Hi all--hoping that some pros in the community can help me think about a major challenge facing the team I just took over. The team manages a shared Outlook Inbox that receives external inquiries that need to be farmed out to other parts of the organization, received back, reviewed, sent to others for review, and then ultimately responded to. We are government, so cannot use any software outside of the Microsoft suite, but we do have Teams, Office365, OneNote, Planner, and Powerautomate. The system the team has been using is extremely clunky/flawed. When a message comes in, folks color code it to a staff/area, forward it to the relevant part of the broader organization, move the outgoing message to a folder, and then there's typically a number of back and forth emails on the topic that aren't together. Things easily fall through the cracks, there's no good way to "comment" or discuss internally, and it's very difficult for me as the manager to quickly figure out where a particular inquiry is in the process. Another challenge is tracking--we need to track all of the inquiries, the deadlines, status. Currently, we are doing that manually in OneNote, but some sort of integration would be amazing.
I'm not by any means a tech or MS expert, but have been looking into whether there are better ways to do the task management part of this that can link to email and haven't found anything that looks great. It looks like there is lots of proprietary software that could help us, but that's just not an option.
I'd welcome any tips, suggestions, thoughts. Thank you so much in advance!