Communication Is The Number One Risk Management Success Factor
Communication is the number one risk management success factor. Written documentation is the least effective way to communicate information between people and, in fact, can further increase project risk.
Frequent open and honest face-to-face communication is far more effective. Media Richness Theory provides a great perspective on the loss of important and relevant cooomunication details based upon the mechanism of communication used. Have you ever sent someone what you thought to be an innocuos email, and received a scathing reply that you felt was uncalled for? We've probably all heard that saying that 'you read and interpret the tone of an email you've received, based upon your own current emotional state.'
Taking time to call someone on the phone, setup a skype call, or find a time to meet in person is the safest and often most efficient use of time. It prevents the need for lots of rework and potentially damaged relationships that can result from a constant deluge of email or documentation requests. As outlined in Fred Brooks’ The Mythical Man-Month, it's often impossible to recover the schedule of a late project by adding more people and resources to it after it's late.
Much better to meet with someone in person, or grab a cup of coffee together in the office breakroom, and ensure your team is running smoothly and avoiding the risks of misunderstanding that arise so easily with our most common workplace communcation.