Ditch Email to Improve Project Management

No matter what we do, it can feel like we’ve increasingly been hired to check email. Email increases stress, creates unnecessary busy work, and makes people feel overwhelmed. This environment is antithetical to helping people concentrate and do their best work.

Productivity specialists are telling us, not-so-subtly, to get rid of internal emails. Picking up the phone creates a sense of intimacy, and that connection means things will get done.

Email is great because it creates a paper-trail that helps track a lot of moving parts. The problem is that those moving parts can get skimmed over and moved to the bottom of an already-overstuffed inbox. That’s why you should consider using a project management tool that keeps things organised and brings accountability to everyone involved.

Many complex projects have contingent parts. I can’t do my job until two other people do theirs. By removing the email trail and creating a visual representation of the progress of the project you can help expedite movement.

Programs like Trello create a board of projects and help you order for importance. There are also cues that you can set up that notify project members that the prerequisites to their action have been completed.

More importantly, it will give the project manager the ability to easily reorganise and reprioritise tasks as needs change. Projects are inherently fluid; making massive changes via email is a great way to confuse everyone involved.

Collaboration is essential in a complex project. By using a project management system to communicate you’ll give agency to contributors to make changes and suggestions that influence the larger project. Likewise, you can know who is taking care of their aspect without needing to micromanage.

If you need any more convincing, there’s this: no more Reply All.

Getting your team off emails and into a project management platform will result in more time to do actual work and less time combing through long threads of irrelevant data. There will be greater visibility of the needs and progress of project and individual tasks within, thereby helping decision makers make informed moves in their business.

Are you using a project management platform? Do you create intranet pages for individual projects? Share your experiences in the comments below.

Chris Wilson
Social & Digital Marketing
D:   +61 2 8294 4003
M:  +61 404 887 698
E:    chris.w@interpropeople.com

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