Overview with tools, software, best practices and alternatives

What is a Project Update E-Mail?

A project update e-mail is a document that contains information regarding the status and progress of a certain project. The term implies that it is sent using an electronic mail or e-mail.

Who does Project Update E-Mails?

Project update e-mails are made by office workers, usually by secretaries. These updates are sent to the superiors such as project managers, supervisors, and executive officers. The reports can be labeled as formal, informal, legal statutory, non-statutory, informational, analytical, and research.

Aside from corporate workers and secretaries, top leaders of organizations or firms can also prepare project update e-mails.

Why do people do Project Update E-Mails?

People create project updates and send them via e-mail because it is easier and faster. In the corporate world, time is gold.

Using the power of the Internet, people can easily send their message to other people. All they have to is to create the message and in one click on the laptop or one tap on the smart device, they can let other people know about it.

People in the workplace have adequate knowledge on how to use the Internet and how e-mails work. This is to submit information that needs to be reviewed by co-workers or superiors.

Members of remote virtual teams or dispersed teams also create project update e-mails.

How to do Project Update E-Mails

Messaging sites or applications can be utilized to send project updates. For e-mails, Yahoo and Google Mail are common.

In sending project update e-mails, information such as the recipient and the subject are included in the appropriate spaces. The report contains assessment data or cues, plans or goals, strategies and interventions, as well as accomplishments and evaluation of outcomes.

Information that can be included in project updates are the importance points on the team’s or company’s weaknesses and strengths, the opportunities available, as well as actual and potential risks and problems.

Some organizations opt to include the update in the body of the e-mail while other companies choose to have the update attached as a file.

After completing the necessary information, the sender can now submit the status update. Various sites and applications feature “sent items” box for the users to counter check if they have successfully sent the e-mail or not.

Advantages of Project Update E-Mails

Sending project update via e-mail is advantageous for some reasons.

The first reason is its simplicity and speed. The user just has to enter the necessary information and send that information to the recipients. With the use of the Internet, sending e-mails is not difficult, as long as one knows how to use it.

Sending project updates through e-mail is beneficial because of its power to reach a large number of recipients. Just like the SMS in mobile phones, a single e-mail can be sent to and can be read by a lot of people. Users do not have to send the same e-mail to a single person at a time. Today’s technology has been more efficient because the recipients’ names automatically appear as a drop down selection and the user just have to select the recipients of the e-mail.

Unlike sending documents through courier or direct mail, sending project status reports via e-mail is undeniably more cost-effective. Senders just have to have an internet access and send the file, whereas send the documents via direct mail requires printing the document, traveling to the nearest courier, and the payment to the courier. Project updates in e-mail form can be sent anytime and anywhere, unlike some couriers that have cut-off period.

Disadvantages of Project Update E-Mails

A stable internet access is needed to send project update e-mails. Without it, sending project updates via e-mail will not be possible.

Poor or absent internet connection is the major problem for people who intend to send project updates via e-mail. This is a big problem especially to those who have to submit an urgent report, or those who have a deadline.

Having no internet access in few devices is tolerable in a way that a user can borrow another functioning device or go to a nearest internet café. However, there are instances wherein a specific locale suffers from a poor internet connection or worse, absence of electrical power. It can be caused by mechanical damage to the electrical wiring or by natural disasters, such as typhoon. Instances like this are dilemmas in sending project updates via e-mail.

Best practices for Project Update E-Mails

Efficiency is considered a rule of thumb in sending project updates via e-mail and there are a number of practices that give efficiency in sending project update e-mails.

Users can execute segmentation of e-mail listings. Segmentation refers to the process of grouping or clustering existing e-mail contact lists into smaller subgroups following some factors that are common to those in the list.

For instance, e-mail contacts can be regrouped according to the department or seniority. Segmentation filters the contacts in the e-mail and lets users identify the specific recipients of a particular message.

For remote or dispersed teams, it is recommended to inform the recipients as needed the expected time they can receive the report. This is to inform everyone ahead, since the members are working in various time zones. Also, this seals a proper communication between team members, especially those who are working for a deadline.

The maintenance of the online access at the workplace or at home is important as sending project updates via e-mail require stable internet connection. The stability of the connection should be regularly checked and a contingency plan should be available at all times. Devices such as laptops and smart phones as well as internet connectivity are provided by some companies to ensure that their staffs will be able to comply with report submission.

How does Teamreporter help in Project Update E-Mails?

Teamreporter is a web based e-mail application that utilizes structure by replacing status meetings with schedule report mails. It is free for a team of four members and signing up just takes less than a minute.

The application does the function of the e-mail, since it notifies the members via e-mail and requests them to report the progress for the day, the actual and potential conflicts, and other notable events. Based on the response of the members, Teamreporter will generate a summary of the team’s status and will send it the following day. Teamreporter lessens the number of meetings in some organizations since the team gets information about its status and progress. In addition, obstacles are early identified so the team can take appropriate actions to resolve them.

With an easy to use and automated interface, Teamreporter gathers information and provides status updates to the team. It also facilitates improved communication within the team by spreading what is going on within the team as well as identifying the existing and potential problems. It can also help save time and money as status meetings are reduced. Lastly, Teamreporters allow the team members envision the team’s progress, which keeps them motivated.

What are alternatives to Project Update E-Mails?

Project updates will not be sent via e-mail if there is a slow or absent internet access. It is advisable to contact a service technician in case of prolonged delay or failure in the internet connection, as waiting for the connection to become faster will consume time. Contacting the internet service provider is another step to take in dealing with problems in internet connectivity. Office staffs that have a deadline but cannot access the internet may send the report via direct mail. However, it will take a few days to reach the client, aside from being expensive.

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