At one time, it was generally accepted that a messy desk was a sign of productivity. Architects, engineers and others who are in similar fields are notorious for this common misconception. The actuality of a messy desk is in fact grounded in historical fact; these professionals would normally have slide rules, graphing tools and other necessary items at an arm’s reach.
Compound a messy desk or computer to a collaborative project of two or more people. It can be difficult enough if the collaboration is taking place in the same office, but imagine if the project is across town, state, country or even the world. The clutter is now compounded as the other members of the collaborative project may be in a similar cluttered situation.
This is more than frustrating to the user and desk owner. For an employer, it means lost revenue, income and profits; for the employee, it means lost time, potential disciplinary action and at a more extreme example, termination. Granted, this may seem harsh. Stock holders and stake holders are not exactly understanding when projects run behind schedule because of issues that could be resolved beforehand. They are the lifeblood of a group and company, so keeping them happy with work that is on schedule and in budget is paramount.
This seems an overwhelmingly difficult task. It is not. What is necessary is a system that will organize, manage and delegate tasks. Something that will work with the collaboration, not against it. A system that is available anywhere, anytime from any computer. One that is backed up routinely, safely and off-site.
The system should be intuitive, user-focused and able to juggle several tasks and people at one time.