Whether we are talking about professional or personal communication, it is the foundation of every healthy relationship. But, when it comes to project management, it is of extreme importance, because 80 percent of the project manager’s job is, as a matter of fact, communication. Effective communicators are the ones that are more likely to deliver projects on time and stay within the budget.
Imagine managing a project without communication, and unless you are producing something for yourself and on your own, it would be impossible to do it, because projects usually consist of various layers of requirements, details and decisions. Every step requires a new task and it is dependent on another decision or task. This is something that cannot be done without communication.
Project management is much more than just free project management tools; it is also about people and working together with them to meet the needed requirements. Monitoring is the easy part, but you also have to be a detail-oriented, strong, clear and concise communicator. Also, you have to be comfortable with a variety of conversations, interactions and personalities.
The most successful project management teams are the ones that are comfortable with collaboration. So, let’s list some reasons why team communication is important and how it can directly affect the outcome of the project. Here are some tips for better team communication when it comes to project management.
A project manager can also facilitate communication by making sure that everyone is on the same page. It is easy to check boxes off with each deliverable and review them with the team, but you might be missing a huge opportunity to build a stronger product.
When you are working on a project, make sure that you are taking some time to make reviews. This will generate more confidence in what you are building, and it’ll will keep team members accountable for project decisions throughout. Through discussions, reviews and free project management tools, project managers will eliminate the risk of delivering something that will have a negative impact on the whole project.
Everyone involved in a project will have their own opinion about what is most important, what needs to be prioritized, and when something needs to be done. A project manager needs to listen to all of their opinions, to make sure that everyone is heard, and to keep project objectives in order.
When a project starts, a project manager needs to make sure that the whole team is aware of what is expected of them through the entire course of the project. This can be done in several ways: by discussing project goals and planning, discussing how the communication will go, and mapping the project with an RACI chart.
Written text can, in some cases, be misinterpreted, because words on a computer screen or on paper do not have the inflection or tone that verbal communication does. By holding regular meetings, whether over the phone, via video chat or in person, you can help team members fully understand each other.
If regular meetings are not possible, initial face to face meetings can also be of help, because they will allow people to associate the face with the message they are receiving. Since the success of the project can be tied to the willingness of individuals to work together, this type of interpersonal communication can really make a difference in how well the project management team will complete their tasks.
Timing can be a crucial part of the success of a project. Since project work is done and dependent on different tasks, project managers are the ones who need to make sure that team members are sharing important information that will allow other team members to know what has already been done and what needs to be done next. Another thing that is necessary here is the prioritization of communication and conveying the right amount of information.
Too much communication can in some cases be overwhelming and it can lead to important information getting lost. But, on the other hand, too little communication might not provide team members with a clear picture and affect the work that needs to be done to successfully complete the project.
Project managers need to be the ones who will understand how to send the right amount of information to the right people at the right time, so that everything can run smoothly and result in a successful project.
Project manager needs to be inquisitive and they have to understand people, processes and deliverables. In some cases, there will be a person in the team who will come up with a new way of working or with a new spin on a deliverable.
So, a project manager needs to understand it and not be afraid to ask questions. The team will be happy to share resources or information about the work and help the project managers understand it. It is a win-win situation both for project managers and the team, because the more things get understood, the easier it will be to advocate it or plan for similar tasks in future projects.
No matter what, project managers need to be open to discussion when it comes to communication with their teams. Knowing what is best for the project, using easy project management software and being willing and open to adapt ideas from the team will set the tone for positive collaboration. Project success depends on effective communication and improving communication maximizes success and minimizes the risk.