Project Managers spend a good portion of their time communicating. Solid communication is key to a project’s wellness and success. As a project manager you will spend plenty of time sending emails, chairing project team meetings and briefing senior managers and stakeholders. In short, project communication is very important.
Poor project communication can lead to:
- Unnecessary “noise” in the system. When people are unclear about the information in the communication, the wrong information may be passed along.
- Incorrect work performed. Misunderstandings can lead to the wrong work being performed and or the right work NOT being performed.
- Frustration. When the team is frustrated with the quality of communication this can adversely affect the team dynamics. Adversely affecting the team’s dynamics can lead to poor productivity and a lower morale.
- Mistrust. When your status is incorrect or you have failed to properly and accurately articulate an issue often enough, your listeners will question the validity of your communication. This is bad. Your sponsor, team and stakeholders need to have confidence in your communication. If not, your job just got harder several times over!
Here are a few tips for being an effective communicator:
- Know your audience.
- What information is important to your audience. Senior managers and executives are interested in less details and are interested in the big picture. Save the details for the project team.
- Be Concise. Sometimes less is more…
- Everyone is busy and multi-tasking. Get to the point of your communication early and quickly.
- What do you need?
- State your need/ask or objectives clearly.
- Ask for feedback.
- Ending an email with “If you have any questions…” and pausing to gather feedback from a project team during your meetings is an effective practice to validate and correct any communication before it becomes a problem for your project.
- Set Expectations.
- Notify your sponsor, team and key stakeholders of your communication plan and frequency.
Find several communication plan templates for free at: