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Thursday, June 18, 2009

5 comments illustrating email as a barrier to collaboration

5:44:00 AM Posted by Oscar Berg No comments
Comments often say much more than figures and statistics. As I read the report from the survey that Stewart Mader and Scott Abel conducted recently on why businesses don't collaborate, I found a few such comments which do a good job at illustrating the problems with using email for collaboration:

1.How many work-related emails do you receive per day?

"I can read, respond to, file, delete or otherwise meaningfully manage only about 25% of the email I receive."

2.How many of those emails include attached files?

"The government is bad at sending a long chain of emails and responses with an attachment still attached from the original email."

3.How many require your direct input or feedback on the contents of that attachment?

"If I do get attachments, the sender usually wants my opinion on something before that sender does the official ‘mass mailing’."

4.Have you been the sender of an email asking for input or feedback on a document from your immediate group of colleagues?

"But of course I feel terrible doing this. Email attachments are tremendously bad usability. You can't review past versions, you can't see others comments, you force multiple downloads and risk executable viruses."

5.Have you ever had to compile the feedback from multiple sources into one document?

"I go out of my way to avoid this."

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