I watched Stewart Butterfield’s keynote discussion at Web Summit with some interest today. Many of the themes he discussed were close to our heart: the eradication of email as the mainstay of enterprise communication, providing real-time collaboration and serving people better.
It may feel like summer isn’t long gone, but Christmas will soon be front of mind for many people. Many of us will be planning to enjoy a long break between Christmas and New Year, while others will have to continue monitoring their phones and responding to emails as they continue to work remotely. Some even less fortunate folks will be at their desks, continuing to serve the needs of clients.
Chat – we all do it. Yahoo, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, BBM - the list is endless. Chat is a term that we use every day and has become an integral part of our daily lives regardless of our profiles. Yet why do we chat?
Chatting is in essence communicating, although it doesn’t strictly follow its original definition of “Talking”. Today, chat is all about exchanging information in the form of files, documents, links or simple texts, real-time. Whether you are an individual who uses chat to communicate with your friends and family, or an employee using chat to exchange valuable information across your team, Chat has become the new form of disseminating information and it is rapidly replacing Email - the soon to be obsolete communication tool of the 80s and 90s.
In 1971, computer engineer Ray Tomlinson sent the first ever email, which read “QWERTYIOP”, or something equally forgettable. Since then, email has evolved to become a crucial communication tool for both personal and professional use, but over the last five years in particular, the way in which businesses operate has changed dramatically. In response to the more mobile, social and ‘always-on’ demands of modern business, we’re waging a war on email in favour of purposeful collaboration tools that help people work more efficiently and productively.
According to market research firm Radicati, 182.9 billion emails were sent every day in 2013. Just take this in for a moment – 182 900 000 000 a day. There’s no doubt that email is the most widely used professional communication tool, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s still the most appropriate or efficient. In fact, the sheer number of emails we send and receive every day is a part of the problem. People face increasing demands on their time as a result of cluttered email inboxes. Consequently, traditional communication channels such as email have become a hindrance rather than an enabler. They must evolve to fulfil not only communication requirements, but also collective business needs such as scheduling meetings, sharing data and collaborating on documents.
Despite the crucial role that the back office plays in keeping financial institutions operational, many (based on our experience) are still over reliant on email as their main communication tool.
Let’s face it. Project Management is no walk in the park. In many cases, a project manager has to deal with a multitude of stakeholders from different departments, roles and needs not to mention different time zones and geographies. And while everyone shares a common goal of completing the project on time and within budget, it can be hard to keep frustration levels in balance due to ineffective communication practices among team members.