PM Notebook

Stop sending project materials via email; publish them on a project portal!

Bill Hoberecht - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.          

It is particularly inefficient to use email to publish information that your organization or team will use for reference or guidance.  Your email will likely be discarded or misplaced, and as a result your important information will not be used.  Instead, publish this 'persistent' information on a project Wiki (or some other portal technology) that is back ended by a document repository.

Read more: Presentation- Using Repositories and Portals for Project Documents

Exploring the Root Causes of our Email Overload
Bill Hoberecht - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

There is just too much email flying around.  Important messages are missed, junk email consumes your precious time, and the result is an enormous inefficiency in teamwork and collaboration. This article is first in a series about electronic communication in project environments in the workplace, and focuses on the problems with email overload that plague all of us.  Why are you sending and receiving so many emails?  It may be inherent in the structure of your project or the culture of your company – once you understand the shortcomings or your project’s communication methods, you can start introducing improvements that reduce email traffic yet increase the effectiveness of your electronic communications.

Read more: Information Overload 1 – Too Much Email!

Email  Creates Documentation Clerks; A Portal/WIKI Creates Valuable Information Stores

Bill Hoberecht - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.     

It is nearly impossible to make good use of project information that lives on private stores (e.g., a PC’s hard drive) or in email.  Project information that is sent via email can easily turn the recipients into document management clerks; truth is, few of us are good at that, and our feeble attempts at keeping track of documents will almost always result in misplacing our outdated information.  Creating a project portal (e.g., a project WIKI) provides a natural place to publish information, and it is also a convenient place to look when project information is needed.  This article builds a compelling case for establishing a project portal and document repository. 

Read more: Information Overload 2 – Use a Wiki Instead of Email

Useful Practices for Dealing with Too Much Incoming Email

Bill Hoberecht - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.      

Who isn’t experiencing email overload?  Everyone on my project teams has the same complaint: too much email!  Certainly part of the problem is the high volume of email traffic (and the first two articles in this series introduced methods of reducing those email volumes), but this isn’t the whole of the problem.  This article recommends a method (“Getting Things Done”) for handling your email, and also presents a few tips for becoming more proficient at processing your incoming emails.

Read more: Information Overload 3 – Taming an Overflowing Inbox

Factors to Consider Before Hitting the Send Button

Bill Hoberecht - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sending email is so easy and straightforward that we’ve assumed this is a common skill that everyone has.  While it is almost ludicrous to think that training on ‘sending email’ would be beneficial, perhaps that isn’t such an odd thought.  There’s more to consider than just a set of email ‘rules of etiquette’ (although this article does share a few tips that probably don’t appear elsewhere).  The novel thought here is applying the Getting Things Done framework before ever hitting the send button.

Read more: Information Overload 4 – Stop Sending so Much Email