Having a Gantt chart and task list is a great way to stay organized, but I know people (myself among them) who sometimes get too absorbed in what theyre doing to check for updates. Its not until I finish a task and come up for air that I look around and reorient myself. And to be honest, that habit has caused problems at times.
Thankfully, technology offers a better solution than your manager poking you on the shoulder: email notification.
Having your project management software send you automated updates is a very efficient tool for busy teams, and heres why:
Have you ever asked your team for status updates and not gotten a response until days later? Yeah, me too.
Automated email notifications, however, send you updates the moment the project management software is updated. This can happen when a team member logs in his hours, changes the status of a task, or even when he just adds a note or comment. And the team member wont have to send a separate update reporting what he just did, either. The email notification says it all.
Is a team member keeping quiet because he doesnt want people to know hes running behind? Email notification can foil his plans by alerting the team to late tasks. This accountability helps increase productivity, but also encourages communication within the team. If a task is running late, the team member can update his project manager and see if the deadline can be pushed back, or if he can get help from his co-workers.
The Big Picture
Remember what I said earlier about getting tunnel vision while working? Email notifications can help prevent that. By pushing updates to you, you have a better chance of knowing whats going on with the rest of the project, and where you are in relation.
One of the best things about the email format is that, with mobile technology so advanced, it can reach you even when youre not in the office. You can stay abreast of project developments no matter where you are.
Email notifications arent a new phenomenon in project management software, but it surprises me how few people actually use it in an effective way. While its not a substitute for face to face meetings, its still an effortless but effective way to stay informed.
Image credit, Flickr, Christopher Penn