Series: Why Projects Fail – Who Knows Part 2

Sometimes I cringe when I see literally 40 people in the address box on an email however for a large project that might even be too few.  As we use email as discussion boards, Replying All with each follow-up question and 2nd thought and clarification, it can be a long thread of information that doesn’t involve you, however you can bet someone needs to know and it is also is a fair assumption someone is missing.

You can avoid such surprises on your project by doing the following:

  • Include all department heads as a CC: in your kick off meeting
  • Leave people on your status reports until they tell you to remove them; don’t assume you are bugging them
  • Find alternates for department heads that need to be involved but have a low interest e.g. a new accounting package where the VP of Investments is uninspired but the Controller might be a responsive person to status
  • Check in monthly with those in the original idea sessions to ensure they are onboard
  • Create a landing page with the timeline and status and put it in your signature
  • Ensure those you add to a team site or website for information can actually access it; sometimes people won’t tell you thinking maybe it is not ready yet then forget about it so leave the question open ended “Are you able to access via this link?”

At some point someone will be uninformed and come out from under a rock so you may not be able to catch everyone but you can minimized the likelihood of surprise’s from key participants and their need to participate in deliverables for that project.