Most project execution delays and failures are the result of poor communication. Email, while enabling a broader communication footprint with large groups of business stakeholders, is not a substitute for deeper and more productive verbal conversation. To alleviate directional uncertainty, there is no substitute to the phone call or face to face meeting.
Marsha Egan, CEO of The Egan Group, Inc. is the author of Inbox Detox and the Habit of E-mail Excellence, a book that helps employees and executives examine and improve their email habits to save time and increase productivity. “Email is a very effective communication tool upon which businesses rely heavily,” says Egan. “However, we have developed a dependency on email that saps productivity. Many people can’t keep up with their inbox and simply declare email bankruptcy.”
According to Egan, the average email interruption consumes four minutes of work time. “If a worker receives an average of 15 email interruptions per day, one hour of time is lost to email interruptions. If that worker is part of a 20-person department, 20 hours of work time are lost per day. Then, if the employees average $20 USD per hour, the company loses $2000 USD per week due to a loss of worker productivity.” To increase email productivity, Egan recommends to:
1) Keep emails short and concise2) Send less email (as emails will lead to more and more emails).
More on increasing email productivity can be found on Egan’s blog, www.inboxdetox.com
For my current role as a business management consultant, I follow some core personal preferences for communication:
I prefer sending email when I would like to:
1. Communicate workflow to a broad audience2. Start a thread amongst a group of people to gather opinions3. Build consensus4. Summarize a meeeting
I prefer picking up the phone or visiting someone's desk, for one on one communication (pending location and time zone constraints), and suggest a meeting to go deep with an individual or group.
Tags: project management
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