Overview with tools, software, best practices and alternatives
What is an E-Mail Status Report?
An e-mail status report is a kind of report that presents the status and progress of the team and the project through electronic mails or e-mails. Writing and sending e-mail status reports requires a stable internet connection.
Who does an E-Mail Status Report?
Business teams write and send e-mail status reports to the team members. Also, external parties can also send and receive e-mail status reports to and from members of business teams. If the business team has a secretary, that person may write and send the status report to the concerned individuals or parties via e-mail.
Why do people do E-Mail Status Reports?
Business teams do e-mail status reports for a number of reasons.
Communication is the primary function of status reports, whether via paper, e-mail, or messaging application. E-mail status reports provide updated information to the team as well as concerned parties about the status and development of a team or progress. With these reports people from near or far know what is happening within the team and the project.
The information e-mail status reports provide are comprehensive, complete, and accurate, allowing the team and the involved external parties to analyze information, make strong inferences and conclusions, and make rational decisions, helping the team to achieve their goals and become successful with their project.
How to do an E-Mail Status Report; Ways to do an E-Mail Status Report
E-mail status reports provide updates to team members on the standing and progress of the group and the project. This way, they will be able to make logical actions in doing their project.
The reports should always be updated. New information should be included in the report, as well as changed information from previous reports. Fresh hand information is always the basis of the team’s plan, actions, and evaluations of outcome.
E-mail status reports should contain essential information, allowing the team and involved parties to quickly know what is ongoing in the team and the project. Lengthy information can be boring and overwhelming to read, which can result to missing the pertinent information that the reporter wants to convey.
Data in the e-mail status report should be complete and accurate. Reports with lacking data and incorrect details will lead to poor analysis and decision making by the team; hence, will further lead to failure to hit goals and failure to succeed.
Advantages of doing E-Mail Status Reports
Doing e-mail status reports is beneficial to the team in various ways.
E-mail status reports act as communication vehicle to the team. The reports allow the team members to know what is happening to the team and to the project, in a timely fashion. The team will be able to know the group’s latest achievements, plans, and problems.
Another advantage of doing e-mail status reports is its usage of the internet. Since e-mail status reports use the power of internet connectivity, team members will be capable of updating the team regardless of time. They can just send the mail anytime if there is no deadline.
E-mail status reports present data that transpired within a specific timeframe, allowing the team view both positive and negative events that happened. Such information will help the team formulate short and long-term goals, develop effective strategies and actions, and conduct evaluation whether the team has met the goals or not.
Disadvantages of doing E-Mail Status Reports
While doing e-mail status reports has its advantages, it also has some disadvantages.
The main problem in writing and sending e-mail status reports is its reliance in using the internet. While internet connectivity has proved its power in sending and receiving reports, it can also be useless if its stability goes down. Poor or absent internet connection will disable the team members to send and receive information from other members of the team. This will result to missing important information from other team members.
Another problem in using e-mail status reports is the potential of the e-mail account to be hacked. Some hackers utilize advanced tactics to penetrate and hack the e-mail account of people. A hacked e-mail account will lose the user’s control of that account and privacy of the information in that account. Worse, the data in the e-mail folders may be manipulated or corrupted by hackers.
Best practices for doing E-Mail Status Reports
E-mail status report help the team members become informed on the status and progress of the team and the project.
Team members should consider including as much information as possible in the e-mail status report, without being lengthy. Important information about the team’s status, plans, strategies, actions, and evaluation should be included, along with the team’s achievements and problems. The team can also add their strengths and weaknesses in the report.
To maintain easy readability and comprehension of the report, the team can use an outlined format in some of the entries, instead of a narrative text. Quantitative data, which involve numbers, can be presented in tables and graphs. Also, the language used should be universally accepted and should avoid too much jargon.
To prevent an e-mail account from becoming hacked, team members should strictly remember their passwords and they should not disclose it to the team. Also, they should be very wary in clicking some advertisements or suspicious messages in their e-mail accounts as some hackers utilize spam advertisements and messages to invade one’s account.
How to do E-Mail Status Reports with Teamreporter
Teamreporter is an application that uses scheduled report mails to replace status meetings. It is free to use for small teams with up to four members and signing up just takes less than a minute.
Teamreporter’s interface is automated and easy to use, making it easier for team members to send and receive information to and from their teammates. The application sends them e-mail notifications, asking them to send information such as the team’s achievements, plans, and problems within a particular time frame. Based from the replies of the members, Teamreporter will generate a data summary, which will be sent to the members the following day.
Team members can modify the question entries in the application, as well as the schedule of the report mails. Teamreporter can also be integrated to the other applications that the team uses in doing their tasks. The list of recipients of the mails and those who need to send reports can also be adjusted in the application. More than that, the application can be used with e-mails and web browser, making it perfect for generating mailed reports.
Teamreporter can also help team leaders have a bird’s eye view of the status and progress of the team and the project, which gives them a clear oversight of what happens on a daily basis. Team leaders can utilize Teamreporter if they wish to spread important information or make announcements to the team. Moreover, with the data in Teamreporter’s report, team leaders can see the achievements and problems of the team members, allowing them to recognize the top performers and help those who face difficulties.
Alternatives to E-Mail Status Reports
E-mail status reports are beneficial to the team, but there are some alternatives that the team can consider.
Quick stand-up meetings can be done by the team in order for them to communicate, update the team, and discuss important information about the team and the project. The meeting just lasts for few minutes and just aims to discuss information that is significant to the team and urgent issues, which require immediate action from the team.
Aside from stand-up meetings, paper-based reports can also be alternatives e-mail status reports. Paper-based updates are black-and-white documentations of the team’s status and progress. These cannot be corrupted, unlike e-mail status reports. In addition, team members can use a copier to provide copies of the report to the team members. Also, paper-based reports are easily filed inside a binder, keeping them secured and organized at all times. However, having reports on paper also has a disadvantage. Paper is vulnerable to water, fire, and pests, which means that the data in the paper can be lost. In addition, paper can rot even if it is story for a very long period of time.
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