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Has Overload Made Email Useless on Projects?

November 24, 2014

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Emails fly around everywhere on projects. Inboxes are stuffed to the gills. Has overload made email useless on projects?

No, but it has made it far less effective. Emails are great for some things. In person meetings are great for others. Please don’t call a meeting to tell people something that could have been conveyed in a three sentence email. There is no single best medium for project communication. It depends on many factors.

Email filters are set up in some places to easily identify project emails. That can be a good start and is certainly worth testing on our projects. Try it out. Have some outcome metric you’re measuring it against e.g. reduced schedule, faster delivery etc. Then track it to see if it made a difference.

People may ignore the emails anyway. People filter information on their own based on a host of elements like when it was sent, who sent it, how long it is and how much other email they’ve got.

Every project environment is unique. What works in one environment may not work in another environment. What is great is that we can be aware of elements that impact our communication objects, like the need to filter.

We can make informed communication decisions on what media to use, to whom, when to use it and what it should look like to be effective. There is now a process to analyze, design, measure, track and improve our project communication.

Actively design more effective communication objects, like emails, to have more effective communication on our projects.

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