I remember sitting enthralled at the keynote where Google Wave was first publicly announced – despite most of us being a little numb to general hype, most of us felt a bit of a tingle down the spine when seeing the Wave demo – it was just so goddam cool.
Those of us who have used Wave however often end up saying, after a very short space of time, “well that’s cool and all – but what do we do now?”.
Enter ThoughtWorks Studios with their integration between their Mingle project management tool and Google Wave. ThoughtWorks is demonstrating their integration today here at Enterprise 2.0 in San Francisco in a joint demo with the Google Wave product team (and, as an aside, it seems even Google realizes that they need to actively show users just how Wave is going to live up to its promise to reinvent the way we collaborate and communicate).
The integration leverages Mingle’s latest release which added the following major functional areas to the product;
- “Murmurs” Online Team Collaboration – using IM and Twitter-like functionality online conversations are automatically associated with a specific Mingle project artifact – then archived for on-demand retrieval and review. Uses XMPP so integrates with a variety of chat clients (screenshot below)
- Integration with Tasktop – allowing developers to use whichever task tools work with their development environment, task notifications are automatically posted to Mingle
- Program Management Capabilities – Allowing user created macros for reporting across disparate projects
- Enterprise Scalability
The idea of the integration is to show the how Wave can be applied to a real world situation, in Mingle’s case this is by using the project management tool to add structure and metadata to conversations in Google Wave. Users can create new artifacts in Mingle by selecting text within a Wave. They can view and interact with Mingle card data automatically, and they can see which conversations in Google Wave reference specific cards in Mingle. See the screenshot below)
I put it to Chad Worthington, VP of product development for ThoughtWorks Studio that this integration was a tacit admission that users want to continue using their communication tool of choice – that is email. He didn’t deny this fact and expressed ThoughtWorks desire to mold to users preferences – this is fine but it does raise some questions about ongoing revenue and charging models – if people utilize your product entirely off-platform, that begs creates some difficulties. Just the kind of the issue Twitter is facing right now.
While it’s cool to have an actual example and avoid those “well that’s cool, but what do we do now moments”, I struggle to see major differences between a cross Mingle/Wave collaboration and a collaboration using traditional PM tools – time will tell whether this particular use-case has legs. I’d also be interested to see if ThoughtWorks provides tools to do similar things in standard email as they’re powering within Wave,