Wednesday 2 February 2022

Project working papers - Register of correspondence.

We continue the topic of working documents of the project, intended for daily, operational work with them by the project manager and the project team. In previous notes, I described the open-ended issues register and risk register used on projects. In this article, I would like to note the following register created within the field of knowledge of communication management - the register of correspondence.

A register of correspondence is a working document intended for the operational management of a project. This document contains information about all official correspondence that takes place within the framework of the project.

Since, usually, official letters are sent on paper, respectively, e-mails are not recorded in this register. The main possibilities of using this register are tracking the timing of official notifications, approvals (important, because usually these terms are prescribed in the contract and in case of their violation, penalties may be applied), tracking the receipt of invoices, acts, invoices and the timing of their processing, the ability to quickly obtain information about official correspondence for other purposes (including for the purpose of generating a report on the status of the project). An example of the use of the correspondence register in project management can be found in the lesson Learned No. 91 (the register of suppliers can be combined with the register of correspondence and the register of interested parties).

Register of correspondence.

On my projects, I maintain this register in Excel format. I place the file on the Sharepoint portal, in the project workspace, which allows you to save different versions of the document, provide role-based access to team members and project stakeholders. Incoming and outgoing correspondence are registered on various sheets of the Excel workbook, and the correspondence registers themselves contain the following fields (fields for outgoing and incoming correspondence are given):
Date of sending / Date of receipt - the field in which the date of sending or receiving the letter is written. It is better to make the field of the "Date" format, so that later it would be convenient to sort and filter by this field.

Outgoing/Incoming number – the number of the outgoing or incoming document.

Subject – subject of the letter. In this field, the subject of the letter (if any) is recorded. If the subject of the letter is missing, or if documents are sent, then the essence of the letter (list of documents) is entered in this field. Also, for documents, the level of coordination is indicated (agreed by the customer, agreed by the contractor, agreed by both parties, not agreed).

To/From Whom – the addressee of the correspondence is entered in this field. If this person is part of the interested parties of the project, then I indicate only the full name, otherwise - more complete information (for example, position, phone, etc.).

Means of sending / delivery - here you write information about the method of sending or delivery, i.e. courier, mail, mail with notification, etc. This field is convenient because, if necessary, you can always find an audit trail of sending or delivering correspondence.

Link – this field is rarely filled. For particularly important documents, it contains a link to the scanned document.

That's actually all the fields in the correspondence register. Fill it out in a timely manner and you will no longer have problems finding letters, invoices and similar documents.

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