One of the common questions we get is:
“Why don’t I just stay with my email program to manage tasks?”
First off, we love our email programs. They are brilliant for communication. But, there are some downsides, which I am sure you are all too aware, including:
- Silo mentality – what is in other people’s emails (especially when they are on holiday or sick)?
- Broadcasting – does everyone need to know everything – the ‘CC’ curse.
- Filing – one massive inbox, or organised file structure? Everyone is independent, there are no standards.
In this article I am going to share with you five considerations. These are some of the issues that we wanted to overcome when building PDCA Complete. We wanted to build a platform that got away from the limitations of email.
1 – Tracking activity
If you want to follow up work tasks then you have a few options with most email programs. You can use the BCC technique to send yourself copies of the emails to follow up later, you can use your sent history and various flags. There are often note functions that are incorporated into email systems too.
PDCA Complete allows you to track specific task progress, capture notes and allow for task approval. Using filters and specific modules (meetings, projects, audits etc…) you can speed up the time it takes to follow up and manage business tasks.
2 – Task communication
As I said earlier, email is great for communication. But, it is also a nightmare for either being a silo tool or being abused and people copying in everyone to ensure they have covered their backs.
With PDCA Complete you can use the notes function and there are automated email notifications when tasks are updated / completed. Yes, we use email as part of PDCA Complete but only for what it is best at. We have even included the use of stakeholders, so you can specify which team members are included / can contribute to a task.
3 – Task sign off
This can be achieved within email by someone writing back and confirming that they are happy with the tasks progress / completion. It isn’t so easy if you need to refer back to this at a later point in time during a review meeting.
Within PDCA Complete we added an approver function for this very reason. If you want to sign off a task as being complete, add yourself in as an approver (or someone else that you want to carry out the approval). When the task is completed by the person you have assigned it to, it will hang around until the approval happens. No more premature task completions! Even then, it will be available in the record’s history. No more clicking on a task as being complete and watching it disappear into the archive, never to be seen again.
4 – Visibility
With email you normally have one person assigned to one email inbox. Sometimes you get multiple people sharing a particular inbox, with rules agreed on how to flag read / dealt with items. For the most part, one person’s emails are solely for their eyes only.
PDCA Complete was designed to be open, transparent and to encourage team work. We’ve built the system so that it is permission controlled and that everyone can see what they need to see. No hiding places, just productive action!
5 – Juggling multiple projects
Email is great for having the option to structure folders for your emails. But, again, this breeds a silo approach and one person’s folder structure is likely to be different to anothers’.
PDCA Complete allows you to have shared records and information across your team, split out by meeting, project, audit etc… Our powerful My Tasks function then allows you to bring it all together in one place. Multiple activities, one screen to manage it all.
The My Tasks screen is designed to help you save time, keep on top of your priorities, approve key tasks and more in one place.
I hope that this article has helped to distinguish some of the main differences between PDCA Complete and emails. The objective of this article is not to bad mouth email; it is great as a general communication tool and to provide notifications. PDCA Complete has been designed to help organizations that need to drive forward their improvement projects and business management plans.
If you are looking for a tool to bring your team together, simplify administration and speed up task completion then sign up for your free account today. It is free for three users and you can upgrade at any time to access our premium features and add more team members.
Also, if you want a demo of our system get in touch and we’ll organize that with you.
We hope that you find the right tool for the right job, that serves your business.