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Your email address is the proverbial key to the internet. No email address, no account at Facebook, no streaming, no whitepapers, no downloads. Whether you use Gmail, Yahoo, AOL or a host of others, you need an email account because it’s your ID on the web; after all, “You’ve Got Mail”.

If you don’t need an immediate response and the topic is involved, email is ideal. Also, as the means to communicate with those people outside your team, it remains the most effective tool of messaging.

Email (and the phone) was long the go-to app for business communications. Write your message, add a file, send - wait for the reply! And for teams therein lies the problem – it is not immediate, not interactive. Email makes you wait for a reply. 

No doubt you’ve done this… After sending an email, you call the recipient; ‘I sent you an email…” which of course is code for “please, answer it now”. Email is like ping-pong, you have to wait for the other side to reply. Too many replies and they stack up; “319 messages unread” – discouraging. It’s not like texting.

 

...If you don’t need an immediate response and the topic is involved, email is ideal...

 

Next comes the email protocol… First on the list, the no subject sender. Surprise! How to prioritize? Is it important or not? Second, the CC’er… yup, they cc’s the whole company – see how smart I am, only to receive replies from all. Then the BCC’er, quiet, they’re talking behind your back. The Tracker, aha, proof! The prioritizer, they scream for attention, everything from them is of high importance! One of the worst abusers is the Stuffer; stuffing a gazillion issues into one email usually composed of one long continuous paragraph. Argh! what’s important, what’s immediate… Gordian knot

But the most dangerous practice with email is fire-&-forget. Once they send you an email, whatever is the issue it’s no longer their problem, it’s yours, at least until you reply. So as the recipient you now own whatever issues, and resulting blame for any delays, that are buried in that email - “your fault!”.

 

Team Killers…

And Teams still using email for “ok”, “you sure”, “yes”, “thanks”, find responses/replies are slow, unsorted and distracting… it’s not a collaborative team tool. Although email has its place within a business, Email is not a team-building tool.

Like texting is to phone calls, chat is to email. Immediate, easy, direct. Instant messaging (IM) and texting showed the power of the immediate, chat was simply the cross breading of Instant Messaging and email. Chat is not only for social media, but it’s also a great tool for keeping teams on topic. Chat focuses teams, brings teams together.

 

...Chat is not only for social media, but it’s also a great tool for keeping teams on topic...

 

Witness in the last year the success of chat apps such as Slack. Once introduced into teams, email use between team members decreases some 92%. Chat is an email killer.

Albeit Chat is a great improvement over email, neither is a complete team communications solution. Teams need an array of tools, including email, chat, voice, and video. Skype is synonymous with this but is still naturally a social media tool. To try to improve on this, Slack, using its APIs, has integrated with Skype in an attempt to resolve this issue, but it’s still two separate apps, where one would be better.

As businesses increasing adopt various ISO certifications, whether ISO9001 or ISO13485, teams need communications solutions tailored specifically to supporting regulatory and ISO compliance. As businesses increasingly adopt various ISO certifications, whether ISO9001 or ISO13485, teams need communications solutions tailored specifically to supporting regulatory and ISO compliance. Apps such as Slack or Skype, don’t do it, or at best do it piecemeal – there is still cut and paste involved, it’s not fully integrated, it’s not seamless… it’s not teaming easy.

Needed is an app where team collaboration and compliance are in its DNA. It must be built on the notion that ISO compliance is best done through team collaboration & cooperation and integrated into a QMS system. No more emails into special folders or cut and paste chats to compliance folders. So although Chat is the email killer, it’s not a compliance solution.

The days of the toy apps, like Slack, are numbered as purpose-built apps are coming online, purpose-built to support team-based regulatory compliance through collaboration & cooperation.

 

...For teambuilding, this is not just talk-the-talk, its walk-the-walk...

 

Teams have objectives, businesses have goals, regulatory and ISO bodies have regulations. Team tools need to intuitively foster Collaboration & Compliance, “C&C”, to better support the objectives, goals and regulations placed upon them to succeed.

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