I know that I have often said “I’ll follow up with you on Friday,” only to forget and not send the email until Monday. It’s not great, it can undermine your credibility as the manager of a project.
But when someone else says or writes “So and so will follow up by telephone by Thursday,” and you are So-and-so, and you never hear or see about this until Friday, this is not great. Doesn’t this feel like your boss is kind of throwing you under the bus? If I had know it was my responsibility to call this person, I would have. But I was not CC’ed on any of these emails. Ugh! The simple solution would have been to forward the original email and say “please follow up.” So easy.
I have also watched this problem happen on a much more massive scale. It often occurs when senior staff make decisions in meetings, and then literally forget to communicate those outcomes to their staff. It’s really the worst.
I always find it so funny to have a meeting about a meeting, but that’s often what needs to happen. I think my experience with inter-office communications has not been good, so I am curious to learn about other methods to share decisions, outcomes and tasks for follow-up. Any suggestions?