The goal of communication is to keep everyone in the loop. One the most important job of the Project Manager is that they must have the ability to communicate. 90% of a Project Manager’s time is spent communicating.
Depending on the type of project, the means of communication will differ. Regardless of the size of the project, there should be some form of a communication plan. An important input to the communication plan is a list of the stakeholders who will be receiving the information.
Effective Communication Plan
An organization culture will play a significant role in how the communications will take place. Some stakeholders do not want to be buried with a lot of information and would prefer a high-level overview. Others have a structured process and require that communication follows a set of rules. Regardless of good or bad news, never withhold information from the stakeholder.
Currently, technology has changed how we communicate with each other. These methods include reports, meetings, email, websites, video chat, messaging, telephone, etc. Although all these methods are available, consideration should be given to the time sensitivity of the information and whether there are appropriate systems in place. Does everyone have access to the same technology or feel comfortable using it? Perhaps training will be required. It is not uncommon to have project team members working in different time zones or what we call virtual teams.
The Project Manager cannot communicate every single detail of the Project, otherwise, they would not get any other task accomplished. The Project Manager needs to determine who should be the point person to communicate information and arm them with the right tools to effectively convey the message. Communication should be Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant and Timely. There is nothing worse than miscommunication.
We now know the Project Manager spends a great deal of time communicating. When planning the communication requirements, the Project Manager must keep in mind that adding one person to a project can have a significant impact on communication. This is known as the Communication Channels. There is a formula that will assist with determining the number of paths: =n x (n-1)/2. N represents the number of people. For example, if there were 5 people on the Project, the number of paths would be 10 5 X (5-1)/2 = 10
As with all processes in Project Management, it is key to monitor communication and ensure that the project team is effectively communicating with each other as well as other stakeholders.
Let us show you how to avoid miscommunication on your next project. Our Project Management classes provide examples and real-life scenarios on how to effectively communicate in a project. Continue learning in our PMP courses and earn a certification in project management.