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Improving project deliverability amid this time of uncertainty

11 September, 2020

In the face of uncertain times, the importance of good productivity levels and business management tools that enhance project deliverability has never been starker.

The alien concepts of social distancing and self-isolation that we’ve all become accustomed to look set to become the new norm for the foreseeable future, according to research from Imperial College. Indeed, experts don’t expect a Covid-19 vaccine to be available for at least 18 months, which could mean a lot more working from home and very few face-to-face meetings.

In truth, no-one knows what the next few months will bring, or if another lockdown will happen, but we can expect major change. For example, government advisor Lynette Nusbacher claims that recent events could usher in the death of the British high street in favour of automated online delivery processes. Not because of Coronavirus directly, but because recent events have fast-tracked the age of on-demand delivery and centralised warehouses. 

Likewise, the drastic change to most peoples’ daily work routine could well fast-track the remote working trend, as employees realise the benefits and simplicity of not having to go to the office every day. And this should offer a timely reminder to companies that they need to change by bringing their business models into line with modern-day needs. More staff will be working remotely, people will spend less time working together in the office, and businesses need to ensure productivity levels remain as high as possible.

Boosting business productivity

The good news is, the tools already exist to do this today. For example, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence can help businesses ensure that every project-based email is shared in a central location and gets filed in the appropriate location. This makes life much easier for people searching for project information like approvals, contracts and correspondence, no matter where they are.

Utilising AI and machine learning could revolutionise the way that businesses work. These advanced technologies can help them to unlock the information that currently resides within their employees’ inboxes while reducing their level of risk, boosting collaboration levels, and ensuring more projects deliver on time and within budget.

For example, consulting firm WSP has reaped the benefits of quick and easy discovery of information by using Mail Manager. As Principal Associate Mark Behrmann explains: “The single biggest benefit is a very fast, searchable means of finding information, in a centralised repository. Previously, it was slow and not indexed, plus we didn’t have time to scroll through everything. Mail Manager has solved that. Once all the emails were in a central location and we could start searching for something we were all impressed how fast it finds information.”

For example, Australian consulting firm Enspire Solutions operates a remote team working on different timezones. That means some team members work while others are sleeping and, in the event they need to find a specific email, they need to be able to access it no questions asked. Mail Manager helps them to do exactly that thanks to its simple search functionality and centralised email management.

As Enspire’s Founding Director Cameron Valle explains: “If I need an email that I know someone has sent but I wasn't copied on, I don't have to wait for them to wake up to find it. I can just go to the search tool and find it. Without that functionality, I'd lose a lot of time.

“There are many examples where I've had to go searching for emails when people are asleep. For example, if I’ve asked someone to copy me in on something that I knew was critical but I didn't receive the email, I can search to find whether the email was sent it or not. If it was, then I'm maybe a bit annoyed they didn't CC me on it, but I’m happy that I can easily confirm the job is done without waking them up.”

Not having a good handle on where emails are stored and having them locked away in individuals’ inboxes could be potentially disastrous for businesses in this new age of remote working.

Swedish consulting firm Sweco needed to reduce the time and effort it took to find important project emails and information and turned to Mail Manager for help. As team manager Martin Holmstedt says: “I can always find what I am looking for very quickly using the specific filters. That is the feature that sells it to people. 

“Organisation-wise, it’s very beneficial in terms of having correspondence stored not in a person’s inbox but in a project folder where it belongs. And, for most companies, as soon as a person leaves an organisation the emails and inbox leave with them. And that is the biggest problem with email today.”

The importance of automation

Mail Manager’s ‘Prompt and Predict’ approach to email management enables businesses to enhance their file management processes. The solution not only files emails from Outlook and other storage services like SharePoint, but also learns the filing behaviours of individuals across project teams. The AI engine predicts where email should be filed, which eliminates the risk of human error and emails being filed incorrectly or, worse still, deleted forever.

The benefits of remote workers using Mail Manager include:

  • Enhanced productivity through a powerful search tool that enables users to retrieve a filed email within half a second
  • Employees can be absent from work or be home-based as the tool connects disparate departments and people working from anywhere
  • Directors have full visibility of project correspondence and information, which offers peace of mind

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