R&D sent MIS an email, MIS sent a followup email to HR asking for a response. HR responded and asked finance for a response.

Everyone is added into the email thread cumulatively.

R&D followed up in the email chain asking if MIS had resolved the issue before Finance had even responded.

How can I politely inform the person in R&D that MIS are still waiting for a response?

  • 2
    What's the problem with a response like "Currently the action item is pending with finance team, please check with them. Regards, Jon Doe"? You can also loop a mailer ID, if there's one not already looped. Commented Jan 22, 2019 at 7:42
  • 5
    I'm assuming there is more content to this thread? I've no idea who is supposed to be responsible for what in this context.
    – Erik
    Commented Jan 22, 2019 at 8:23
  • @Erik, it's basically like what Sourav Ghosh suggested, it's pending for response from Finance. MIS cannot proceed without that.
    – Pop
    Commented Jan 22, 2019 at 8:37
  • Are you a part of R&D, MIS, HR, or Finance? If you are not MIS then it's none of your business. If you are MIS then R&D, We are still waiting for a response from HR and they are waiting for a response from Finance. Thank you will suffice.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 15:43

4 Answers 4


Simplify and clarify.

Simply send an email to all concerned parties that clearly outlines and summarizes what the status currently is.

This will inform R&D about the chain of responsibilities and the scope of the problem in hand because they obviously don't know or haven't read the email chain fully.

R&D wrote to MIS asking for [stuff]
MIS then referred this to HR because [reason]
HR needs to seek clarification from Finance because [reason]
We currently can't progress with this until we get the information from Finance


Just politely tell them where the problem lies, preferably while CCing said problem so that the original problem-haver knowns who to contact for more follow ups.

It also helps to re-state the procedure and the reason you are making this someone elses problem, this might help the problem-haver to restate the issue so that another procedure can be followed.

For example:
Alice: Hey Bob, I'd like to have steak for dinner tonight.
Bob: Sure, I will look in the fridge if we have any.
Bob, looking at the fridge, to Alice: We are currently out of steak, I will go get some from the store, this might take an hour or so.
Alice: ah ok, well what do we have in the fridge at the moment?
Bob: meatballs?
Alice: sounds good, lets have meatballs!

  • 1
    I'm really struggling to apply your example to the OP's situation. Can you just respond directly to the actual situation instead of using a contrived example?
    – David K
    Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 13:51

How can I politely inform the person in R&D that MIS are still waiting for a response?

A simple response is best:


MIS still needs a response from HR regarding this issue1 (reference email's title2 + datetime).

I see an email where HR has requested information from Finance1 (reference email's title2 + datetime).

HR are you still waiting on Finance?

Note that my suggested first sentence factually tells the person why you cannot respond yet, then there is a recap.
This is a different order than the answer Snow presented.
Snow also said you should put in the "reason" which isn't a bad idea. If you do, make sure the email isn't so long that your main point ("we cannot answer yet") isn't lost on someone (most managers) who skims your email.

Often people delete emails, or when the titles aren't the same don't notice that the things are related.
This wraps it all up in one package for them to review - including Finance & HR (one of whom either dropped the ball or failed to give a timely status update).

Note that you aren't blaming anyone. You are just asking politely if HR can proceed, and you have done this in response to a request from you for a status update... it is unlikely anyone will be offended.

Add your manager because you're dealing with other departments (if they aren't already on the chain).

1 I would attach those emails in case someone has deleted them. Especially if you are dealing with managers.

2 If the titles are all the same conversation you can leave this out.


Best advice: just ignore it.

While it may seem like a polite thing to notify them they have the wrong party, it is never recommended to reply to emails. In today's world, you never know if a email is spoofed to look like a legit email asking for information.

If you must, call them by looking up a company directory or tell the person yourself by going to their cube.

  • Who recommends not replying to emails? If email is an established channel of communications in the company (which it appears to be here), staying away from it is going to cause problems. Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 17:24

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