"I'll work on it, make the changes and email it back to you....then let me know what you think and send me back your comments and or changes..."
A week later the loop is closed and the person getting the information makes his/her comments and sends the data back to the originator. Add even more time to the cycle as the number of time zones increase between those involved in the communication.
EMAIL is killing productivity and collaboration! It generates "churn" not results.
We've observed this over and over again. Defaulting to email and the endless cycle of back and forth and missed communication. With language confusion it gets worse. The end result is delay.
One client team eliminated email on a critical new product development project. They calculated that once sent into the email cycle an issue took 7-10 days to resolve. At $250k/day to be late to market this was an expensive way to communicate. Rather they resolved issues by cell phone. When people needed to work on something or resolve an issue they talked with one another, right away -- wow, what a new "low-tech" idea! They delivered a new platform in 6 months, their competitors were taking 18-24 months to do the same thing.
Of course this is also the same team that removed tables and chairs from conference rooms so people had to stand during meetings -- most of the meetings only lasted 10 minutes or less! More time saved.
Today we have online tools that enable groups of people to share and collaborate interactively in real time. Combined with online meeting tools (Gotomeeting, Zoom, etc.) you can DO IT NOW -- don't wait. These tools are particularly helpful when driving a schedule with remote teams.
Adopt a best practice we call "do it now" -- not by email, not off-line, not later on -- just do it now. Do it when the people are together, when the energy is focused and get it done. More importantly, it is the do-it-now mindset that you want to infectthe team.
Today was an example of doing it now when we fixed the schedule with a group, online, and together in real time. We cut out days of churning back and forth on email. We gained shared understanding, involvement, and we got it done. This is a fundamental principle of fast teams.