With all the available apps and tools that foster online communication, I’m baffled by why project managers still rely on email. It’s slow, a giant time waste, and difficult to filter through.
Many project managers are already giving up on email, but there are still managers who prefer to use email for handling their projects. The “why” behind that decision remains unknown to me.
If you are also using email for project management, here are four good reasons why you should regard it as the 21st-century’s AOL — completely outdated and clunky. By the end of this piece, you will not only understand why email is an ineffective project management tool, but also know about smarter tools that are available.
1. Email means more confusion and less information
You should not use email as a primary tool for conversing and discussing ideas because it’s easy to lose track of the conversation — in other words, email creates a lot of unnecessary confusion.
The longer the conversation thread gets, the harder it becomes to decipher the conversation. The whole thing is enough to drive anyone insane. “Stars” and “labels” haven’t solved this problem, nor have they fixed the issue issue of finding the right attachments in each reply.
2. Drafting emails is a time sink
Are you using an email system to assign work? If so, then you need to send emails every time you have to assign a task to someone, then wait for confirmation that the person has understood the requirements. Email-based project management requires that you do that for every task assigned.
Sounds like a lot of work, right?
This practice is fine when a limited number of people are working. But, for larger projects it’s a sheer waste of time and a recipe for miscommunication.
3. Email project management lacks a central storage system
Different departments have their own collections of files, data, and information. Emails are a poor method of arranging all that information in a cohesive way. The absence of a unified source of data can be the reason behind unnecessary delays and can ultimately be costly for your company.
Email systems are not ideal for storing digital assets, including one-on-one conversations, files, discussions, project progress reports, and statistics.
It doesn’t provide an organizational system to sort your project’s information for quick retrieval. As a project manager, your time is valuable. Don’t waste it unnecessarily.
4. Email project management doesn’t support a solution-oriented approach
Project managers always need to be prepared for unpredictability. As project managers know all too well, problems can creep in out of nowhere.
In the event of an emergency, project managers need to bring together both their physical and digital assets to come up with a viable solution to their unforeseen problem.
Think you can do that through email? And do you really think that email will guarantee a timely response?
What’s the solution?
Since projects are all about working with countless number of files and documents, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are special features for organizing the same.
With to-do lists, task timers, reports, Gantt charts, calendar, notes, and much more, your project information is immediately searchable, quantifiable, and ready for any disaster that may strike.
Compare these features with what you are using now.
Project management software blows email out of the water.
There was a time when managers had no option but to stick to email.
That time is long gone.
Once you start taking advantage of these project management tools, it’ll feel like going from dial-up to fios. I promise that you’ll never want to go back.
Looking for Project Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Project Management software solutions.