Nothing is more important to the success of a project than effective communication. Project teams are in a constant state of communication via email, conference calls, face-to-face discussions and meetings. A communication network needs to be put in place from day one of a project and to continue for its entire life span, providing regular updates to notify the status of the project as well as its performance.
About 90% of the time in a project is spent on communication by the project manager – but, surprisingly, it has been found that despite such great efforts, most projects experience a breakdown in communications which often lead to missing the delivery dates or the quality goals set in the Purchase Order.
According to a 2013 study of the Project Management Institute, 1 out of 5 projects is unsuccessuf due to ineffective communication. We believe that project teams will increase their chances of achieving their goals if they develop successful strategies for keeping everyone on the same page:
- Consider project-related messages instead of generic emails
Email allows people to communicate effectively, but it was not designed to enhance project management. Inbox overload happens easily, with overlooked announcements and unclear to-dos needing to be manually tracked and organised.
Also, one can never take for granted that the receiver will interpret the message the same way as the sender intended it. To do this effectively, the project manager needs to consider all the factors like the different realities, the space the communication takes place in, the intended meaning versus the perceived meaning, etc.
- Share up-to-date documents and schedules with the team members
It is essential that the information available to the team members are always up-to-date: in the rapidly variable context of a project, information can hardly be reliable if it comes from different sources that have no interaction with one another. The information regarding the project should be put in a single place accessible by all team members, so to fit every team member’s competing responsibilities and time pressures.
- Use online collaboration tools
Cloud-based collaboration tools like NotifyMe help streamline project management and facilitate the process of collaborating with team members and other stakeholders. Online project management tools are designed for keeping everyone constantly informed and up-to-date about what is going on.
Of course, collaboration software alone won’t guarantee that your team will communicate openly and efficiently. Whatever medium you use, communication will only be as good as the communication strategies you adopt.