versions and piecing together different versions, leading to increased pressure as the submission deadline approaches. This inefficient process results in a higher likelihood of errors and substandard submissions.
An efficient working process isn’t just about working faster and with greater efficiency; it’s actually about driving process within the organization on how to work in a better, more streamlined and efficient way.
By having to search for the right version of a file or document, you lose time. Does everyone work from the same version, or from their own version? Do you have to stitch together multiple versions?
After you've stitched them together, you'll need to sense-check it, edit, subedit, with all of the people working on it, to ensure they are happy with how everything flows. All of this takes a lot of time. As you get closer to the deadline, the pressure builds. Writing the content was a challenge in itself, but now you have to piece it all together and review before publishing.
So many mistakes can happen in that process, like missing content, using the wrong version of an answer, or using the wrong piece of content. Someone has copied and pasted something from somewhere that is not correct or compliant. It all snowballs into one big problem.
Again: You run the risk of submitting a substandard proposal, lowering your chances of winning.
By using a proposal writing software solution like XaitProposal, you can eliminate version control challenges and improve your team's collaboration. There are several features in XaitProposal that tackle the common proposal issues:
Because XaitProposal is cloud-based, multiple team members can work on the same document at the same time. This real-time collaboration ensures that everyone is working on the latest version of the document and eliminates the need to download and re-upload files.
With XaitProposal, you can track all changes made by users and when they were made. If you're unhappy with a particular change or update someone has made to a document, you can just click on the section to see who made the change, when they made it, and what the change was. You can always revert back to a previous iteration or version.
As a result of the revision history and audit trail that XaitProposal provides for your documents, you will always know who made which edit when. This functionality lets you control your document's content and make informed decisions about changes and edits.
With XaitProposal's task assignment feature, you can easily assign tasks to specific team members.
Let's say you're happy with what somebody has written, but you'd like them to add more. Simply create a task for them to contribute more to what they have written. The software sends them an email with a link to the relevant section of the document.
This streamlined communication process keeps everyone working within the software and ensures that all contributions are made to the correct document version.
Let's say you have written something yourself, or you used some content. You need an SME in your organization to validate or sense-check it, or to sign off on the whole document. Simply create a task within the software tool, with an email link that takes the SME to the document.
Using this feature, you can ensure that your proposal is accurate and high-quality before submitting it.
With XaitProposal, your team will always work on a single version of the document, eliminating the confusion and frustration caused by multiple versions saved in different locations.
Everything you generate from a collaboration point of view takes you back to working within the software, and in the same version of the document you're creating.
There is only ever one version of the document. No matter what you do, you never lose track of it, you edit/change it, have it verified, and then publish it. And you get your proposal out the door, without having to worry about whether you were working in the right versions or not.
When multiple people work on different versions and the collaboration turns to just passing documents around via email (as is often the case), you have version control issues. An open conversation on the different sections is the only way to avoid this situation.
In a nutshell: By bringing everyone back into the XaitProposal ecosystem to work and removing the option to download and work outside of the software's environment, you eliminate the version control problem. As you work, everything you do spins out of the tool, but ultimately brings you back in.
By using a proposal writing software solution like XaitProposal – which has a smooth approval process and version control built-in – you can say goodbye to the version control headaches and streamline your team's collaboration processes.
By providing full-visibility, cloud-based collaboration, XaitProposal allows your team to focus on creating high-quality proposals without the stress and confusion of version control.
Don't let version control issues hold your team back from producing proposals that help you win big. Get back in control with true collaboration by choosing XaitProposal for your proposal creation needs.
Related article: What is XaitProposal, and how does it help you win more business?
Amo has a degree in Applied Chemistry, and 20 years sales experience working in media, adtech and data insight solutions. He enjoys spending time with his children, watching his son play cricket, and cooking with his daughter. He is passionate about powerlifting and most mornings you can find him in a gym lifting heavy weights.