Communication is a key driver in project management. Effective communication can take a project to greatness, while similarly, any case of miscommunication within the project requirements can take a project towards failure and its eventual death.
As a project manager, you have to constantly prioritize communication and effectively communicate with sponsors, clients and other team members.
Keeping this in mind, it is necessary that you build a standard communication strategy and follow up on it. The project activities mentioned below all require effective communication on a routine basis to help businesses grow and succeed.
· Negotiating contracts
· Developing project plans
· Delegating tasks
· Identifying risks
· Eliciting requirements
· Reporting project progress
· Conducting meetings
· Tracking progress
· Sharing and maintaining revisions with team members.
A recent study conducted by the Project Management Institute or PMI also found out that ineffective communication is the primary contributor to project failure one-third of the time and had a negative impact on project success more than half the time.
The study made a number of other findings that go on to reveal the role of effective communication in project strategy. It has also been found out that “Companies risk $135 million for every $1 billion spent on a project and new research indicates that $75 million of that $135 million (56 percent) is put at risk by ineffective communications, indicating a critical need for organizations to address communications deficiencies at the enterprise level.”
Keeping the information mentioned above in mind, it has now become extremely important for organizations to prioritize communication and make it a strong point rather than a reason for their failure.
In this article, we take a look at six effective ways to improve communication within your project. These tips have been formulated from insights generated through seasoned analysts and experts in the industry and are known to be effective.
Set Project Expectations
The first step to establishing the right project communication plan is to set project expectations from the first day onwards. Everyone associated with the project, including all stakeholders and team members, should clearly be told about the scope and requirements of the project so that everyone is on the same page. Once everyone is on the same page, organizations will be better able to handle project requirements.
Organize a meeting and make sure all key stakeholders are part of it. Discuss project goals and requirements within this meeting and map the project through a responsible, accountable, consulted and informed (RACI) chart. This chart can streamline plans and is effective for communication.
People are better able to manage work-related requirements and meet deadlines if everything is made clear to them from the word go.
Strengthen Your Team Culture
Your company culture is extremely important for the overall success of your project and can only be perfected through a good communications strategy. Project managers should play their part to ensure a positive team culture that is based on inclusion rather than on exclusion.
Team managers should also ensure that everyone is able to come face-to-face and interact with each other. If you have a team of diverse individuals, you should ensure that they go from strength to strength together and believe in each other.
Make sure that your employees can come to you if they require anything important. Also, create a mentorship program where employees can approach each other when mentorship is required.
Run Proper and Routine Meetings
Meetings are a core part of an organization’s project communication strategy. Sadly, not many managers know how to successfully run a meeting without losing out on the purpose that it is supposed to carry.
If managed in a proper manner, project meetings can help yield positive results and can also bring in interesting results. You can either hold 15-minute meetings on a regular basis or host a 60-minute meeting every week. Whatever you decide, you should make sure that it is something your team is on board with as well.
Any form of lack of clarity or miscommunication can seriously dent your project progress and can lead to an adverse impact. The best way to avoid miscommunication and get appropriate results is by encouraging questions from your team.
Since you’re the project manager, you should be responsible for asking questions in meetings and also for encouraging them. Asking questions can help build your communications strategy and can also lead you in the right direction. You gain insights from your staff members when you ask the right questions in meetings.
Benefit from Collaborative Tools
Thankfully we now have a number of collaborative tools that almost all project managers and entrepreneurs can benefit from. Collaborative tools have grown in popularity with the current trend of remote work in the pandemic. Collaboration tools help streamline the communication process and allow organizations to manage tasks.
Almost all project teams from over the globe use project management tools to collaborate with their teams and reach desirable outcomes. Tools such as ProofHub and others of the nature are extremely helpful for remote teams, where certain employees are working from different countries. This is often the case with software projects.
Focus on Nonverbal Communication
Nonverbal communication is just as effective as verbal communication during project meetings. If you are meeting in person, you ought to know that more than half of all what is said is done through non-verbal cues. The actions, body language, and gestures of an individual tell a lot about what’s going on in their head. You should start paying attention to all nonverbal aspects of communication, especially to minus out all instances of miscommunication.
The communication front matters a lot in your project management strategy, which is why you should prioritize it just as much as some of your other fronts. We hope by now you can tell where to start from to take your collaboration to the next level.