How To Associate Critical Content & Context From Your Email Inbox To The Project
It’s no secret that emails are often isolated and difficult to manage in the context of an AEC project. The challenge lies in the fact that, in addition to a range of trivial messages, a vast amount of important, project-specific information flows through your inbox. In fact, some studies report more than 80% of correspondence takes place via email. The content within your inbox is critical and often contains project-related information that needs to be tracked and managed. Yet, most firms struggle to provide their employees with the tools necessary to manage email efficiently. During a recent podcast episode, “Email Management In The AEC,” ProjectReady CEO Joe Giegerich and Head of Development Shaili Modi-Oza discuss challenges and potential solutions for how to manage the project information that resides in your email inbox.
Read on to explore some of the key points discussed during the podcast episode and gain a greater understanding of what’s possible in implementing effective email management for your projects. Or listen to the full episode to learn more.
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The Resilience & Reliance On Email
Email isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It’s convenient, versatile, and widely used for communication and sharing documents. Forwarding, attaching, and receiving attachments are just some of the common tasks we all perform everyday with ease. However, despite the prevalence of email, its management remains a challenge with no easy way to integrate email into your project’s system of record.
A Better Way To Find Project-Specific Email Messages
One of the primary issues professionals in the AEC industry face is the difficulty of searching for project-specific email. Without metadata and a way to provide context around the email, the challenge of finding specific email will persist causing inefficiencies, delays and introduce risk to the project.
Projects generate numerous correspondences that must be logged and linked to relevant tasks or phases. Without a structured system, information often becomes fragmented and disorganized. But with a structured system and metadata, it becomes easier to filter and sort information to find what you need while ensuring visibility for your team. This often requires an email management solution that can connect email to the rest of your project information.
The same goes for workflows that stem from email correspondence. Very often, the origin of an RFI, approval or change order will arise out of an email, but without the ability to easily log, assign, and kickoff a workflow out of that email makes the process disjointed and hard to follow leading to the same risks, delays, and inefficiencies outlined above.
The Role of M365 in Email Management
Enter Microsoft 365 (M365). This comprehensive suite of tools offers solutions that can alleviate the challenges of email management within the AEC industry. One notable feature is the creation of M365 group mailboxes, which can serve as project mailboxes. These group mailboxes provide a centralized location for project-related emails.
Additionally, by adding metadata and utilizing the capabilities of M365, you can tag emails with context-specific information. This feature makes it easier to search for, organize, and retrieve emails associated with a project. Furthermore, integrating the M365 group mailbox into a structured backend database allows for portfolio-level reporting and cross-project insights.
Manage Email With Innovative Solutions
While M365 provides a framework for email management improvement, there’s more to be done. Our team at ProjectReady has taken M365’s and Outlook’s capabilities and enhanced them to address the unique needs of the AEC industry. We understand that it’s not enough to have a repository for emails; they must be easily navigable and instantly accessible.
Our approach includes automating project setup, provisioning group mailboxes, ensuring that metadata is effectively captured, and the ability to easily file email and its contents to a project as well as kick off a workflow right out of Outlook. The goal is to streamline the process of managing emails so that professionals can have the visibility and control they need into this vital project information.
Email challenges are universal, but within the AEC industry, unique challenges need to be addressed. Thanks to Microsoft 365 and ProjectReady’s innovative enhancements, managing email becomes significantly more manageable. With properly organized emails and streamlined workflows, professionals can better allocate their time and skills.
If you’d like to learn more about ProjectReady’s approach to email management in the context of a construction project, check out this page. You can also schedule a free demonstration of our email management functionality, by clicking here and completing a short form.