Saturday, September 29, 2007


Enterprise Architecture, Email and Collaboration Patterns

I have in the past ranted about being in mail jail where the quota was exceeded on Microsoft Exchange and I couldn't send email until I got rid of all of those PDFs that software vendors keep sending me as attachments. Anyway, the secondary cause for folks spending time on email management is the CC his manager antipattern...

Sometimes, folks in large enterprises prove the theory that we are all just a bunch of silly little human beings. There are times where we in our matrixed organization chart where you report to everyone and no one at the same time need the services of others in a timely manner, but the person on the other end of the email doesn't respond. Of course, this too may be because they are also in mail jail but the odds are good that it is more likely they are ignoring your requests or believe it to be of less priority.

Folks over time have concluded that the best way around this conundrum is to CC his manager and put this person's boss in mail jail as well. The recipient of the email may feel pressured to respond and will answer the email also CC'ing his manager but will make sure that all future requests take longer than they should. He may also respond faster than he should and think about where in the hierarchy the person asking the request is vs responding in terms of its actual importance which means they are spending time on less important activities.

Furthermore, his manager may have a blackberry and may be reading emails in meetings where thinly veiled Powerpoint presentations are being conducted by closed source vendors and will send the recipient another email indicating its importance. The end result is that the recipient now has to spend time on five or six emails to get himself out of mail jail before he can take care of your request.

Everything is important, but sometimes us folks in large enterprises can't figure out what is more important...

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