Communication Methods In Project Management
Communication is a critical factor in project management. There are instances where projects have failed because of miscommunication and communication gaps. Project managers fill this gap by devising a good communication mechanism that will help him to communicate with the team members as well as stakeholders, sponsors, top-tier management and all the people who are connected to the project.
If an effective communication methodology is not followed by the project manager, it may lead to many discrepancies and ultimately may also lead to project failure, which is not appropriate for the organization. It is also important that the right information is delivered to the right person. For instance, the information that is intended for stakeholders may not be appropriate or beneficial for the project team members and similarly team members information may not be useful for top level management officials or stakeholders. It may so happen that if an improper information is sent to the inappropriate recipient they might also overlook some messages or information which are important.
So, project managers have the responsibility to properly channelize the communication process, so that right persons receive the right information. Another important point that project managers must make a note of is that the information sent must be clear, concise and informative. Sometimes improper information may also lead to miscommunication or they are interpreted by the recipient, which can lead to bad work quality.
Project managers can also make use of three communication types categorized by Program Management Body Of Knowledge [PMBOK] and they are:
Interactive communication is an effective communication, that allows all the stakeholders live interaction with all the people related to the project. Some of the best examples of interactive communication methods are video conferencing, live chat, and phone calls. The interactive communication process is more suitable for the stake holders located in the different regions. According to the experts, video conferencing is considered as most effective in comparison to other modes of interactive communication. The project managers have to make a choice which communication medium they want to use to communicate with the stakeholders.
Usually project managers prefer face-to-face communication method, as they have a better opportunity to explain the project status, with charts, analysis, and can get their instant feedback, which will help them to alter project plans according to the inputs given by the stakeholders. Sometimes it is not viable for a stakeholder to attend the video conferencing, in that case, the project managers can make a call to them and pass on the information.
In this communication type, the information is passed to the recipients and where the feedback is not required immediately. Project managers can use this medium of communication for sending meeting notes, and other information. They can also use this mechanism to pass information to stakeholders through a press release. Project managers also can send faxes, letters, emails, memos, status reports using the push notification mechanism. One backdrop that this communication type is that, the project managers are not really sure that the information sent to the recipient is understood by him or not. They only get acknowledgments that the message is sent to the recipient.
As the name itself suggests, this communication method is suitable for the large-scale audience, who like to access information at their own convenient time. The project managers store this information in the data repository on the company server or a place where it can be accessed by the team members or stakeholders. The information can be anything ranging from slide shows, study materials, or training sessions.
Project managers can make use of any of the communication methods listed above. Before selecting the communication the project managers must check all their options and the number of audience, and their locations. These are few factors the project managers have to take care of before selecting the communication type.
Apart from the above-specified communication methods there are also other communication methods that can be opted by the project manager which serves his requirement. The only thing they have to be sure is that the information is passed to all the members of the team and stakeholders connected with the project.