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Dealing With Information Overload in Project Management

written by: Ivy N. McQuain MBA • edited by: Marlene Gundlach • updated: 3/13/2013

To deal with information overload or data redundancy in a project management system, it's essential to create effective project management utilities to make the projects run smoothly. Dealing with information overload calls for an efficient information management system.

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    Nearly every professionally run organization has realized the worth of establishing an efficient project management process. Among the many techniques that are used to enhance the productivity of project management tools, guarding against an overload of information leaps to mind. We need to develop useful project management utilities to ensure that everyone on board with the organization’s project management platform is able to strategize the flow of information. This includes:

    • Improving the relevancy of information.
    • Controlling the volume of information.

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    Tools to Improve the Quality and Relevancy of Information

    Using RSS: For this purpose, many project managers endorse the use of RSS feeds and RSS newsreaders. It is one of the simplest ways of systematically keeping yourself abreast with the latest developments in a field of particular interest. RSS feeds provide you an opportunity to read the most recent content from blogs, podcasts, and online reviews or just browse through the latest global trends.

    Why Blogs? The one single largest factor that makes blogs a valuable resource for seeking selective and yet comprehensive information is that it combines many inputs related to a single topic--personal opinions, market judgments, feedbacks regarding compatibility with corporate policies, and suggested advantages from many reliable sources.

    Using Online Networking: A similarly-configured information source is a networking club that could be regional, local, or even international. However, here the information is streamed in a more interactive way and the discussion and viewpoints are presented more openly. Many times, the interactive sessions feature leading industry experts so that participants can gain an insight into their expertise.

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    Tools to Stem the Flow of Information

    Create Disposable Email Addresses

    One of the biggest nuisances in terms of unwanted information is the email inbox. Sometimes, it becomes necessary to the email for delivering urgent messages or for professional communication. Project managers do well to register their team members to participate in various online forums requiring web-based registration. That means your email address could be accessed by spammers. This in turn makes you susceptible to a flood of superfluous information.

    The solution lies in not using your real email address when you are filling-out online forms. There are many service vendors and even project management software packages that offer a few disposable email addresses that can be used for such purposes.

    Creating a Personalized Information Management System

    There are many other communication tools that are used, and many of them create an overflow of information. However, you could create your system of filtering all the data that comes through to help you select and work upon the appropriate information only.


    • Many project management software applications offer the facility of having pop-up reminders to highlight important incoming messages.
    • Those using Outlook Express — using filters in Outlook to automatically file your mail into specific folders and to delete spam/junk mail.

    Most teams involved with project management feel overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of information that is imposed upon them each day. The sensible solution lies in creating an individual system that suits your sensibilities and strategic preferences rather than the standard recommended tips that are preached. The emphasis should be on creating a system that doesn't necessarily just reduce the amount of information delivered to you, but is effective enough to sort, filter, and highlight what is suited to your profile and professional requirements.