Sending emails is one of the most routine tasks any project manager has to do on a daily basis. During the life cycle of a project a project manager may have to send various types of emails. In this article I will focus on different types of emails I usually send/get and some tips around making them effective.
Sharing project plan or schedule
Typically the first email a project manager will send to the team when starting the project. Includes a copy of the detailed project plan. A few tips and a template to make your email effective -
- Includes information on the key milestones coming up.
- Snapshots of the key tasks or a high level timeline of the project.
- Send a PDF copy of the project plan so that everyone can see on all the devices. Many people do not have Microsoft Project installed.
- Make sure you have had at least one review with the managers or technical leaders before sending the plan.
- End with a comment asking everyone to confirm they are comfortable with the delivery dates.
Seek a project decision or approval
Very often a project manager has to seek approval or a decision from the management regarding a project matter. A few tips and a template to make your email effective -
- Clearly state in the subject that you are looking for an approval by using words like "Approval Required" or "Urgent".
- Give a brief description about why you are seeking the approval or decision.
- If possible always try to give a heads up to the key decision makers.
- Always time bound your emails for a response so that you can follow up and people know that you need a response by a certain time.
- Always provide options so that the decision makers are aware of the pros and cons of each option.
- Always make a recommendation from one of the options.
- Use tables to document the options so that it is for decision makers to understand the options.
- In this example email I have used 4 columns - Options, Pros, Cons and Comments. You can add your own columns.
- Document any assumptions or additional information in the comments section.
Sending project status updates
Sending Project Status Update using email is another common acidity for a project manager. There are a couple of ways you can send project status updates. Please see Templates for Email Project Status Updates.