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The Importance of Communication in Project Management
In project management, never mistake silence for a project running well.
I repeat, NEVER.
In actual fact, this is when alarm bells should be going off inside your head that something isn’t quite right.
Source: ©2013 Project Management Institute, Inc. Pulse of the Profession In-Depth Report: The High Cost of Low Performance: The Essential Role of Communications, May 2013. PMI.org/Pulse
Project staff must know what their tasks are and how to complete them. Project Managers need to be able to monitor project progress.
Let’s first look at a list of tasks that a Project Manager should be doing on a day-to-day basis. Assigning tasks, managing resources, reporting, scheduling and status updates. All of these involve communication of some sort verbally or non-verbally.
‘In the context of organisational project and program management, communications is a core competency that, when properly executed, connects every member of a project team to a common set of strategies, goals and actions.’ (PMI ‘S Pulse of the Profession In-depth Report, May 2013).
A good Project Manager will create a healthy flow of communication channels from the beginning, right to the very end of a project or programme life cycle.
At the beginning of a project, hold a kick-off meeting with everyone involved in the project. This is a chance for you to set goals, expectations and discuss any issues. This is also the perfect time to outline your communication plan.
“But wait, what’s a communication plan” I hear you ask?
A communication plan will vary from client to client depending on the different requirements but a standard one should include the following items:
- The purpose and approach
- Goals, objectives and expectations
- Communication roles
- Individual roles and what they have to do
- What budget and time constraints everyone is working to
- Communication tools and methods
- High-level project communication messages
I cannot emphasise enough the importance of communication, putting it bluntly, if you’re not good at it, make sure it’s something you set to improve upon in 2017.
You’ll only be impacting the success of projects if you fail to do so.