After playing around with wave in the developer preview, and giving it some thought, we tried the new beta version of Google Wave in a real-life scenario at the office today. Four of us were doing a sales effort (new experience), and found it to be a great tool for this purpose.
The case was that we wanted to do an effort on a backlog of leads and ideas by taking them one step further in the process. We started out by creating a Wave for each lead, inviting all the team members that were going to work on this.
Next thing was to get some organizing of these newly created waves. We solved it by tagging each of them with “lead” in the beginning, so we could create a saved search and clear them from our inboxes. In order to know who was responsible for the different leads, we also tagged the waves with our initials and created a saved search for our own leads.
And so the fun started. While I was working on my first lead, I needed some feedback on a few details from my colleague Guru, so I pinged him with a link to my lead wave and asked for some feedback. While I continued to work on another part of the same lead, I saw his comments coming in letter by letter, and responded quickly to some of them. This resulted in a very effective and quick dialogue and case solving method, and as a bonus we have a full log of how we came to the conclusions.
There have been a lot of people disbanding Google Wave lately due to it not being email, twitter, facebook or some other app. In my opinion, Google Wave is not the solution to all the quirks of our current tools, but as a simple group collaboration tool it’s so far the best I’ve tried. It will probably not replace Email or random IM in it’s current state, as many people (including myself) hope for, but it’s the thing in between that I didn’t know I was missing before I tried it.
I would love to hear about other success stories with using Google Wave for something useful. I found a few links to a few cheatsheets during our little session today, that you also might find useful: