UK offices lose over one million hours a week and £20 million in time due to misplaced documents. Similarly, a global survey showed 83% of employees recreate documents because the initial version was unlocatable on their corporate network. These trends speak of a lack of version control which has led to document mismanagement. While Git is lauded for its versioning capabilities for software development, it remains largely unprecedented in documentation management due to the lack of a GUI (Graphical User Interface) which utilises its full prowess. Git ensures the complete edit history of documentation are synchronised rather than disconnected throughout a project. Thus, we’ll go how the versioning features of Git help solve documentation redundancy and mismanagement.
The Necessity of a Documented Edit History from Start to Finish
Renaming a document from version to version doesn’t tell you exactly what changes were made and who made them. Alongside the lack of clarity between edits, it wastes time to thoroughly analyse them. Git acknowledges there is one project, so every new addition is neatly packed up into an edit history full of timestamps, alongside who made the edits, when the project is updated. The edit history is beneficial for projects as it allows project members to call upon a previous timestamp in case an edit was not satisfactory. This also allows for better productivity since every employee can focus on tasks that had yet to be addressed, rather than having two or more people unwittingly do the same one due to an absent edit history.
Git allows for efficient drafting due to the ability to make a copy of a file which includes the full edit history. This permits experimentation since the edits to the copy won’t affect the file on the corporate server. So if an idea works – great, you can merge it with the server file. If not, you can delete it without disrupting anything. No harm, no foul. In a large-scale project, everyone attached to a project can make their own copies, their own provisional edits and merge them with the server file when appropriate. This eliminates the need to send copies through communication networks. So rather than having an inbox or folders with seventy drafts and a gamut of untracked edits to sift through, everyone can access the one file with every timestamped edit available. Quite the timesaver, right?
In summary, Git provides a complete edit history in a project and allows employees to make provisional changes without affecting the file on the corporate server. In a network, you can see exactly who made the changes and when, which helps bring more security to a project. This eliminates redundancy and keeps documentation in one place as opposed to scattered on cloud services, various computers, drives and folders. Git prevents project development from being held back by poor document versioning, enhancing productivity and reducing redundancy throughout the duration of a project.