Overview with tools, software, best practices and alternatives
What is a Team E-Mail Status Report?
A team e-mail status report is a kind of report that shows information about the team’s performance, status, and progress. This report is sent to all team members via e-mail.
Who makes a Team E-Mail Status Report?
A team status report is made by all team members, but it is usually made by a delegated team member such as the team secretary. There are some cases in which the team leader also prepares a status report that shows a summary of the team’s overall record.
Why do people make Team E-Mail Status Reports?
Team members make team e-mail status reports primarily in order to keep everyone in the team informed on what is happening in the team. Such reports allow team members to communicate online, without the need of meeting in one location at a common time.
How to make a Team E-Mail Status Report?
Team e-mail status reports primarily contain three elements – the accomplishments, the plans, and the problems.
The achievements are the good news that team members have attained within the timeframe. They can serve as inspiration to the members of the team. Momentum of the team can also be boosted by the accomplishments noted in the team report.
The team’s plans and goals are also included in the team e-mail status report. This is to direct the team’s path in the succeeding days of doing their task. Without a plan, the team will not be guided toward the right path and they will struggle in doing their task. Conversely, an unclear plan is a weak foundation for strategies that will be implemented by the team. This explains why plans should follow the SMART principle – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. By following this principle, plans become stronger, providing the team a clearer target to aim and a more distinct path to follow.
The third element in a team e-mail status report is the team problems. Team members should include the conflicts they face in the report in two reasons. The first reason why problems should be put in the report is for the team to be aware of them. The conflicts can be actual or potential. Actual problems are the ongoing problems experienced by a member or by the team. Potential problems are issues that are foreseen as problems for the team. Including the problems in the report allows team members to discuss them and think of possible strategies or actions that they can do to resolve or prevent the problem. Another reason why problems are included in the team e-mail status report is to serve as reference to the whole team. Those problems that have been solved by other team members may serve as examples to other team members, letting them solve actual problems easier and prevent foreseen problems earlier.
What are the advantages of Team E-Mail Status Reports?
Team status e-mail reports are beneficial in some reasons.
First, team status e-mail reports help the team members to be more responsible to the task delegated to them. By doing a team status report, one will be able to go through his responsibilities at hand. He can also check the things that have already been done, the tasks to be done, and the things that block the task from getting done.
Another reason why team status e-mail reports are advantageous for a business team is organization. Status reports mold team members to become more organized, allowing them to sort things such as areas of strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities and threats. Areas that need improvement will be magnified, so that the team can set plans accordingly.
Team status e-mail reports provide consistency of information, since all members submit updates within the team. Remote teams can benefit from such reports, since reporting is done via e-mail. Members of remote or virtual teams can send the team reports regardless of location and time zone. This way, the whole team will be updated anytime and anywhere.
What are the disadvantages of Team E-Mail Status Reports?
While team e-mail status reports provide a number of benefits to team members, they also have some negative points.
The first disadvantage of team e-mail status reports is the high dependence to internet connectivity. Sending e-mails requires a stable internet connection, and this covers team status reports. While sending status reports via e-mail is a fast way to update the whole team about achievements, plans, and problems, failure or absence of internet connection will prevent members from exchanging information with other team members. As bottom line, updates will not be sent to the team members, placing the team at risk to missing information.
Another negative view on sending team e-mail status reports is the need of electrical power. E-mail is the short form for electronic mail and e-mails are sent using devices such as laptops and mobile phones. The absence of electricity will also stop team members from updating the team virtually.
What are the best practices for Team E-Mail Status Reports?
In sending team status reports via e-mail, it is important to remember key things.
Team status e-mail reports should be comprehensive to all team members. The language used should not be too simple nor too complicated. Simplicity is the key so that team members will be able to absorb the information one is trying to convey.
Another good practice in writing a team e-mail status reports is the completeness and accuracy of information. The information cues will serve as the foundation in the formulation of plans. The plans will be the basis in the creation of strategies and actions. The actions to be implemented will determine the success of the plan. Overall, a complete and accurate report is the backbone of a project’s success.
Scheduling helps the team in terms of sending e-mails. The team should know what date and time they can expect the e-mail so that they can do the necessary preparations, such as internet connectivity and access to e-mail. Alternatively, the sender should also notify team members if a team status e-mail report has been sent to their inbox. This way, team members will be aware that they have to read something important in their inbox.
How does Teamreporter help in making Team E-Mail Status Reports?
Teamreporter is an application that replaces status meetings with scheduled report mails. It remains free for a small group of four people and it only takes less than one minute to sign up.
The application helps in making team e-mail status reports as Teamreporter itself acts as the status report. It notifies all subscribed team members via e-mail, asking for relevant information such as accomplishments, plans, and conflicts. Team members give their answer to Teamreporter and based from the responses given, the application will generate a summary and send it to the team the following day.
Teamreporter is user-friendly as it has an easy to use and automated interface, allowing its users to send and receive information without any trouble. This allows team members to know what is happening in the team, allowing them to make better decisions for the future. In addition, achievements shared in Teamreporter can motivate other members of the team that feel disappointed with their performance. The plans shared by the team members also help them ascertain that such goals are at par with the team’s goals and vision. Also, the team members will be able to prioritize issues that need immediate intervention and discuss them accordingly.
Overall, Teamreporter is an efficient means of communication to every kind of team.
What are alternatives to Team E-Mail Status Reports?
While team e-mail status reports serve as an efficient way to exchange information and ideas within the team, the team still has other alternatives as means of communication.
Aside from status reports sent via e-mail, the team can also conduct live and face-to-face meetings. Unlike team e-mail status reports, such meetings allow faster exchange of information, since team members are present altogether in an online session. They can also directly raise questions to their team mates should they have anything that needs to be clarified.
A logbook can also be utilized by the team as their means of endorsing information to their team mates. It serves as the team’s diary where team members can write down pertinent information such as achievements, plans, and conflicts.
Overall, conducting live meetings and using logbooks can be helpful strategies to keep everyone updated about the team’s progress and performance.
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