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PM4DEV Blog

Ideas, suggestions and general thoughts about project management for development.

Why you need email etiquette?

b2ap3_thumbnail_email-etiquette.pngAll your professional email communications needs to make an impression that you are someone that will be easy and a pleasure to work with and that you are a credible professional.  With email you only have one chance to make that first impression which will be invaluable to building trust and confidence. It’s very common that your first contact with other people will often be through email. In fact, while you may never actually meet them face to face, you might well end up having a productive ongoing email and professional relationship with them for years. 

These are three reasons why you need email etiquette

·         Avoid confusion, poorly worded emails can lead to misinterpretation or mistake

·         Efficiency: emails that get to the point are much more effective than long emails.

·         Professionalism: by using proper email language you will convey a professional image

Here are some simple rules of email etiquette you can follow in order to make sure your emails will be warmly and productively received.

  1. Check your organization’s email policy is. Many organizations have rules about the types of message that can be sent and also if your email is monitored or screened
  2. Make sure your e-mail includes a courteous greeting and closing. Helps to make your e-mail not seem demanding or terse.
  3. Address your contact with the appropriate level of formality and make sure you spelled their name correctly
  4. Spell check - emails with typos are simply not taken as seriously
  5. Read your email out loud to ensure the tone is that which you desire. Try to avoid relying on formatting for emphasis; rather choose the words that reflect your meaning instead
  6. Be sure you are including all relevant details or information necessary to understand your request or point of view
  7. Refrain from using the Reply to All feature to give your opinion to those who may not be interested. In most cases replying to the Sender alone is your best course of action
  8. Type in complete sentences. To type random phrases or cryptic thoughts does not lend to clear communication
  9. Always acknowledge emails from those you know in a timely manner
  10. Be sure the Subject: field accurately reflects the content of your email
  11. Keep emails brief and to the point
  12. Always end your emails with "Thank you," "Sincerely," "Best regards" 
  13. Avoid unnecessarily large file sizes. Digital photos especially, learn how to resize your digital photographs
  14. Don't type in CAPITALS as this is considered to be SHOUTING. This is one of the rudest things you can do.
  15. Use BCCs (Blind Carbon Copies) when addressing a message to a group of people who don't necessarily know each other
  16. Don't write anything you wouldn't say in public
  17. Be Professional, stay away from abbreviations and don't use emoticons (the little smiley faces).
  18. Ask Before You Send an Attachment: Because of large size attachments or computer viruses, many people won't open attachments unless they know the sender, ask the recipient first
  19. Think before you forward! Get the sender's permission first
  20. Don't send confidential or secret information through email. Email messages are more like postcards than sealed letters; they pass through many computers to get to their destination.

 

Remember, the content of an email includes the character of the person who wrote it, so try to make a good impression every time.

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Who Defines Quality?

b2ap3_thumbnail_quality.jpgQuality in project management is defined as "the totality of characteristics of an entity that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs" (PMBoK). If the project deliverable (goods or services) are not able to meet the stated or implied needs of the beneficiaries, then the project did not meet its quality goal.

Project quality is ultimately defined by the beneficiary, and represents how close the project comes to meet the beneficiaries’ needs. The project manager’s goal is to understand the requirements and needs of the beneficiaries and then ensure the project will meet them

The purpose of quality management is to first understand the needs of the beneficiaries in terms of quality and then put a quality plan to meet those needs. Because quality is defined by the beneficiary, there may be some subjectivity in its definition. But there are methods to make quality more objective. One of these methods requires listing the specific characteristics of quality that are important to the beneficiaries. Then determine the metrics that the project will collect to measure the quality characteristics. 

From there the project manager will develop a quality management plan focused not only on product/service quality, but also the means to achieve it. Quality management is a process that includes quality planning, quality assurance and quality control to achieve more consistent quality.

Quality Planning.  A quality plan includes a clear definition of the goals of the project. This includes assessing the assumptions and risks to success, setting quality standards, documenting processes, and defining the methods and tests to achieve, control, predict and verify success. These activities should be in the project plan and assigned to the team who will report and track quality metrics and document the criteria by which the project deliverables will be accepted by the beneficiaries

Quality Assurance.  Quality assurance uses metrics to determine if the quality plan is proceeding as planned. With the use of qualitative and quantitative metrics, the project manager can measure project quality. The use of tests or quality audits helps predict and verify the achievement of goals and identify need for corrective actions.

Quality Control. Quality control is the review to ensure quality standards. This process includes identifying, analyzing, and correcting problems. Quality control monitors specific project outputs and identifies project risk factors.

It’s important that key stakeholders and beneficiaries are involved in this process, their participation in the quality management process ensures that the project will meet its quality goals. 

 

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