The Woodpecker Shared Drive Model
The Woodpecker “Shared Drive Model” is a workflow and process for efficiently sharing Woodpecker templates across a team while enforcing various quality controls and standards for your templates. We champion the Shared Drive Model and recommend it to all of our customers that require collaborative workflows within a team. Steps for implementing the Shared Drive Model are outlined below.
1. Template Admins create Woodpecker templates and save them to your team’s shared drive.
2. Template Consumers download master templates as needed, launch Word/Woodpecker, populate the template, and save it as a new document.
3. Template Consumer distributes the document(s) to the recipient.
The Shared Drive Model is an incredibly simple, yet powerful way to effectively utilize a shared collection of Woodpecker templates while also enforcing restrictions on who can alter a team’s templates and ensuring that all team members are always using the most up to date version of a template.
The Shared Drive Model consists of three main components: (1) a shared drive or data store, (2) Template Admins, and (3) Template Consumers. Template Admins create your team’s templates and store them in your team’s shared drive. Template Consumers are able to pull the latest version of all of your team’s templates directly from the shared drive. This flow allows for a select set of users to handle creating and updating the master templates for your team, but also allows the rest of the team to readily access the latest version of the master templates while maintaining the ability to make custom adjustments for their particular use case without affecting the master version of a template.
Template Admins are those users within your team that are responsible for creating and maintaining the master set of Woodpecker templates that the rest of the team will use. Template Admins should be the people on your team that are most familiar with your team’s documents, their idiosyncrasies, and variations. Template Admins will convert your team’s existing documents into Woodpecker templates, save them to your team’s shared drive, and make any necessary updates to the master templates as time goes on. There is an element of “set it and forget it” from the Template Admin’s perspective, however the frequency at which Template Admins will need to update their team’s master templates with new content or variations largely depends on the use case (for example an NDA template will likely be updated much less frequently than a document that depends on the latest legal rulings on a particular subject; cryptocurrency for instance).
By specifying individual Template Admins, your team can enforce a layer of permissioning surrounding your master templates that ensures only a select group within your team is able to adjust the master templates and that everyone else on the team has access to the most up to date versions of your team’s templates.
Template consumers are anyone on your team that will utilize the master templates made available on your team’s shared drive by Template Admins. Template Consumers will pull down the latest version of a master template whenever that specific document needs to be prepared for a recipient, open the document in Word, launch Woodpecker, fill in the appropriate recipient information, save the document as a new document, and that’s it! We distinguish template consumers from template admins to enforce the permissioning aspects of the Share Drive Model as well as to adequately describe the Shared Drive Model’s proposed workflow.
The “shared drive” portion of the Shared Drive Model is used to store your team’s Woodpecker templates and only provides “read access” to Template Consumers while allowing “write access” to Template Admins. Essentially this means that only Template Admins have the ability to add or update templates within the shared drive and Template Consumers are only able to download those templates.
Your team’s shared drive could be any cloud storage provider (such as DropBox, Box, Google Drive, OneDrive, iManage, NetDocuments, Worldox, etc.) or could be a shared drive that is maintained by your organization’s IT department.
The specific service or method for storing your team’s Woodpecker templates doesn’t matter much as long as the service allows for user-specific permission management. For example, you’ll need to be able to designate “write access” to a subset of users on your team (Template Admins) and “read only access” to everyone else (Template Consumers).
To correctly set up your shared drive, you’ll need to first pick a cloud storage service that will store your team’s Woodpecker templates (if you aren’t already using one). Let us know if you’d like any help choosing a cloud-based file storage system, we can make a recommendation based on your needs.
Below is an example of how to set up the correct permissions for a shared drive using Google Drive. The process with other cloud storage providers is usually similar although you should consult the support documentation for your specific cloud storage solution for specifics.
GOOGLE DRIVE setup (example)
Navigate to drive.google.com, create a new folder, and name it “Woodpecker Templates”
Upload your Woodpecker templates to the new folder.
Click the “Woodpecker Templates” navigation item, select “Share”, and type in the name of the first Template Admin that will have access to this folder in addition to yourself (you have “write” access to this folder by default). Make sure to click the “pencil icon” on the right and select “can organize, add, & edit.” Click send.
You’ve now given “organize, add, & edit” access to your first Template Admin. You can repeat the process for as many Template Admins as you like.
Next, to share this folder with your Template Consumers, navigate to the same “share” popup and either add each individual Template Consumer by email (more secure), making sure to specify “Can view only” for each one, or click the “Get shareable link” button and distribute the link Google Drive generates for you with your team (less secure).
Populating multiple documents at once
Your team may want to take advantage of the Woodpecker Populate Multiple feature-set that allows you to prepare multiple documents at the same time. Using the Shared Drive Model alongside Woodpecker Populate Multiple is fairly straightforward.
Each Template Consumer should download each template that they’d like to use with Woodpecker Populate Multiple from the team’s shared drive, and save these templates to their individual document collection (learn more about Woodpecker Populate Multiple and document collections). Once the master templates are saved to a Template Consumer’s document collection, they can use Woodpecker Populate Multiple to populate multiple documents at the same time.
If a Woodpecker master template is updated on the team’s shared drive, a Template Consumer only needs to download the master template from the shared drive, and save it to their document collection once again (the new version of the document will automatically overwrite the old version).
Implementation and support
If the Shared Drive Model is a good fit for your team and you’d like assistance or support with implementing the model, let us know. We’d be happy to help.