7 Reasons why emails are ruining your project updates

May 1, 2022
Discover the latest developments in urban transportation projects and their potential impact on mobility in big cities.

We send emails every day, often with vital information that is imperative to the success of our project but is pressing “SEND” the best way to communicate your message?

Project management teams are still using email to communicate essential information from the work site but here are 7 reasons why emails might be ruining your project updates...

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. George Bernard Shaw

1. Email means more confusion and less information

High performing project management teams don't use email as their primary tool for conversing and discussing key project information. Why? Because email just creates chaos.

The longer the thread of email gets, the harder it becomes to decipher the conversation and the value of the correspondence plummets. Team members lose track of the conversation and become unnecessarily confused on progress.

No clever rules in Outlook, stars or labels will be able to fully alleviate this email insanity. Nor will they fix the annoying issue of finding the right attachments in each reply.

2. Emails waste time

On-site teams waste time providing email reports that often lead to more questions than they answer. And if you got the perfect email based report from your team, what next?

Teams often have to respond, forward to other stakeholders to discuss and copy and paste to other formats to update trackers and programmes.  Double or even triple handling data, wasting time and increasing the risk of misinterpretation or human error.

And that's just the immediate issue, what happens when you have to report on an incident or substantiate a claim?

Regularizing the use of emails, Source: Stackfield

3. Email updates are inconsistent

Emails are free text, anything can be written, copied and pasted or attached. Templates can be amended and overwritten. Each individual has their own personal writing style and interpretation of the level of detail required.

A lack of clarity creates inconsistencies, confusion and people begin to make assumptions that suit them and relay incorrect information.

Efficient updates from site instead need to be communicated clearly and concisely. The message must be simple to be easily understood by all without any assistance.

4. Email lacks a central storage system

Individuals all have their own email inbox and each have their own unique way of organising their correspondence.  Each team member is sitting on a collection of files, data and information that is imperative to both the short and long term success of your project and delivery organisation.

Searching through all of these sources is virtually impossible and can't be found by multiple team members. This can result in a situation where an entire project or even organisation have to rely on individual members of the team that hold the vital information within their personal inbox.

This siloed approach to communication through email can stifle progress and leave your organisation exposed.

5. Email doesn’t support a solution-oriented approach

Managing projects is hard and often unpredictable, challenges can come out of nowhere and need to be triaged and dealt with in a timely manner.

When problems arise and time is of the essence, project management teams need all of the information right away so that they can provide a viable solution with minimal impact to the programme.

Can that be done with email? Will email guarantee a timely response when you are against the clock?

6. Emails are NOT a good fit for the real time requirements of rail

Similar to Whatsapp, email has its place but does not easily lend itself to collaborative project delivery. Updates from site are crucial but they need to be accurate, consistent and able to be relied upon.  

Email data does not lend itself to real time collaboration as it communicates static data which is immediately out of date from the moment that it arrives in the inbox.

7. Email is an interruption

Email is perceived as being a very disruptive communication method especially when visual and audible notifications are turned on. A 2017 study of Project Managers showed that 55.3% of respondents indicated that they tend to interrupt activities to read or respond to email.

A similar percentage (54.4%) indicated that excessive email prevents them from structuring their day and executing tasks according to their own schedule.

There is a better way...

Email dominates the construction industry, it's easy to use and accessible to all but there is a better way to bridge the communication gap between office and field based teams.  Teams that are empowered with the high quality data that they need, when they need it, work in a more proactive and collaborative manner.

Raildiary removes the reliance on email from the worksite, allowing teams to have the high quality consistent information that is easy to enter and available to all key stakeholders in real time.  Remove the reliance on email threads and instead using the latest programme and business intelligence tools to give the Project Management team the data the deserve.

7 Reasons why emails are ruining your project updates

Emilia Oates

Marketing Lead

Marketing Lead

Raildiary LinkedIn
Table of Contents

Keep up with Gather

Make sure you never miss out! Sign up to our monthly newsletter to keep up with the biggest news stories in construction and the latest Gather updates. Full of our latest case studies, blogs and fun quizzes!

Thank you for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Gather needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at anytime. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, check out our Privacy Policy.