GTDT (Getting Things Done Together)

Eric Mack is wondering whether there is a need for GTD 2.0:

"So, here I am, on the fourth of July, thinking about what GTD 2.0 might look like for me personally and whether I need a GTD 2.0 to deal with the world today or just need to get better at what I already know. GTD has helped me greatly at the runway level and above in defining and acting on my projects and actions – the action side of work, but it doesn't address how I manage the information and communication side of getting things done."

David Allen makes the point in the Productivity Talk podcast interviews he did with Merlin Mann at 43folders that the GTD book was line edited to be timeless and be fully applicable 25 years from now. David also mentions a few times that people just needs to work their own GTD systems and let others choose their own path as long as they meet their commitments.

The first point is accurate although the book mentions going into work to download large files which is so 1990's :-). I think one gap in GTD 1.0 is 21st century "reference" file management. In a paper world, the single A-Z filing system combined with calendars, next action lists, and project lists works well. In the collaborative/networked/electronic world, how many places can a "document" live?

  • Local personal folders
  • Network personal folders
  • Group server folders
  • Database objects/records
  • Back up media
  • Email thread text/attachments/archive
  • Outlook tasks
  • Discussion board threads
  • Document management systems
  • Blog text/attachments
  • Wiki text/attachement
  • Wb server text/attachments
  • "Web services" applications
  • Embedded in other documents/maps
  • Original text vs. pdf/web exports

Web 2.0 is just adding to this list. Most organizations will be using a large portions of these options rather indiscriminantly. Individuals can cope with a lot of drag-and-drop housekeeping to their own "system" or with the use of a good indexing tool like X1 or Google desktop if they are allowed to use it, but this doesn't address the overall organization's knowledge management or team effectiveness. Similarly, project management data tends to swim in several of the locations above as well, again requiring a lot of individual housekeeping efforts. ResultsManager provides a framework for addressing this issue, but requires broad adoption for major impact, as will any other approach.

Providing teams and organizations with a framework to converge on consistent strategies for managing their documents, discussions, and project plans in a narrower subset of the options above will be the key to competitiveness in the coming decade. Perhaps instead of going up to the 40,000ft level for his next book, David should co-author "GTDT" with Eric and figure all this out for us!

1 Comment »

  1. Getting Things Done 2.0 said,

    July 6, 2007 @ 2:20 pm

    […] Activity Owner has some original […]

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