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The role of email for PMOs and project managers

Mail Manager 22 Sep, 2020

The project management office (PMO) of any organisation is well accustomed to being asked to deliver more within shorter time frames. That’s because the PMO’s primary role is to support the delivery of projects and improve the maturity of constantly evolving project management methods, processes, techniques and tools.

Improving this maturity is reliant on embracing new project delivery approaches that make life easier for employees and ensure increasingly complex projects become more manageable. 

It’s also reliant on being flexible enough to balance meeting business needs and completing projects on time and budget with giving employees the tools they need to do their jobs. However, too many PMOs rely on the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ methodology when it comes to new techniques and technology.

PMOs’ project struggles

One of the key areas where PMOs and project managers are fighting a losing battle is in getting projects completed on time. This task is often their responsibility despite the vast amount of the deliverables being out of their hands.

This often boils down to their organisation being unable to handle an increased volume of project information, which leads to the PMO getting bombarded. Organisations don’t have the tools and technology in place to handle the amount of data they receive and don’t have the appropriate rules and processes to ensure that information is securely stored in the right location.

As a result, the PMO finds themselves consistently chasing employees, having to remember what project agreements and deadlines were agreed upon, when they were agreed to, and when they are deliverable by. Furthermore, PMOs end up having to administer contracts that they don’t understand and without the information that they need readily available.

Dealing with data overload

The vast majority of project information, which includes project agreements and scope changes to complaints and contracts, is stored within businesses’ email systems. Indeed, the average office worker receives 121 emails every day - that’s one email every 12 minutes - according to DMR insight, and email usage is predicted to grow by between 2% and 3% between 2018 and 2023, according to Statista.

Trying to find specific documents, contracts and agreements within this mass of communication is a difficult task to begin with. However, it increases in complexity upon the completion of projects, when people leave the business, and through not having the tools in place to discover information.

So a logical first step for PMOs is to take control of email management. This means deploying software that ensures all emails and documents are safely stored in the correct location and are easily discoverable by everyone on the project teams - even years after a project has been completed. 

It’s also important to remove the risk of malicious actors and human error, whereby employees fail to file correspondence consistently or correctly. This risk could see sensitive information being hidden within employees’ inboxes or getting lost completely, which results in the PMO wasting time searching for the information they need to complete a client request or an important contract.

PMOs’ email solution

Mail Manager helps PMOs to take control of their email overload and saves them from the time-intensive task of hunting for project correspondence. The Outlook add-in encourages better collaboration levels and gives PMOs the confidence that they will be able to instantly discover all project information, regardless of who it was sent or received by.

The solution’s intuitive AI engine also predicts where every email, both sent and received, should be filed and ensures information is stored in the most appropriate folder. This enhances compliance levels by ensuring all employees work to the same standards and file information in the same way. It also removes any doubt that PMOs may have about employees storing emails and documents in the wrong location or deleting critical information by standardising filing activity across the business.

This ensures that the PMO now has clarity over any projects that have been agreed, any changes in scope that have been made, and all looming deadlines. By ensuring all project information, emails and documents are stored in one central location, the solution puts the information that PMOs need to enforce accountability at their fingertips. This also ensures they can discover all of the information they could potentially need from all projects in seconds - even if the people involved in agreeing on project contracts or scope changes have left the business.

The major benefit of this is that project managers and PMOs now have a digital record of contracts, agreements that have been made, and historical changes in scope. They have the information they need to empower them to make informed decisions and be as organised as possible. This ensures they are able to reproduce all correspondence across any project should they require it for litigation purposes, and protect themselves in the event of a legal dispute.

For more information about how Mail Manager can improve your PMOs email and document management, try Mail Manager below.

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