Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

How Email Is A Design Office Problem

February 08, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 169

Email is one of the greatest advances in communication. However, email is a potential problem in the design office and effective email management is a priority.

It is this ease of communication that is the difficulty in project management. When we receive "important" information we need to pass it on immediately, so we fill the "to" box with as many addresses as we believe need to receive it. Then we worry that maybe others need to know we have sent it, and others might want to know too, so we fill the "cc" box with more and then we click send!

So say we now have messages to 20 people. To some receivers the information is of no immediate interest, so it gets filed or left in the inbox and forgotten about.

To others it is perhaps of more immediate interest or even importance, but as you copied the entire email, which might itself be formed of a series of replies, they miss the crucial bit of information that was in a reply perhaps 5 emails down. It is easily assumed that everyone always reads their email soon after receipt, spots the items of importance, and carries out the necessary actions. We suffer from email overload and to cope with email many read it quickly or leave it to read it later. So, in fact, essential information has not even been read or perhaps only skimmed, but design is proceeding to which it has relevance, resulting in rework when it catches up.

Email has become a monster. It, or rather unnecessary email, eats time that could be better spent. Staff spend a significant amount of time each day trying to stay on top of email and in some cases failing. Time is lost looking for emails later when the "did you get it" conversation happens, followed by other work being set aside to deal with it. A series of contradictory emails can send teams in one direction and then another. A surge of activity at the loss of something else occurs then it is back to the first plan.

How do we solve the problem? You can use 5S:

• Sift - Only send what is necessary, so it is clear what the subject is, and what the action required is. Avoid using "Reply All" and forwarding an entire email chain.

• Sort - Decide who needs the information and send only to them

• Set in Order - Structure the filing of emails to avoid creating a morass of email, particularly in the inbox. Use a priority system for action.

• Standardise - Get everyone to use the same rules

• Sustain - Keep doing it

We must recognise that email is a push medium and that it can cause a wave of tasks or work in progress that is counter to smooth levelled flow in a lean process; especially if it is not structured, prioritized and targeted. Use of systems like Sharepoint or Business Collaborator to organise information "pools" from which teams can extract information when needed is preferable to email.

At the personal level, use 5D to manage your inbox:

Do (the action),Defer (add to a to do list),Delete,Delegate, orDrawer (file).

Email is a significant advancement in communication, but it favours quantity over quality. Sending less email, and improving quality of email sent is critical to the efficiency and effectiveness of the design process. Adopting "pull" based systems to distribute information is preferable to the use of email.

Andrew Munro

Munro Consulting

Munro Consulting provides value management, lean construction and technical advisory services to the construction industry in the UK.

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:

Whole Email


Lean Terms Email


Terms Email


Whole Email Chain


Create Information


Email Chain

In India, employment opportunities are set to grow by a good margin in the coming year, a phase which was started in the turn of the second decade of the 21st century. organisation, candidates with

By: Sarkariexam l Business > Careers Employment l April 01, 2013 lViews: 11708

Sometimes it is amazing to see that certain jobs can precipitate huge turnouts in the recruitment drives. It is as if thousands of people were waiting for the vacancy advertisements and the moment

By: Sarkariexam l Business > Careers Employment l December 30, 2012 lViews: 690

In recent times, jobs in healthcare segments have grown tremendously. It is anticipated that this growth curve will continue for the times to come. Various factors are responsible for this

By: Sarkariexam l Business > Career Advice l December 27, 2012 lViews: 447

Are you in a dilemma whether to choose web based CRM or not? If yes, don’t worry. You aren’t the sole person having this doubt.There are numerous firms trying to make out whether investing in a

By: Reneta Vasileva l Business > Customer Service l December 23, 2012 lViews: 409

If you think about it you will realize the fact that each business has its own set of risks that are involved in it.The trade secrets that you have and the information related to the business is what

By: brumbrum1 l Business > Risk Management l December 23, 2012 lViews: 263

As the time is changing, concierge management services are now growing despite the slowing economies of the world. The main reason of it is the need that is highly specific to the people who like to

By: willsmith10 l Business > Management l December 23, 2012 lViews: 334

Change management can bring success to almost any company in the world, as long as the right tools and processes are employed. change management is currently used throughout the world by some of the

By: theknowledgeacademyl Business > Change Managementl October 25, 2012 lViews: 307

Inside of every employee is the capacity to have a much bigger, more positive impact on your organization. Maybe even enough ability to be your next CEO. For most, that capacity remains hidden. If

By: Larry Wengerl Business > Change Managementl June 18, 2012 lViews: 219

In the last decade, scientific discoveries of the mind have revealed amazing insights into how human emotions and thoughts influence our actions and behaviors. Previously, we believed that our

By: Dee Campbelll Business > Change Managementl June 17, 2012 lViews: 214

Transformational change managers are often called in at times of major change - "major transformation". Change rarely comes easily. It can often be painful. But is that absolutely necessarily so?

By: Tim Thextonl Business > Change Managementl June 14, 2012 lViews: 222

There is a discipline in Management called Change Management. The original intent of this discipline appears to have been to employ an expert to guide a business through a tricky transition. Today

By: Peter A Hunterl Business > Change Managementl June 14, 2012 lViews: 238

Business process mapping and optimization is a set of activities that looks into essential aspects of a business, including objectives and the people and steps required to achieve them. One defining

By: Larry Raymondl Business > Change Managementl June 12, 2012 lViews: 251