Flowchart: In-Person or Online? Which Communication Method To Use

Flowchart: In-Person or Online? How Should You Communicate?


the image above for the full-size flowchart. This is a draft attempt to document the best communication method/channel for various situations (face to face, email, phone, instant messenger/skype, or conference call). Please add your thoughts and suggestions to this post, and we’ll update the flow chart accordingly.

Dan Zambonini

View posts by Dan Zambonini
Dan Zambonini is a co-founder at Eighty-Five Technologies Inc. Their most recent project is Docoh - SEC EDGAR Filings Search. He wrote A Practical Guide to Web App Success, the leading web application book. You can usually find him twittering on about something on Twitter at @zambonini.


  1. Great flowchart – I can see that a lot of thinking has gone in to it.

    Some specific feedback:

    I do not feel that Email is a suitable mechanism for collaboration. There are lots of On-line tools available – be they real-time such as Sametime, Adobe Connect and Netmeeting – or non-real-time such as WIKIs.

    One of my jobs is as part of a global team who meet every week to collaborate on a project. Our collaboration is usually quite basic – a conference call and a slide deck. Sometimes we use a Sametime e-meeting but that isn’t the norm. With other teams I use Lotus Activities and WIKIs.

    Email is purely used as a notification tool (along with Sametime for IM). Collaborating over Email has many disadvantages including:

    – filling up peoples’ in-boxes, resulting in people missing stuff
    – hard for new people to get up to speed on a project / communication as there isn’t a central repository of what has been discussed so far

  2. Handy for certain other people…

    The Do Nothing box could potentially be replaced with another question:

    Is it private information?

    Yes – Do Nothing (as before)

    No – Write a Blog Post

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