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Guiding Principle Spotlight: Control

Include Original Files

It was wonderful seeing so many BoardEffect users last month at our annual conference, Become 2015.  I enjoyed connecting with administrators who use BoardEffect across a diverse range of organizations.  I particularly enjoyed talking about the broad-ranging and fluid nature of your boards’ activities in the context of the three operating cycles around which BoardEffect is designed.  While, this framework shines a light on the enormity of boards’ responsibilities, it also provides insight to how and why boards can benefit from technology that assists in managing these vast responsibilities.

Drawing on our guiding principles, which reflect the values or character we aspire for our solution to embody, offered me the chance to highlight best practices and tips for handling some of your challenging needs.  Specifically, managing original files within a meeting book:  how to allow your board members to access meeting book files in their original format?  Managing this type of access illustrates our guiding principle of control; BoardEffect’s commitment to providing configuration options to best support your workflow.

First, I want to start with the use case that prompted many of these conversations:

“As an admin, I want to allow board members to download a file (excel, power point, etc.), in its original format, that needs to be reviewed in conjunction with a meeting.”

There are many reasons why boards and committees want this, and there are a number of ways to accommodate it in the platform.  For example, finance committee members may want to review last quarter’s balance sheet as an excel document during the meeting.  To address this, many administrators upload these files to the workroom files or the resource library, in addition to the meeting book.  I want to highlight an additional option under advanced settings called “Include Original Files” (in meeting books) that also addresses this need.


In talking with admins, many were not aware of “Include Original Files” option.  By default, individual files open in the web viewer for board members.  Enabling “Include Original Files” allows board members to download the individual files that compose the meeting book. To use this, click on “Advanced Settings” when building a book and check “Include Original Files.

There are a few things to consider before using this setting.  When selecting this option, your board members will be able to download the files of a meeting book in their original format.   This means that they will be able to view and edit the files after they are downloaded.  This applies to all files within the meeting book.  While this makes accessing the original files easier, it may not be appropriate for all circumstances.

Being able to enable “Include Original Files”, on a book by book basis, allows admins the control to select what works best for them for a specific meeting.  This principle of control can be found throughout the platform and is a consistent focus with all the features we develop.  The work of boards is continually evolving and we strive to build functionality that gives you the flexibility to best support your workflow.

Matthew Bryan

Matthew Bryan is the Product Owner at BoardEffect. He works directly with end-users, senior management, customers, partners and other stakeholders to synthesize and define the technology needs of the organization and establish strategic goals for BoardEffect a SaaS platform for Boards of Directors. This role works closely with developers, using an agile process to quickly and effectively deliver high-value business solutions.